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
Accept, don't suppress
Every teenage high school movie that easily comes to mind shares one common element - cliques. Generally, this scene in the movie occurs in a cafeteria or auditorium and involves a main character identifying groups of people by a few defining characteristics like shared fashion ideals, hobbies, school groups, or cultural backgrounds. These groups are commonly referred to as cliques. While there is nothing inherently wrong with involvement with these social groups, there is a danger that lies in establishing a strict definition of oneself.
Have you ever felt stuck or trapped by an idea of who or what you should be? Are there traits about yourself that you suppress or "write off" because it wouldn't fit into an idealized or strictly defined version of who you think you should be? Maybe it takes a different form; is there a hobby you've always wanted to try but brush off because it contradicts societal or your personal norms? Suppression of these interests, urges, or traits is physically, mentally, and emotionally unhealthy and could be an underlying issue blocking your path to happiness.
As much as many of us would like to believe otherwise, there is no supporting evidence that reincarnation exists. What that means is that we only live once. These are the lives we were given and we each owe it to ourselves to live them to the fullest. It takes courage, but you can face adversity. Whatever the trait you are hiding, hobby you are avoiding, or risk you are steering clear of, it is in your best interest to accept it as part of who you are and to give it full consideration.
Maybe something popped directly into your mind. Maybe you're struggling to think of anything. Maybe you think this doesn't apply to you. Regardless, set some time aside to look inward and think. If you need help, here are some questions and ideas to get you started:
- What did you enjoy doing when you were younger that you don't do as an adult?
- What hobby have you always wanted to try but haven't?
- Is there something outside of societal norms for your gender that interests you? As in, identifying as female but always wanting to try welding.
- If you've always thought of yourself as studious or academic, have you ever explored your creative side?
- Is there a section of the bookstore you gravitate towards? Maybe go to a section you've never visited and pick a random book.
- Look into your local colleges for continuing education courses. Many offer everything from flower arrangement to carpentry.
Once you've identified something, go for it. Disregard society's ideas about who you should be. Disregard idealized images you've established for yourself. Disregard critics. When these things try to stand in your way, remember that you deserve a good life. You deserve happiness.
Written by: Brigid Ashling
"You send your child to the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys who educate him."
"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."