On more than one occasion, I've felt as though a body positive comment saved my life. Sometimes in a literal sense. Sometimes in a more internal way. Regardless, the power that one comment can have on a human being is groundbreaking. It's nothing short of revolutionary that through one simple phrase, a person's perception and feelings toward themselves can totally change (or at least begin to).
Only a few years ago would I constantly run through a rolodex of things I hated about myself in my mind. It was the background noise to my life — thinking about all my supposed physical faults. And it was deeply damaging. Reversing years of self hatred and disgust toward my body will likely take the same amount of time to overcome. I'm still far from having a great relationship with my body, but I'm a hell of a lot more body positive than I was as a teenager.
From hearing these points of view and repeating them to myself, I began to change. I stopped viewing my body as a means of fulfilling standards set by society, and started living by my own standards. While I still wear a full face of makeup and "flattering" clothes, it's because I want to decorate a body I know I'm capable of loving, instead of trying to mask what I hate. Self love saves lives. And I strongly believe that these comments have the power to do so, too.
1. One Person's Beauty Isn't An Absence Of Your Own
Considering this in every aspect of my life made me feel so much better about myself. So what if someone got a better grade than you? Yours is still the best you could've done. So what if their natural eyebrows are gorgeous? That doesn't make yours any less pretty.
2. You Are Your Own Worst Critic
Seriously, nobody's ever going to analyze your features or body in the way you analyze yourself.
3. Your Clothes Don't Hide How Fat You Are
Whenever I used to have sex or be naked around a sexual partner, I would feel incredibly self conscious. Until someone pointed out that the other person already knows how fat you are. They've seen you clothed. They've seen you unclothed. And they're totally into you. Don't let insecurities about nudity ruin your self worth. Sex is so much more fun when you're not worrying how your boobs look from this angle.
4. There's Nothing Wrong With Loving Yourself
Self love and confidence in yourself are often demonized in our society, likely because a woman who hates herself will be more submissive to men and buy more crap aimed at "fixing problem areas." Just ignore that. It's more than acceptable to love yourself. It's necessary.
5. Your Confidence Inspires Me
When you start preaching body positivity and self love, you're undoubtedly going to change other people's minds about themselves, just like someone changed yours. It's a beautiful thing, and one of the main reasons I fight the fight for body acceptance.
6. You've Seen Yourself Too Much
Nobody's looked at your face and body in as much detail as you have. Meaning you'll notice (or make up) flaws that nobody else would ever even think about.
7. You Don't Have To Apologize For Existing
We say sorry way too often — when we talk about ourselves, when we spend time getting ready, when we think we look "too fat." None of these things need an apology attached to them.
8. Beauty Standards Aren't Real
Repeat after me: Beauty standards aren't real. This is why they're ever-changing.
9. You're Worth More Than Looks
As high a value as our society and media place on our appearance, those things simply aren't everything. So when you're having an off day and CBA getting ready, just rely on that winning personality to get you through.
10. You'd Never Think So Negatively Of Anyone Else
Just imagine saying the things you think about yourself about your mom, or your best friend, or your baby cousin. You just wouldn't, would you? So why inflict those kinds of opinions on yourself?
11. Your Confidence Shouldn't Rely On The Opinions Of Others
What does a lion care about the opinions of sheep, am I right?
If you repeat these mantras and keep them close to your heart and mind, I can promise that you'll notice a change in how you view yourself. And saying them to others will totally help your friends out, too. Self love deserves to be spread as much as possible.
Image: Georgina Jones