Becoming Body Positive is more than just my relationship with my mirror (in love) and my scale (broken up!). To become really successful at this mind change, I had to become mindful of my thoughts and words every moment. I’ve learned to challenge my negative self talk, and be conscious of how I spoke to and about others.
Now that I’m a year or so in, I’m started to see a stark difference between myself and the woman I was a year ago. Here’s a list of thing I no longer do:
1. Talk about diets
Heads up, you won’t get a long dish session about diets out of me. That’s not to say I won’t politely sit in the circle while other women converse about it. I’ve had many conversations where I have plastered on a happy, polite, smile while my friends go through their dieting struggles.
Why won’t I dish on diets with you? Because I believe that restricting food choices purely based on changing my outward appearance is bad for my mental health and contributes to my disordered relationship with food. I believe there is a big difference between swapping healthy recipes because I want to eat healthier and counting carbs because I want to lose weight. It’s all in the intention with me. Wanna talk about great things to do with zuchinni noodles, I’m there! Wanna talk about what diet will help you lose 10 pounds by that party, not so much.
2. Talk about what I hate about my body.
I’ve noticed how many conversations I seem to end up in that revolved around what parts of our bodies we hate. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a required part of the female bonding ritual. Maybe a couple years ago I would have quite a bit to add to the body hate fest, but I don’t anymore. Again, I go back to that happy, polite smile and hope I don’t get called on to add my required proof that I am not conceded. Though, if it happens, I have a go to response: “I’m kinda into this body positive thing lately. I’m trying to learn to love myself and not focus on what I look like.”
3. Agree with your negative opinions about your body.
I am not the friend to talk shit about your body in front of. I know some women commiserate in front of the mirror, bonding of their shared hate of their stomachs (or thighs, or butts, or whatever.) The best your going to get out of me is one of those happy, polite smiles before I change the subject.
Now, if you wanna stand in front of a bathroom mirror and rave about parts of our bodies that we love. Well, I’m your girl. Let’s do this shit. I’ll bring the Fireball.
4. Fish for compliments about my body.
I will admit that I send snapchats of my clothes to my friends. Close friends. Maybe two. So, I suppose I still am looking for positive reinforcement with my wardrobe choices. I let this slide, since I’m learning to be more daring and open to what I wear. Here’s what you won’t catch me doing: fishing for compliments about my body. I’m not going to look my friends in the eye and say “God, I’m so fat. No one is ever going to love me” in hopes that my friends will rise up in a clamor of positive reinforcement. I don’t need my friends to tell me I’m not fat (because I am). I certainly don’t want to gain my feelings of positive self-image from the opinions of others. The person who’s opinion matters when it comes to my outward appearance is my own.
5. Talk shit about someone else’s body.
I not going to say that I don’t enjoy a good bitch session. There are all different types of personalities in the world, and sometimes I really need to vent about how some of them piss me off. So, I get it. Within the confines of a private area and your closest friend (or two) a good old fashion venting is totally therapeutic. But, you won’t watch me bringing their appearance into it. I will not talk about how that “skinny bitch” is ruining my life. I’m not going to say that her “fat ass” is gonna get knocked out. Take out the “skinny” and the “fat” and any of my close friends have heard that sentence multiple times.
Side note: Once you start delving into the world of “Social Justice Warriors” and Feminism, you start learning about other things you never thought about before. This is why you will never hear me use the terms “slut” or “whore” when talking about other women either. I’m learning about all the different ways the misogynistic culture has brainwashed us into maintaining “order.”
6. Talk about someone personality based solely on their outward appearance.
I won’t say that woman must be a bitch because she’s skinny. I won’t say a woman must be a whore because of what she’s wearing. I won’t say that a guy must be shallow because he confirms to the standard aesthetics for attractiveness. Judging people based solely on their outward appearance is not my thing.
7. Talk negatively about any body type.
I’m not going to join in on this “skinny bitches are evil” business. I’m not going to talk about how men want “real women.” I have no interested in classifying people, and attaching negative stereotypes to them, because of their body type. Not all skinny people are rude. Not all fat people are lazy. Not all curvy girls are promiscuous. No one body type is better than the other, at anything.
8. Police anyone who does any of the above.
Here’s the deal. I know I get up on my soap box about this stuff. I’m a body positive warrior, and would love to see everyone in the world join me on this journey. I also know that it’s not for everyone. The greatest thing I’ve learned is that we have to stop judging and policing people who act and believe differently than we do. So, if I’m in a group of women who are gabbing about diets, or the “skinny bitch” in the corner, I get it. I did it to. I will put on my happy, polite smile and scroll through my facebook feeds. It’s not my job to tell people how to live their life. That’s what people have tried to do to me for decades. What I eat, what I say, and how I spend my time is no one’s business but my own. So, why would that be different for someone else?