Being body positive means learning to celebrate your body, others’ bodies, everyone’s bodies for how they are different and beautiful. Being body inclusive is about making intentional choices, decisions, and habits to encourage and support this body positivity for all types.
Here are six ways to build these habits in your daily life.
1. Focus more on inner than outer beauty.
Change the way you talk to yourself in the bathroom mirror. Are you noticing your flaws, your physical features first? Can you refocus and compliment your mind, your passion, your intellect, your thoughtfulness, etc. instead?
When you speak kindness over someone else, can you shift what you’re pointing out? Can you move away from comments about their shape, build, eating and exercising habits so to not trigger someone who may be struggling? Can you talk about their clothing or fashion, rather than the fit? Can you focus on who they are as a person, or what value they bring?
2. Filter your social media feeds.
Do you find yourself following model accounts, fitness motivation accounts? Don’t get me wrong, these accounts can be motivating and positive, but don’t make these the only accounts you follow. Fill your feeds with body diversity, with brands that you connect with, with friends and family members, with people of different shapes, sizes, passions, and purposes. When your social media is diverse, you’ll feel more empowered, rather than continually measuring yourself up.
3. Educate yourself.
Research an eating disorder or body confidence issue that you don’t quite understand. See if you can put yourself in that person’s shoes and learn what they’re going through. Remove any biases or stereotypes you may have previously held.
4. Change the language you’re using.
Try to eliminate negative words like “fat” or “gross” or “ugly.” Even if you’re saying these words in passing, as a joke, or about yourself rather than someone else—they still have long-lasting, damaging effects. When you change the way you speak to yourself and others, you’ll foster more positivity.
5. Shift away from judgement.
Try instead of judging a body type, a story, or a person take time to learn without carrying any predisposed notions. Focus on souls rather than bodies.
6. Spread joy.
Don’t underestimate the power of a smile, a genuine compliment, a hug. Whenever possible, encourage yourself and the people around you with a joyous spirit. Body positivity is an ongoing battle, but when you flood happiness into the things and people you touch, huge strides will be made.