The Body: A Painting of One's Own

Priya Chawla

“Love myself, love yourself” - Kim Namjoon

When you look into the mirror, ask yourself, are you truly content with what you see? With the way that your body curves, with the frame that your body has moulded into and with the imperfections it carries?

If your answer is yes, then cherish yourself with pride, but if you answered no, then there might be something you lack and that is body positivity.

What is body positivity? To keep it simple, it is self-acceptance. It is the appreciation of all body types as well as one’s own. It is the acknowledgement of all the changes in size, shape, colour and ability your body may undergo due to nature, age or your own personal choices.

Body positivity is the idea that you can live a comfortable life free of guilt or shame in your own body, whether it be as it is right now or the body that you are working towards with nourishment and self-care.

There are a plethora of ways a body can be cared, whether it be lean or curvy, stout or stretched, apple or pear. The Body Positivity Movement is an initiative that expresses the idea that neither fat-shaming nor skinny-shaming is acceptable and that all kinds of body types should be celebrated.

However, with such an idea follows a few misconceptions.

For one, body positivity isn’t all about constantly feeling incredible with your frame, forcing the idea that you are perfect upon yourself. It is about disassociating your appearance from the way you calculate your worth. It is rather bout understanding that no matter how your body looks, you deserve not to be mistreated and to be loved. Just because your body isn’t flawless does not mean that you are of any less value than someone with the ideal hourglass.

Another common delusion is that upholding the ideas of body positivity means that an unhealthy lifestyle and perilous habits are encouraged in the process. This is certainly NOT the case. Body positivity is simply love yourself and don’t beat yourself up for not fitting into societal standards of the perfect body. After all, if you truly love yourself, you will take up all the steps to take care and nurture yourself. There is also the argument that one’s body is one’s autonomy- it is one’s own decision how they want to go about their physique, that should be their own concern and no one else’s.

But asking someone to not put themselves down and feel comfortable in their skin is a lot to ask. It’s certainly not an easy task but definitely an important one. Do not fret. There are many ways that you can learn to love yourself.

1. Feel free to devote to yourself into fashion

Even if you’re body isn’t the same as the model that is flaunting that peach dress, it is completely okay for you to wear it! Fashion is a method of self-expression and no one should be excluded from partaking in it. Try out some styles that you have always been reluctant to delve into because of your body, and don’t be afraid to experiment with clothing. Who knows, you might just rock it.

2. Surround yourself with other body positive people

Negativity is contagious. If you are around people who constantly hate you or even themselves on the basis of appearance then maybe they’re just not worth your presence. Staying around people who point out your physical flaws will lower your own self esteem in your physique and bring you down. Get involved with people who are body positive themselves and their optimism will branch out to you, making you feel better about yourself.

3. Indulge in body positive media

Watching YouTube videos about the man who has finally learned how to love himself, or following the Instagram account of that lady who isn’t afraid to be different. Indulging in content that embraces body positivity can be a method for you to inherit it. This is an especially effective method in our current, social media driven age. Some influencers you can follow to begin with are Jessamyn Stanley, Em Ford and Zach Miko.

4. Practicing self-care is a must

Being able to take care of others is only truly possible when you first learn to take care of yourself. Caring and treating yourself can help you see the beauty that lies within you. Self-care can include a bubble-bath, reading a good book or even listening to some good music.

5. Know that it is okay to ask for help

It is okay if your road to self-love and true body positivity is a little rocky. It is also completely okay to ask someone for help, whether it be a friend or a professional. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or fragility, rather it is a sign that you are motivated and are determined to achieve your goal. If ever you are feeling down, speak to someone you trust like a family member or a colleague and if you think it comes to that point, seek professional help without any shame.

Body positivity isn’t something one can just develop overnight. It is a journey that will definitely be time-consuming, but when you reach the final destination of self respect, every second will be worth it. Empower yourself, and take part in the greatest revolution that is body positivity. Your body is a painting, one that you have created and one that you will always love the most.

Get out there and show the world what you got.