Self Acceptance and Society/Fat Acceptance
Self acceptance is loving and appreciating yourself even if there are things you'd eventually like to change. Fat acceptance or society acceptance is getting society as a whole to accept that we have the same rights as everyone else and to reduce prejudice within the community.
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Self-acceptance means unconditional appreciation and support for who you are now, including all the elements that you want to change.
Things you can do every day to boost your body image:
- Move your body by doing activities you love
- think of one thing you body did for you today
- compliment yourself
- smile at yourself in the mirror
- wear clothes that fit you well and make you happy, regardless of their size
Several years ago I had the fortunate pleasure of meeting women's acceptance champion Eve Ensler. She was touring the country with her show The Good Body which is comprised of stories from her book by the same name. My honest opinion of the show is that it wasn't my favorite of her works but the message and the stories have stuck with me. Perhaps the most memorable of these stories is one in which Ensler recalled an interview with a Masai woman. The question "Do you like your body" seemed almost a joke to this woman - of course she liked her body! Ensler's eyes shown as she illustrated her story by proudly displaying her body while recounting the woman's joy over her hands, arms, and legs. The Masai woman did not understand how someone could say anything bad about their bodies when there is so many positive things they do. Ensler closed the story with a quote from the Masai woman which I think illustrates a point we all need to remember. The woman said to Ensler, "Eve, look at that tree. Do you see that tree? Now look at that tree. Do you like that tree? Do you hate that tree 'cause it doesn't look like that tree? Do you say the tree isn't pretty 'cause it doesn't look like that tree? We're all trees. You're a tree. I'm a tree. You've got to love your body, Eve. You've got to love your tree. Love your tree."
This story is one that all women should carry with them. We're all metaphorically trees and should love ourselves from the roots to the leaves. Instead of focusing on things that we do not like about our bodies we need to focus on appreciating the great things our bodies do for us. Schedule some private time tonight and look at yourself in the mirror. Do not focus on the things you want to change - focus on the things you love. Maybe you wish your hair would have more body, your legs would have less cellulite, or your nose were a bit smaller; Forget those things and focus on the strengths. Your thick legs are the trunk of your tree that simultaneously keeps you grounded and moves you throughout life. The stretch marks tell your story much like lovers initials carved into bark; A child born, years gone by, a resilient body. There is beauty in every part of every woman's body. Find the beauty in yourself and love your tree.
Written by: Brigid Ashling
SSBBWs to blog about their lives each month...
My vision with this magazine is to let you know that you are not alone. There are other SSBBWs around the world with the same issues, thoughts, worries and joys as you have. Whether you have accepted your weight and love your body, whether you are actively working to lose weight or whether you want to get healthier and have more mobility but don't know where to start, you are not alone.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, have children or not, work or are unemployed, housebound or relatively mobile, healthy or have medical issues, you are not alone.
Let's band together and share our stories, our triumphs and our pain. Click here to view this months blogs.
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