During my journey of self discovery I realized something crucial. I am not sure why it took me years to come to this conclusion, but I am glad that I finally did. I have been struggling with body positivity my whole life- never truly accepting who I am and what I looked like. I welcomed the idea of body positivity for other people but never myself. Celebrating other people’s bodies is easy when they have accepted themselves. Nobody told me, but the key to body positivity does not always equate with self improvement.
To accept who you are doesn’t mean that you are done with improving. I always thought to be happy with yourself you would have to be at your optimal physical peak. This is not true. The two aren’t mutually exclusive- you can be accepting of your body image and not actively working on a way to “improve” yourself. Everyone’s self worth journey is different. You cannot measure your own body image by someone else’s standard.
I recently posted to Facebook: “My body positivity is getting in the way of my weight loss.” I might not be 100% happy with my weight, and I am not really actively seeking out ways to “improve” it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be proud of the way I look. I did not understand this when I made the status. Upon thinking about it, I realized that I actually feel okay with myself at my current state. A lot of people struggle with their weight, to get their BMI at a “healthy” number. There are many Olympic athletes that are heavier than I am who are at their apex of physical health. I look towards greek sculptures of Aphrodite and her curvy body for inspiration. Portraits of plump women decorate the walls of the most prestigious art museums.
When I choose to lose weight, it will be on my own terms and because I want to be healthier. Not to fit into smaller clothes or to look like someone else. I believe in myself and I think I am an attractive person in my own skin and I am not catering what society believes beauty should be.