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
Threats to body-image are abound and nearly unavoidable. These threats present in various forms ranging from malicious teasing to unrealistic advertisements. To maintain positive body-image, strong women should employ a positive acceptance coping style.
First, what is coping? Simply put, coping is a survival mechanism. It's how we get through stressful situations. There is a proven correlation between exposure to body-image threats, coping style, and body image. Additionally, the below mentioned research showed that body mass was not as predictive of body-image as was coping style. So no matter you size - if you are prepared to combat threats with a positive coping mechanism, no level of threat will be able to impact your body-image.
Research conducted by Thomas Cash of Old Dominion University indicates three coping styles for processing body-image threats. The following definitions are from an article published in The Journal of Psychosomatic Research by Cash and his colleagues: Coping with body-image threats and challenges: validation of the Body Image Coping Strategies Inventory.
- Avoidance: An attempt to escape or avert stressful body-image situations.
- Appearance Fixing: Altering appearance by covering, camouflaging, or correcting the perceived defect.
- Positive Rational Acceptance: Emphasizes acceptance of the challenging event and positive self-care or rational self-talk about one's appearance.
Overall, the research showed more positive results from study participants using positive rational acceptance than those using avoidance or appearance fixing. Next time your body-image is faced with a threat, try and accept it and avoid a negative reaction. How can you do this? Try some of the below listed tactics:
- Do something that will make you feel good about yourself
- Be patient with yourself
- Remember your good qualities
- Remind yourself that there are more important things than outward appearances
- Acknowledge that you may be too hard on yourself
- Remember that the situation will pass
- Be true to yourself
- Remember that you are a worthy and good person
- Focus on past accomplishments and progress
- Write a list of things you have to be grateful for
- Remember that the second B in SSBBW is BEAUTIFUL!
Can you think of others? Print this list out and add some of your own. Post it where you will see it frequently - like a mirror or next to your computer. When adversity strikes, look at the list and fight back using positive rational acceptance.
Written by: Brigid Ashling
SSBBWs to blogged 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 our previous blogs.
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