Maintaining Body Positivity Around Family and Friends
One issue that women of all ages often face is that of confidence when looking in the mirror. We can so easily become warped in our mindsets when it comes to how we see ourselves. Instead of seeing all of the good, our eyes instantly go to the bad. There can be a multitude of reasons for this, so instead of just blaming the media like everyone else does, (even though that is a valid point,) I want to dive into what really causes us to throw hate towards our own bodies.
1.) Family. Do you ever look around the Thanksgiving dinner table at your sisters, cousins, aunts, or mother, and realize that any combination of them is thinner or more petite than you? Obviously, Grammy is going to be a bit frail, so you can't blame her for that. However, I know from experience that I am the most athletically built person in my extended family. I have the biggest boobs, the thickest thighs, and the broadest shoulders out of everyone. My family is made of rather petite women who fit a size 2-4, where I'm a 6-8. Don't sit there and bitch to yourself about how genetics screwed you. Instead, be thankful for the love that circulates between the powerful women in your family. Everyone brings something to the table, literally. And for that one rude aunt that everyone hates, don't worry. She'll get what's coming to her.
2.) Friends. You're at the bar after work with Becky, Denise and Allison. You can feel yourself comparing your size 10 Talbots pants to Denise's size 2 pencil skirt and matching blazer that would maybe fit your left leg. You love Denise...after all, she was your most helpful bridesmaid. But you desperately want to know what magic she works in the gym in order to look like that and still be able to eat the bar nachos, the same nachos that you politely declined while you munched on your bowl of nuts. It's a struggle that's as old as time. Jealousy can be a huge downfall in friendships. Something to remember? There's a reason those women love you as much as they do. Your value as a human being is what matters to them. They aren't jealous of your amazing curves, so why should you be jealous of their petite frame? If you really are curious, you can always ask what they do-they won't be offended. If they are just naturally skinny, they might not be able to give you much advice. However, if they have a workout regime or specific dietary choices that have worked for them, maybe you could try those as well, with their help. Just remember that friendship is so much stronger than jealousy. You wouldn't want them to be jealous of you, because you know that they are special women with so much to offer. Don't return the favor. Just work together to be the healthiest women you can be.
3.) Okay, I'll talk about media. It's all fake. No women really look like that. If you want to see some real women, go check out American Eagle's Aerie line...they no longer use photoshop or retouching for any of their advertising, and use models with semi-normal bodies. It is rather refreshing. Also, important note, very few men actually look like they do in the media either. No abs are THAT defined, THAT hairless and THAT shiny. That is all.
So the next time you are surrounded by your loved ones, and you find yourself comparing body types instead of engaging in conversation or appreciating each others' company, just remember that those people you are with wouldn't want you to feel that way about yourself. You are so much more than how you see yourself, and your family and friends would be happy to tell you that. Body positivity isn't something that needs to be achieved alone-your closest companions will always be there for you.