Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team
Many of us struggle when it comes to body image. We grew up in a society where Hollywood projected the ideal body type for women by hiring cookie cutter actresses who fit their desired image: big bust, thin waist, and wide hips.
The hourglass figure has been a body type engraved into our minds since childhood through movies, TV shows, and artwork. Disney princesses, for example, play a big role in children’s development and can influence how they perceive their appearance as they grow older. As much as we love Disney princesses, their bodies aren’t exactly realistic for everyone to have.
There’s no such thing as one correct body type as all of us are unique individuals with specific alterations. It’s so easy for us to compare ourselves to others through social media and point out our own flaws but what takes courage is learning to love ourselves for who we are and break down those social norms of the “ideal” body type.
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Let’s get on our positive and confident vibes and talk about how to love ourselves!
Understanding Social Media
As much as social media can offer us joy and content, it’s also a double-edged sword that can pierce us at any moment. Social media can hypnotize us into thinking a certain way when it comes to trends. A lot of popular Instagram models tend to have the same body type and look, and because they are so popular and well praised, it’s easy to lose ourselves and yearn to look just like them.
As much as those models are beautiful in their own way, you are uniquely beautiful as well! To everyone reading this: you are worthy of your beauty, you may just need a little nudge to realize it.
So, what should you do about social media? Fill your feed with influencers who are passionate about body positivity and self love! Here are a few influencers who rock their bodies and want to help you be more comfortable as well!
Jessamyn Stanley encourages self love and body positivity through her various online platforms. Stanley shares her insights on being proud of yourself in a society that puts pressure on body ideals; furthermore, she practices yoga and implores others to try it as well to feel more comfortable with themselves! Check out Stanley’s YouTube videos where she shares her yoga routines and advice on loving yourself.
Dana Falsetti is also a body positivity activist who doubles as a yoga instructor. Falsetti firmly believes that it’s not just about self love but also understanding that society has wrongly idealized certain body types which serves to undermine others. Browse Falsetti’s website to hear empowering words and take yoga classes!
“It’s not only about self-love and self-care, but it’s about the ways in which people in marginalized bodies are viewed and oppressed.”Dana Falsetti, Verywellmind
Keah Brown is a writer who talks about her experience with having cerebral palsy and how she learned to fully love and accept herself. In her book The Pretty One, Brown discusses the life of a person with a disability and the mental strain it had on her; however, she did not let her disability define her and she showed the world the power she had within.
Brown showed her audience that having a disability is not a synonym for weak and helpless but rather just another obstacle that one can overcome in an ableist society.
“Body positivity means that I embrace every bump, scar, and bruise I have even when it feels impossible.”Keah Brown, Creveling
The Benefits of Yoga
You’ve probably heard the term “summer body” which entails that your body must be ready (whatever that means) to sport a swimsuit and other revealing clothing. Though it’s never bad to exercise for self improvement, you should feel no pressure in worrying about looking a certain way in order to impress others; you should pursue an active lifestyle for your own satisfaction.
Staying active and working out releases serotonin and endorphins which are the chemicals that make you happy! As seen by Stanley and Falsetti, yoga is a great starting place as it helps you become one with your mind and body which will relieve stress and even increase your flexibility.
Dressing For Yourself
Now that we’ve got your Instagram feed filled with some body positive content, let’s move onto building your confidence from within! One of the best ways to feel confident in your body is by dressing in attire that makes you happy. If you don’t want your period to get in the way of your choice of outfit, you could always learn how to skip your period! After all, the last thing you want on your journey to confidence is worrying about accidental leakage!
Crop tops, tight skirts, and bikinis are not limited to one body type. Feel free to show off your tummy proudly and embrace your outfit. Tight clothes may seem intimidating at first, but they can show off your curves and figure beautifully. Break down the stereotype that seeing some extra body weight when wearing tight clothes is unflattering and you rock what you see fit! If you use baggy clothes to hide yourself, then it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and release your inner fashionista!
Now, wearing a cute outfit will not make all of your securities disappear right away but experimenting with new styles can help you become more confident! There’s always that voice in our heads that points out the negative but we need to practice ignoring that voice. You don’t want to look back on your time and regret not buying that skirt you saw at the mall because you were afraid that people wouldn’t think it would look good on you. At the end of the day, it’s yourself that you need to make happy:)
Don’t let your fears stop you from pursuing the outfit of your dreams. With the right attitude, you can pull off anything as a statement piece! Walk to your mirror and strike poses that you might find too embarrassing to pull off outside your front door. Check out Paloma Elsesser on Instagram, a plus size model, who is fearlessly showing her fit loud and proud.
Say It With Us: “I Am Beautiful, Powerful, and Unstoppable!”
You might wonder why it’s important to pose in front of a mirror; in fact, mirrors can inspire us in multiple ways. One thing we’re all guilty of doing from time to time is looking at our reflections with contempt – if we tell ourselves we look bad, our mind will start warping reality and, soon, we will believe in our own negativity.
Writing mantras on your mirror like “I am a ray of light ” or “I am worthy” will give you that reminder that you are beautiful inside and out. A repetitive mantra will boost your confidence levels and enlighten you to see yourself in a more positive way.
Once you’re down posing in front of a mirror and learning to love your angles, take some pictures and lock in those beautiful poses! Oozing confidence when you take photos will really show through – your posture and attitude will speak volumes!
Remember that it might be hard learning to love yourself; it will take time but don’t give up. It’s easy to lose ourselves when looking at others because we see the best in them. Everyone has a jewel on their back, so when looking at someone else, you can see their jewel shining brightly; however, you don’t think you have a jewel because you only focus on others rather than on yourself. But, guess what? There’s a jewel on your back that others see, too. It’s time to whip out that mirror and find your jewel!
Don’t forget that Pandia Health is always here for you; as a female-led, female-founded and doctor-led company, we wish to build a trusting relationship with our users. Our mission is not only to make birth control accessible and affordable to everyone, but to spread knowledge about women’s health, reproductive justice, and body positivity!
Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.