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Article: Your Ultimate Guide to Body Positivity

women with different body types

Your Ultimate Guide to Body Positivity

At Bandelettes we’re big fans of body positivity. That’s why we put together our ultimate guide to feeling great about how you look while being comfortable and confident with your body and your wardrobe.

What Is Body Positivity?

Body positivity is an ethos that believes all human beings should have a positive body image. But what does it mean to have a positive body image? It means we are accepting of our own bodies as well as the bodies of others. It’s a social movement that’s all about celebrating diversity and uniqueness. We do this by embracing the bodies we were born with and grow with. It’s NOT about body shaming or striving toward a nonexistent ideal of one ‘perfect body’ standard.

How Can I Become Body Positive?

Sadly, most of us don’t feel body positive consistently throughout our lives. The media, magazines, TV, Hollywood, the fashion industry and wider society have not always promoted healthy body ideals. Certain events, such as pregnancy, can also put extra negative stress and pressure on women to look a certain way, even if they previously felt body confident. The media has often encouraged a negative, critical attitude towards very normal body shapes. This makes people believe they should have certain physical attributes such as an unobtainable “thigh gap”. Fortunately, times are changing and society is becoming more accepting of the obvious fact that everybody is created differently. Accepting this fact yourself is the first step to being body positive. Acknowledge that you are not any other person than yourself and that everybody - and every body - is different. It’s not always easy to be body positive, especially if you’ve spent years criticizing your body or feeling that your body was criticized by others. Here are some ways you can create a more positive and healthy mindset about yourself, both physically and mentally.

5 Steps Towards Being Body Positive

1. Stop Self-Criticism

When you look in the mirror don’t look for things you don’t like, instead, focus on the areas you think are your best features and give yourself a compliment. Avoid expressing self-criticism aloud, especially in the company of others. When we criticize ourselves we make it normal for other people to criticize our bodies and the bodies of other people.

2. Don’t Criticize Others

Be cautious about making comments about other people’s bodies. Don’t take part in “body shaming”. Remember that off-hand comments that may mean little to you can have a huge impact on someone else’s self-esteem and body image. Compliments are often focused around physical appearance, but remember that you can also give them for many other personal attributes that are far more worthy of mention. Acknowledge someone's intelligence, humor, courage, creativity or compassion - instead of their weight, outfit, hair or makeup. While you’re at it, remember to acknowledge these positive characteristics in yourself as well.

3. Set Healthy Goals

Focus body goals around physical health outcomes, not emotional pressure to obtain a certain aesthetic. If you’re aiming to lose weight think about it from a health perspective. Instead of aiming to fit a certain dress size focus on goals such as improving your fitness, training for a particular event, being social in a sports team, or just feeling more active in your day-to-day life. Read more about this in our guide 'Loving Yourself Through The Weight Loss Process’.

4. Wear Whatever You Want

With a positive body mindset, no outfit is off-limits. There are many different body shapes and outfits which will enhance every type of figure. Whether you’re pear-shaped, hourglass, apple, or any other body shape, you should know that there are amazing clothes out there just waiting for you to show them off. There are no rules that say you can’t wear a dress or bikini if you’re anything other than a size zero! Bandelettes thigh bands can help you feel comfortable and dress confidently no matter your body shape.

5. Seek Positive Role Models

Social media has been a blessing and a curse for the body acceptance movement. The proliferation of photo retouching and the surge in social media influencers have spread a body image ideal that is often unrealistic and unobtainable. On the other hand, social media has also allowed positive influencers and role models to gain exposure and notoriety that they would have never previously gained through traditional fashion and lifestyle media. There are plus-size models and body positive influencers on social media who can inspire you for every different body type, whether you’re looking for ideas on the latest sexy dresses or Halloween costumes for curvy girls. Some of our favorite positive influencers include @denisebidot and @huntermcgrady – you can check them out wearing Bandelettes anti-chafing thigh bands on the runway for Chromat.

You Can Have A Positive Body Image Year Round

If you have a tendency to suffer from body doubt in the winter you may find yourself feeling low over the holiday season. Try to avoid falling into the trap of holiday body guilt - no matter how much turkey you eat or how many advertisements tell you to lose weight after the holidays. Just remember that the New Year can be a great time to reset healthy body positivity resolutions based around feeling great – not looking a certain way. Read our guide to feeling good about yourself over the holidays. It’s easy to self-doubt when you read countless articles in women’s magazines about ‘banishing the bulge’ or getting a ‘beach body’ for Summer. But, there is also plenty of healthy body-positive inspiration out there if you look for it.

Here are three takeaways to help you keep a positive mindset about your body:

You don’t need a thigh gap. If you’re on the beach and you have a body, then you already have a beach body. Love the body you have, because you only have one.