5 Body Positive Affirmations For Days When You Need Them
Body Positivity is Hard Guys
I’ve written about this ad nauseum but something happened this week that really hit me. I posted something from one of the mom blogs that said something like “I think all women have beautiful bodies but I can’t accept my own.” I wrote “ouch” because I am so guilty of this. So many of my friends who (biased here) but are stone cold foxes, agreed. So it’s really easy to say “thick thighs save lives” but a whole other thing to live that mantra. Here are some things I’m trying to do and the ways I deal with these issues.
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I’ve always struggled with my weight. I think I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m a good 30lbs over where I was when I was my skinniest and then I had a kid. Nothing messes up your body image like having a kid. I sold a bunch of my clothes thinking I would never fit into any of them again. When I was pregnant with my son Kendrick Lamar came out with the Humble video and he mentioned: “give me something natural like ass with some stretch marks.” I have never heard a man mention stretch marks but as my body was covered in them from my navel to the tops of my thighs, it was refreshing. But it was still about sex and the physicality of femme bodies. Now that I’m married and monogamous and a mom (the three Ms) I shouldn’t really care if random people think I’m attractive right? Ummm...I still do. As vain and as awful as that sounds like I think as women there is this incredible power of being young and attractive. It’s easy when you are in your twenties. Then, hopefully, you learn about the weird stuff that makes you happy and goes for it 100%. I think with the internet more people are finding weird things to get excited about (which is mostly a good thing) but you still meet women whose outward personality is “likable, attractive.” I’ve been unlikeable but not to be vain, but I could hold onto attractive. Now I’m in my thirties with a small child. I have literally a million more interesting things in my life and things I’m proud of but I still get bummed out when I take a shower and look in the mirror. I was always like “if I could just lose that extra 15 lbs I’d be so hot.” The goalposts kept on moving. It’s this idea of “what if…” and it keeps you working for a goal that you a. Either hit it and it’s not enough or b. Go into a shame spiral when you eat too much or genuinely enjoy food. You can’t win. Here are 5 body positive affirmations that I try to stick to. I like to look to these intentions when I am really really struggling.
Fill Your Mind With Love
Read books that talk about these issues and self-acceptance. Reading is my escape but sometimes you will read things that literally make you cringe in critically acclaimed books. I’ve read too much “She would have been pretty but she had a baby.” Not enough middle fingers in the world for that bs. I have heard “Hunger” by Roxane Gay is excellent. I read “Shrill” by Lindy West which was hilarious, heartbreaking, and opened my eyes to a lot of things. I loved “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I really liked it. For fiction, I really liked “Good in Bed” by Jennifer Weiner.
Choose an Anthem
Listen to music that empowers you. I did a presentation recently and I was so nervous, so I had Bodak Yellow stuck in my head. Ha! Seriously, Cardi B is brilliant and I won’t hear otherwise! “I got a baby/I need some money/ I need cheese for my egg” Literally that has been my anthem since I heard it. I love Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Janelle Monae, Dolly Parton, and I blast Lizzo every chance I get. Seriously, watch this. I love the line “if I’m shinin/Everybody gonna shine.” I would get that tattooed on my body.
When in doubt, cut it out
Cut out the media that is making you doubt yourself. If it is making you doubt yourself and you doubt the intentions of the media, don’t follow. I can’t follow models on Instagram. I just can’t. If I feel l like something is bad for my self-esteem I can’t do it. I know what makes me happy and I don’t want to look at fake people being fake happy. Again, when I write this I want to be as real as possible. It’s so tempting to just filter yourself to high heaven. I try not to. I mean I’m not as thin or as polished as some influencers but I am who I am. A curious woman who is really blunt and loves her family and friends. That is me. Also, sometimes when I find myself being jealous of other women I need to just take a step back to look at myself and realize I’ve internalized some misogyny and take a break. Watch things that challenge you. Watch things that make you happy. Watch comedy where people like you aren’t the butt of the joke. Take a break from the unrelenting media telling you to change and just settle in and be happy with what you have. Look at images of people who inspire you. People who are beautiful in their own way or are just having fun. I remember my Grandma got my sister a Marilyn Monroe coffee table book and a Bette Midler coffee table book. We realized that Bette was way-way happier that Marilyn. Enjoy the life you have. Be yourself.
Make time for your beautiful and sustaining relationships.
Spend time with people who love you for you. My friends and family are really supportive. Get out of your head and spend time with people who love you. My son does not care how I look. I’m his mom. Spend time with your friends and laugh so hard you cry. Snuggle with your pets. They don’t care. Focus on something outside of yourself that makes you happy. We all go through different phases with how we look. I always leave the house feeling like I look great and then I go somewhere and there are beautiful people everywhere and I feel out of place. This is my mind messing with me. I need to start viewing this like I do when I let my anxiety get out of control and I worry about the craziest things. People as obsessed as me with my stomach- that is as real as my fear of not parking in the exact same spot every day. Not real and adding stress to a perfectly normal day.
Take care of yourself.
Eat greens. Move. Drink water. Sleep. Just treat yourself with as much care as you treat your family. You deserve it because you are lovely.
Will I Follow These All the Time?
With social media making it so easy to see sides of people we don’t want to see or look up people who have hurt us, it can be incredibly hard to follow these ideas. Will I follow these all the time? No. But I’m not going to beat myself up for being who I am and being a mom in my thirties. My stomach has never been flat. I have cellulite and stretch marks. I have scars. It’s OK. I like myself and I like the life I’ve worked to make. What are the things you do to make yourself feel better? How do you stop lookism from hurting you? Thanks for listening. Also, you are beautiful. Any style inspirations? I’ve been looking at pictures of Isabella Rosselini and thinking of all the myriad ways women are beautiful. Carrie Fisher quotes help me get through life. I love you guys.