“Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like. I promise.” – Emma Watson
Today marks the second day of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This week, I ask everyone to do just one thing to help raise awareness and provide accurate information about eating disorders. What can you do to make a more body positive world?
—— 15 Ways to Create a Body Positive World
1. Encourage positive comments and try to avoid negative comments about your own and other people’s bodies.
2. Participate in physical activities that make you feel good about yourself without making anyone else feel bad about their body.
3. Try not to make judgmental comments about food, calories, dieting, and weight. People of all sizes have issues around these and you never know how you will affect people with your comments.
4. Learn the facts and challenge the myths on body size, weight, and health.
5. Compliment people more often on their ideas, personality, and accomplishments rather than on their appearance and physical being.
6. Try to think of bodies as whole, functional units rather than breaking them down into parts. Instead of saying, “I’m unhappy with my thighs,” say, “I’m happy that my legs allow me to walk every day. I’m pleased that my body is capable of doing this activity well.”
7. Don’t participate in, encourage, or laugh at jokes that make fun of a person’s size or body.
8. Accept all types of bodies as good-looking and challenge limiting societal standards of beauty.
9. Learn about eating disorders and seek help if you suspect that you or a friend has a problem.
10. Wear clothes that you like and feel comfortable in rather than thinking about what makes you look “too fat,” “too thin,” “too muscular,” or “too thin.”
11. Try to eat when you are hungry, enjoy your food, and take pleasure in the process of eating without guilt or stress over what you are eating.
12. Object to gender-based assumptions on how bodies should look, such as “men should be muscular” or “women should be thin.”
13. Support organizations and activists who work for positive body image and ending size-ism.
14. Teach kids at a young age that they look good just as they are, and that they are not defined by their body size or shape.
15. Understand that size and body oppression relates to other forms of oppression, such as sexism, racism, and homophobia. Challenge all types of oppression.
Thank you to the counseling and consultation services my university offers for providing this list.
How will you bring body positive to the world today?