Browsing Tag

positive

Posted on June 2, 2018

10 inspiring body positive women

Confidence

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, body positive means accepting your body as is, even with the flaws. Body positivity sounds easy in theory, but in practice, it can prove to be a bit of a struggle since we are constantly being bombarded with images of unrealistic beauty standards in the media.

Although I am a self-proclaimed fitness bunny, my battle with body positivity varies from the usual “I need to loose a few pounds,” instead, it comes from – dare I say it – skinny shaming.

Yes, skinny shaming is a thing.

You see, it is often assumed that people who are slim automatically have body confidence and are therefore never subjected to being body shamed or feelings of insecurity about their body. This is simply untrue.

Growing up as a skinny teenage girl – please note that ‘skinny’ is never a compliment – come with its negatives when you are from a community that praises larger women.

Not living up to the stereotypical black girl features of beautiful curves and a ‘big black booty,’ in many ways, made me feel that I was lacking as a woman. It led to my obsession with becoming an avid gym goer and doing an excessive amount of lunges and squats in a helpless attempt to build my bum and make so called booty gainz.

I’m now pushing into my thirties and  dealing with being hairier than I was growing up (as if having starving black girl card wasn’t enough😑). I’ve become increasingly fearful of having to deal with the dreaded changes that occur in a woman’s body around menopausal age – early menopause, eh? Just another thing to add to my growing list of irrational fears and phobias….

Overall, my body confidence journey has been a rollercoaster of happy tears and sad ones. I’ve had moments when I channelled my inner Emily Ratajkowski  and thought “You look good girl,” while looking at my naked reflection, and I’ve had times when I couldn’t bear to even look at my skin in the mirror.

Thankfully, I’ve met some wonderful women of varying shapes and sizes that have helped me come to the realisation that body changes are normal and more importantly, there isn’t just one type of body that exists for women – regardless of your skin colour. Being a black woman doesn’t mean having big lips or a ‘big booty,’ it just means being a woman.

Women are not homogenous creatures, we are all individuals with unique features.

It took me decades to realise this and I am finally happy to be at a place where I recognise it is impossible to be one hundred percent body confident 100% of the time. There will be days when we feel good and days when we don’t. It’s just the reality of it. As long as we remember that it is less about fitting into a specific box and more  about creating your own box of what being a beautiful woman means to you.

So today, I wanted to celebrate female bodies of all shapes and sizes for the simple reason that being body positive  is not about everyone looking a monolithic way. It is about embracing the beauty in the differences. Whether you are softer in some areas or are constantly on the lookout for skin improving  products, you don’t have to have one look to be body positive or have body confidence.

These are women who I have met in the past or know personally. I feel that they exemplify true body positivity. I’ve asked them about everything from skin problems to maintaining body confidence to perception of female bodies during motherhood.

Thank you to all the beautiful women for getting involved in this. But most of all, thank you ladies for being you 🙂

1. Brooke Moore

Beauty Vlogger & cast of Channel 4’s Genderquake

I’ve been thin, I’ve been fat, I’ve been in good shape and I’ve been out of shape. We are so hung up on body image but whose body stays the same their whole lives? It’s so important to love your body at every stage of your life. If you’re lucky enough to live a long life it will change 100s of times.

2. Rachel Martin

Vlogger & Social Media Influencer

Normally I would edit a photo like this to give me a ‘better’ shape but I decided not to – there’s no reason to hide! ‘It doesn’t matter what size you are, it doesn’t matter if things juggle where they’re not supposed to. That’s still beautiful #ashleygraham

3. Nadine Reid

MUA & Ambassador of courage and self-love

I learned to walk each day with courage and the belief that I am beautiful. Not one person has ever told me otherwise, why would they? I am beautiful, kind, talented, joyful and some days fabulously stunning. I pray every woman can beleive in their beauty too, it is a life changing feeling.

4.Lesley Goulding

Skin Blogger

Love the skin you’re in. No matter what shade it throws your way. This thick layer of white, beige, yellow, pink, chocolate, mahogany, whatever coloured, elastic stuff protects you. So take care of it.

5. Rosee Daisy Byrne

Health & Beauty Blogger

It’s really hard [to post these photos] but I’ve learned to not give a s**t somehow!

6. Grainne

Skincare Ambassador & previously competed in the bodybuilding bikini category to gain stage experience.

Always focus on yourself and your own progress. What works for me may not work for others. Your body is beautifully unique and responds and develops differently. So admire but never compare!

7. Aicha Salif

Model, Fitness Instructor and Mother of two

I think social media and celebrities expect you to have a quick snap back after birth and celebrities make it worse. They have the time and money to get their body “right” and then lie to people that it’s all natural. And also, people judge you for dressing a certain way once you’re a mum. They expect you to be more covered up and wholesome looking. There’s constant judgment about the right and wrong way to be a “good” mum. Eventually I just looked at my kids and realised they are happy and healthy kids. They love me for me regardless of how I look.

8. Jen Morris

Social Media Manager & Beauty Vlogger

Steps to the perfect bikini body are as follows: 1. Have a body 2. Put a bikini on it. Do I have the perfect body, no! Do I own my curves, you betcha!

And my final two gals who are also kindred spirits with Emily Ratajkowski and embrace nakedness….

9. Funmi Obadeyi

Fitness Enthusiast & Mother of one

There is some huge problem with body confidence that I don’t seem to relate with. I’m so happy in my body, if anyone thinks I don’t look amazing due to whatever, F them! So please speak it out to these girls that they are beautiful the way they are and no one is perfect.

10. Deborah Bux

Lead Makeup Artist & Freelance Fashion Stylist

Fake it till you make it!

These women are all living proof that there is more than one look that can attribute to body positivity, the beauty lies in the differences.

I came across a quote on Twitter recently that has stuck with me since, ‘if tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, think about how many industries would go out of business.’

The problem doesn’t lie with your body, it lies with the people who profit from convincing you that’s where the problem lies.

To follow these beautiful ladies on Instagram, click on their photos 💗

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Posted on January 11, 2018

7 simple ways to be more body positive

Confidence

It’s nearly mid-January and I’m only getting around to writing my first blog post of 2018. Shame on me is what I would normally say to that. But since this blog post is all about promoting positivity, I’m going to refrain from the usual self-bashing and instead, embrace the fact that I’m finally getting around to writing my first blog post of 2018! 🙂

The reason why I’ve decided to touch on the subject of positive body image is because a lot of people tend to be a bit  conscious of their body around this time of year. The excess drinking and eating that can come from the holiday season eventually takes its toll on our bodies and these changes can affect our self-esteem.

It also doesn’t help that we live in a technology driven world that is relentlessly feeding us with flawless images that don’t depict reality. It is easier now than ever before to develop a dysphoria around your image and feel disconnected with your body because of all these ‘ideals’ created by society.

I am no stranger to this at all. But for some reason, I have fallen in love with the normally dreaded changes that my body undergoes over the Christmas period. I have come to realise that the healthy habits that I have been practicing over the past couple of months have helped foster positive body image in myself and I now love parts about my body that I disliked before.

While the journey through self-acceptance and having positive body image varies from person to person, the end goal is usually the same. The tips that I plan to share with you today will likely not work over night, but if you stick them out you will eventually see changes in how you view your body!

So without further ado, here are 7 simple ways you can be more body positive 🙂

1. Don’t forget that food is fuel

A lot of the time, I think having a positive body image starts from having a healthy relationship with food. All too often, people forget that the foods we consume have a functional purpose for our bodies. Food should not be a  punishment, nor should it be a reward. It is the fuel necessary to help us function on a day-to-day basis. The sooner we realise that the quicker we will be on our way to having a healthy relationship with the foods we consume and how they make us feel about ourselves.

 2. Have some fun with exercise

The image driven society that we are currently living in can pressure women and men alike to unnecessarily hit the gym several times a week. I will admit that there was a time when I was an unhealthy avid gym goer. My reasons for going to the gym were seldom driven by desire, instead I felt that I had to go. Exercise should never feel like a chore and if it does, you need to stop immediately and find a form of exercise that you enjoy.  Ever since I discovered TRX, I’ve found myself going to the gym less excessively. I now go when I can and because it is enjoyable, not because I feel I have to.

3. Adjust your thinking, wording & phrasing

The words you use to describe yourself play a huge role in how you ultimately feel. That’s why one of the ways to promote positive body image involve adjusting the way you speak and think. For instance, instead of saying ‘I am fat,’ use the words ‘I have fat,’ because you do and you’re supposed to. Among many things, fat provides the body with insulation to prevent heat loss. So instead of punishing yourself for having something it’s supposed to have, adjust your thinking – embrace it, squeeze it, kiss it and then thank your body for doing what it’s doing! 🙂

4. Take your focus away from your flaws 

Listening to our inner critic is easy. Nit-picking, self-doubt and fixating on our flaws is something most of us can probably do in our sleep. As we’ve already established, negative words and thoughts have a huge impact on how we view ourselves. Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, direct your attention towards the things you do like about your body and think about why. For example I like my love handles because they make me more squeezeable and fun to hug – you see? you can easily turn a negative to a positive! 🙂

5. Stay off the ‘gram!

 

Staying off Instagram is probably one of the best things you can do for restoring positive body image. The diet culture promoted on IG is unrealistic and in a lot of cases, incredibly damaging.  While it is no secret that the image focused app is flooded with false expectations of what the ‘perfect’ ass, legs and overall beach body should look like, viewing these images still plant a seed in your mind. The more time you spend endlessly scrolling through these types of images, the more Instagram feeds them to you and you end up developing a complex you shouldn’t have. If you’re serious about having positive body image, take a break from the ‘gram.

6. Protect your energy 

Much like the foods we consume have an effect on us physiologically, the things and people who consume our energy can affect us psychologically. Your energy is as valuable to your body image as the foods that you consume. Always protect your energy and be aware of the people you surround yourself with.

7. Remember you are loved regardless of your looks

If anything at all, remember that your friends and family love you just as you are. Their love for you is not contingent on the number you see on a scale. Whether you’re curvy, skinny, tall or short, they love you regardless. It is clear from looking at the different body shapes and sizes around you that beauty does not fit into one mould. Diversity should be celebrated and not crtiticised.

If you have a any tips for promoting positive body image then I would love to hear from you! Feel free to tweet me @FilomenaKaguako 🙂

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