Illustration by Frances Cannon
Body positivity is the act of loving your body exactly how it is.
Society says that you have to look a certain way. Namely, white and young and skinny and smooth. The patriarchal society that we live in says that we should hate or dislike ourselves. It is pervasive. Everything from gym adverts making you feel bad to thinspiration accounts on Instagram to the fact that fat people never have fully rounded characters in mainstream Hollywood – it’s all saying that you should look the same as the societal ideal.
Loving, celebrating and taking care of your body and inspiring others to do the same is a massive fuck you to patriarchal society.
It’s saying that I don’t have to be skinny to be beautiful, because curves are just as sexy.
It’s saying I don’t need your facelift or copious beauty products in order to look young, because there’s nothing wrong with being older.
It’s saying I don’t have to conform to your standards, because being thin and young doesn’t mean that I live a fulfilling, successful and happy life.
I think because I appear to be skinny, I can’t really be part of the movement. My body will change, but for the moment, my body cannot inherently inspire someone to be kinder to themselves because my body embodies the societal ideal. This absolutely does not mean that I don’t have a squishy tummy, stretch marks or spots. It doesn’t mean that I don’t feel shitty about my own body sometimes and it doesn’t mean that I don’t eat cheese and potato in copious amounts. It just means that the body positivity movement isn’t designed for me – it’s designed for people who don’t see their body image being represented fairly in mainstream media and are made to feel bad for it. However, it doesn’t mean that I don’t need it. The images we see of women (and men) now are not realistic, in some cases unhealthy, so encouraging people to love themselves regardless of their body size is really important.
In the interest of balance, I also wanted to point out that the body positivity movement is not without its flaws – it does put pressure on people to be chirpy and cheery about their body all the time, and that just simply is not possible. Absolutely everyone has down days, and don’t let anyone tell you different. Even that girl or boy that you think has the perfect body and you believe have nothing to be down about will feel shitty about their body at some point or another.
These are some of my favourite body positive bloggers:
Cattitude and Co.
Being body positive isn’t always about your shape or your size, sometimes it’s about what your body does. Like bleeding out of your giney on a (hopefully) regular basis. Tara of Cattitude and Co writes on a number of different subjects, but my favourite is her Period category. She writes about all aspects, from different products to use to the benefits of period sex. She’s the girl that you need to be reading if you’re sick and tired of people talking about periods as if they’re totally gross.
Her writing is quite fun and friendly, but educational too. She’s like a friend that you trust telling you what she knows because it’s good for you.
Favourite Read: 4 Perks to Having Period Sex
If you love a straight-talking, no bullshit kind of blogger, then Vix Meldrew is your gal. Sex positive and hilarious, Vix tells it like she sees it. She articulates thoughts about sex and relationships that you didn’t know you could have – there’s absolutely no shame here.
Favourite Read: 10 Things That Are Sex Nightmares
A plus size style blogger who’s so glamorous it makes your heart soar whenever you look at her, Nancy is my ultimate fave. Her outfits are just so on point. Every. Single. Damn. Time. Her body positivity simply shines through every photo, and her mantra “don’t obsess over your size, obsess over your happiness – they are not the same thing” is just goals. Okay, enough gushing (sorry!) – just go read, kay?
Favourite Read: Every style post ever.
What are your fave body positive blogs?