How to be Body Positive

 It’s time to be positive about our bodies. Image by James Yang.

Being body positive is a hot topic these days and rightly so, but what does being body positive mean and why are we talking about it on a fashion website? Well, being body positive is about feeling good about your body, appreciating what you have and learning to love yourself. We know that sounds easier said than done and lots of people pay lip service to the idea but the negative thought patterns continue on the inside. Body positivity is about more than just using a hashtag or posting a no-makeup selfie, it’s how you talk to yourself every day and embrace who you are.

Why it matters to us at FashioNZ is because we are trying our best to be inclusive, honest and real. We want to show you lots of different bodies with the fashion images we present to you so you can choose what relates to you. It’s a hard ask at the moment because so many fashion shoots still feature the same size models that don’t really represent how diverse we are but thankfully things are slowly changing and we’re seeing more different representations of models which is great but there is still a long way to go. We’re very careful with the language we use on here to create a body positive space and as much as we’re happy to give you fashion advice we’re not going to tell you that you have to look a certain way because you don’t.

So how do you go about being body positive? We’ve put together some tips to help you feel more body positive each day because it’s a process and different for everyone.

Practice self acceptance
Spend some time taking a look at yourself in the mirror, acknowledge all the different bits of you and start accepting your body for what it is and how much it has done for you and with you. The scars, lines and quirks of your body help tell your story and you wouldn’t be you without them. Likewise, your favourite features make you who you are as well. You are wonderful just as you are. If you’re the kind of person who likes mantras this is a good time to create one about accepting who you are.

Focus on what your body can do
Your body is a pretty amazing creation that does so many things at once and is capable of so much more than just get you from A to B. Think about all the different kinds of movement you can do, walking, running, skipping, dancing, jumping etc. not to mention all your senses which enhance your experience of life. Focusing on all the amazing things your body can do helps create gratitude and its well documented that being grateful increases your happiness and positive outlook.

Follow inspiring, body positive people on social media
It’s always great to have inspiration and social media can be really good for that. Cut out all the negative stuff from your feed and focus on the accounts of people that make you feel good and use positive language. Their positive self-talk will inspire you to be that way too.

Remove the negative media from your life
Those magazines that promote a “perfect body”, “sexy skin” or anything that has you making negative comparisons to yourself are best avoided.  Fact is no-one has a “perfect body” not even models (who are usually photoshopped) and putting unrealistic expectations on yourself isn’t helpful. Don’t get us wrong, being fit, healthy and feeling strong is a great thing but exercising or dieting to try and look like some unattainable version of yourself is going to make you feel worse. Change the message to focus on being healthy and the best you that you can be.

Wear what makes make you feel good
If you love it and it makes you happy then wear it. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t like it or it’s not on trend. Style is about finding the clothes that suit you, look good on you and make you feel good when you wear them. If you’re not sure what suits you then ask for help or do some research but generally you’ll know when you put something on if it works for you. Those garments that bring an instant smile to your face when you put them on should definitely be bought and worn as much as possible especially if you need an extra lift.

Be kind to yourself and others
That positive self-talk should extend to others, not just yourself. Don’t put down anyone else’s appearance as in doing so you are reinforcing their own negative thoughts and that there is a certain way that they should look and therefore everyone should look. Listen to what you’re saying to yourself and others and replace any negative words with positive ones. Always accept compliments with thank you and don’t question that someone likes something about you.

Acknowledge that not every day will be a good one
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not feeling particularly good about yourself or you’re struggling to find things to be grateful for. Everyone has hard days but they pass and it’s important to acknowledge when you’re having a hard time and get support if you need it.

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