Monday, October 27, 2014

Positive Body Image: My Favorite Tricks and Websites for Overcoming Body Insecurity

I've hinted at it before but I'm a huge fan of "natural beauty" (no make-up, using natural products, DIY toothpaste, coconut oil and baking soda alone for most "cosmetic" needs). This extends to our bodies in their "natural" forms: sans photoshop and societal expectations. My busy creative brain would be bored to tears if everyone fit the "conventional beauty" mold. Give me diversity, fat and slim, tall and short. Give me the fascinating "flaws" to document, photograph, and contemplate. You likely agree. Yet we all get down on ourselves, hating the same "imperfections" we love in others. I'm working out, trying to find the best way to feed and actively working to change my body and it can lead to a lot of self-loathing over my progress. We've all be there, it's rare to find a person completely content with their looks. When I'm feeling down I go to these tricks and websites to remember what really matters and get over the self-doubt:

About to leave for the gym. Drinking all the water!

1) Do This: Write all of your negative thoughts, brain dump it. It's very freeing.

2) Read This: The Militant Baker is chock full of images and words that will inspire you with body positivity- at any size.

3) Do This: Tackle what's stressing you outside of your body insecurities. You'll feel healthier overall. For me this is cleaning/organizing, something I'm always working at. A clear, clutter-free space always makes me happier.

4) Read This: I always suspected there had to be some primitive way to "photoshop" before photoshop, see it in action here on Joan Crawford! It wasn't just expert lighting, make-up, hair and staging but photo negative alteration. Even the "naturally perfect" stars of the past you admired where "photoshopped" into goddess status. Read here

5) Do This: Eat at least one salad, 8 to 16 cups of water throughout the day and or green drink a day. It's hard to hate on yourself when you know you're giving your body the right nutrients. Go an extra step and replace breakfast with a big smoothie or lunch with a big salad. I have a raw vegan series here if you're curious.

6) Read This:Expose: Shedding Light on Collective Beauty.

NSFW. Beautiful, real nudity is photographed.

Tell me something. 
When was the last time you opened up your browser and saw a beautiful image of a body shape that looked just like yours? 
When was the last time you saw an image of skin markings that looked just like yours? 
When was the last time you saw an image of breasts that looked just like yours? An ass that looked just like yours? Scars that looked just like yours? A belly that looked just like yours?  
Unless you're a celebrity look alike and have real time Photoshop (like, a program that follows and moves with you) I'm going to guess that for the majority of us... it's been a while. It's been a while since we've (or maybe we've never) seen our body positively represented within that overwhelming flood of images that fills our social media feeds, televisions, and magazines.
I adore Expose: Shedding Light on Collective beauty. All sizes and shapes are represented, un-photoshopped. We finally see shapes like the "real us" and it's a beautiful reminder that what we see all the time in magazines isn't real.

7) Do This: Move More. Again, not just good for physical health but for your mental well being. If you're not moving yet, start with inspiring walks around the neighborhood with your camera. Maybe get a gym membership. Again, when you know you're moving and being healthy it's harder to get down on yourself at any size. I have my novice gym-bunny experience here with near-falls from treadmills for laughs.

 I hope these body positivity messages and websites inspire you. As a society we're constantly bombarded with impossibly-perfect images of bodies and faces, it's easy to get discouraged.

Have any tips or links to add? Would love to read them.
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  1. I love the Militant Baker's Blog. Glad to hear you know about it too!

    1. I love how inclusive it is. It's not about just liking "big" bodies like some "fat acceptance" blog but all shapes and diversity rather than the cookie-cutter shit magazines/tv/everything else gives us.

    2. Van I was catching up on the Militant Baker and found a link to another beautiful body positive blog. In case you haven't seen it you might want to check it out. I want to be this woman.

    3. Oh, gonna check that out. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ooops typo in the first paragraph. Sorry, not in a place where I can fix it. That's "mold" not "bold". Also wanted to add that this post is an appetizer. I've been researching, many more positive/natural body image posts to come.

  3. Replies
    1. Me too! Excited to keep writing more on it :D

  4. holy smokes, I thought those old Hollywood folks really were all perfect and flawless!!! I thought maybe everyone back then had perfect skin and natural beauty just got bred out of us some how

    1. I remember thinking that one point in time. It's been debunked! Ha! Though truly I still think they were a bit healthier and by extension perhaps on the whole "prettier" because the food was less processed and had more nutrition back then. Even our "organic" veggies are grown in nutrient-deprived soils now.

  5. Informative and inspiring, as always! Whenever I get down about my weight/pant size/body shape... I remind myself of my physical strength. how much I can lift at the gym, how much I can endure, and how I can increase my goals. Strength and health at any size is becoming my motto!
    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting

    1. Indeed, that's a good motto that I need to do more, too. I'll remember when I was an insanely weak teenager (physical activity dropped to just walking and occasional bike rides from aggressive bike riding/running around/exploring) and had trouble lifting...a cast iron pan. I'm still "weak" but improving daily with weights at the gym.

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