I love the movement that is rising up and celebrating body positivity. The premise behind this is loving your body at any size and celebrating it. This movement encourages people to stop hating their bodies and instead appreciate what our bodies have done for us. In short, you can love your body at any size.
I am sure that you have seen some recent posts on social media asking what kind of body is a summer body? And the answer is every body! Self love and acceptance is important for mental health and the media showing all bodies is helpful to remind people that skinny isn’t the only body that is acceptable.
I also don’t know if you are aware but Instagram has been silencing some of the voices in the body positivity movement. Accounts like @januaryharse who wrote Birth Without Fear was recently shadow banned, which means you couldn’t search her account to follow her. Or other IG moms like @thebirdspapaya and @lipglossandcrayons hastags #slowmobodyflow and #justwearthesuit were reported as inappropriate and temporarily disabled.
I think it’s sad that these voices are being silenced. All voices should be heard and have a platform. I think these voices are especially powerful when the audience is young women, or postpartum women, or any woman who is struggling with body image. Essentially any woman with a body.
I wanted to share ways for moms to create a body positive culture in our own homes.
- Have a positive body image yourself. I know this one can be hard. We all have an inner voice in our head that can tell us to be different than the person we see in the mirror. The key is that you are presenting your feelings about your body in a positive light to your children. Be cautious about the words that you are using about your own body in front of your children. And when it comes to swimsuits, don’t miss out on important memories with your kids because you feel insecure in a bathing suit. Find one that feels good enough and #justwearthesuit.
- Avoid shaming when talking about food with your children. Shift the wording from that of something negative to more neutral wording. Avoid saying things like “fattening.” Instead of using language that has value, like “good” or “bad,” use frequency like “sometimes” and “always.” For example, “We can always have fruits and veggies, but we only sometimes have chips.” Talk to your kids about how foods give us strength. For example, my 3 year old loves to eat his carrots because they make him strong!
- Give your kiddos compliments based on personality and acts of service rather than appearance. I know that with babies and small children it can all be based on their cuteness, but as they get a little older make a conscious effort to compliment traits outside of looks.
- Use real life and media to create opportunities for discussion in your family. Talk to them about times that people are mean or rude and give lessons about how to treat people. Try to find ways to separate people’s worth from how they look. Have conversations nightly about their day at school and ask about kindness.
- Talk about differences in a healthy way. You can use height or hair or eye color. Point out ways that we are all different and have different bodies and this is what makes us unique and special. Celebrate your child’s difference as a way that makes them special. The world would not be a very fun place if we all looked the same.
What are some ways you can encourage body positivity in your home? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments.