A good friend recently asked me what my thoughts were on body positivity. A new body positivity society has recently started at our university (one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments) and she was writing an article for them. Our conversation got me thinking about how body positivity has impacted my life. At the age of 23 I’ve grown up as part of a generation entwined with social media; our images and our image more present than ever.
I’ve been in a constant war with my body since a young age. It became a battleground for improvements and ideals and a scapegoat for when these weren’t achieved. I remember being aghast at the sudden appearance of silvery stretch marks on my body when puberty hit. What were these fissures in my skin? I didn’t want to wear crop tops or low bottoms in fear of someone seeing these signs of change.
If I could say anything to my younger self it would be ’embrace it, you are wonderfully you in a way no one else could be’. Unfortunately this is not the message young girls hear, even from themselves. They are bombarded with demands to change, lighten, fix and conform – occupy this space we make for you.
I’m slowly coming to learn that my body is not a contested terrain made to fit into pre-made boxes. It holds me up when I could fall and carries me on when I want to give up. The growing movement of body positivity helps men and women to remember a most innate truth: your body loves you. We need to remember that more than ever.