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Why is body positivity so important?

Why is body positivity so important?
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The body positivity movement, which seeks to challenge one-size-fits-all beauty ideals, has been gaining momentum as far back as the 19th century, when ‘dress reform’ sought to free women, literally, from their corsets. And while unrealistic beauty standards have been around just as long (or even longer), the rise of television, advertising campaigns and social media mean people can now get the message in a thousand different ways that they are somehow not good enough.

It’s no surprise that this can eventually be harmful to your physical, mental and emotional health. The good news is that social media has also helped to shift the lens from body obsession to body positivity with hashtags like #bodypositivity and #bopo to increase feelings of body appreciation and acceptance.

“It’s so important for role models to send out body-positive messages to counterbalance all of the other messages that we receive informing us of the opposite, whether that be on social media, in conversations with our family and friends, and more,” says cognitive behavioural therapist Melanie Shmois. “Role models sharing how they love their bodies is empowering,” she adds, and to be truthful, more of it is needed. It’s not just body-positive photographs showing celebrities celebrating their imperfections that can help, but also body-positive quotes and words of wisdom to remind men and women to celebrate how they look, however they look.

Get inspired with these body-positive quotes that may help you better appreciate the body you’re in.

You deserve your love and kindness

You deserve your love and kindness
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“Speak to your body in a loving way. It’s the only one you’ve got, it’s your home, and it deserves your respect.” —Iskra Lawrence

Iskra Lawrence is a British model and fashion star who flaunts her curves and has used her fame to promote body positivity. (This quote is taken from her 2017 TEDx Talk.) Lawrence  is considered a plus-size model by fashion industry standards, but she rejects labels and doesn’t define herself by her size. She frequently posts unretouched photos of herself on social media and encourages others to take care of their mental, physical and emotional health.

Why does weight even figure into the conversation?

Why does weight even figure into the conversation?
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“My weight? It is what it is. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. It’s about being content. And sometimes other priorities win.” —Melissa McCarthy

“My weight?” McCarthy asks rhetorically because…why even talk about Melissa McCarthy’s weight? How is it relevant to literally anything at all? The actress, comedian, writer, producer and fashion designer has been “every size in the world.”

There’s so much more to you

There’s so much more to you
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“Take your time and your talent and figure out what you have to contribute to this world, and get over what the hell your butt looks like in those jeans!” —America Ferrera

Back in 2012, actress America Ferrera spoke to Cosmo for Latinas about a number of topics, including all the time she wasted on diets and her appearance. Cultivating body positivity wasn’t new for Ferrera in 2012, however. Seven years earlier, she had already starred in the film, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which was based on the body-positive premise that four unique women were able to share a single pair of jeans – not because of what their bodies looked like, but because of their deep and abiding friendship.

You are enough

You are enough
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“It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.” —Sam Smith

In his acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards in 2015, Best Pop Vocal Album winner, Sam Smith, admitted that it was only when he starting loving himself and his body that he was able to free himself to make great music. “Before I made this record, I was doing everything to try and get my music heard,” and that included trying to lose weight, even at the expense of making “awful” music.

Want to wake up happy every morning. Here are 12 positivity strategies for a happier tomorrow.

You don’t have to look a certain way to be beautiful

You don’t have to look a certain way to be beautiful
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“Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like.” —Emma Watson

Feelings aren’t facts, and they can change direction as quickly as the wind. To feel beautiful, you don’t have to look any particular way at all. Feeling beautiful is about seeing the beauty in the sum total of yourself. But even at the times when you’re not feeling it, give yourself a break because feeling bad about feeling bad is worse than just feeling bad. Seriously, there’s science behind that.

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Don’t hold yourself up to someone else’s ideal

Don’t hold yourself up to someone else’s ideal
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“Before pictures are implications of a right way and a wrong way to have a body. It perpetuates an ideal that is harmful” —Mary Lambert

Grammy-nominated vocalist, Mary Lambert, who has performed with Macklemore, Gavin DeGraw and Madonna, among others, is comfortable in her skin. Her experiences with weight loss attempts have been less than positive, in part because they weren’t motivated by self-love.

“Your weight loss is your prerogative,” she tells her blog readers. “If you feel like it’s gonna make you happier or feel better to have a goal of losing weight, I’m not the expert of your body [but] if you believe that you’ll be happy only if you achieve an arbitrary number on a scale, you will have an arduous, frustrating journey.”

Although you may go to bed well-groomed, you’ll probably wake up with these gross but totally normal bodily reactions.

What matters is what you see

What matters is what you see
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“One day I decided that I was beautiful and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. It doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see.” —Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe is an actress and author and starred in Precious, which earned six Oscar nominations, including for her portrayal of the title character. She has a lot to be proud of, and she is. “I am plus-size, I have dark skin and I am 100 per cent beautiful,” she tells NPR, “but I get a lot of flak [in Hollywood]”. Sometimes, it even hurts her feelings. But it doesn’t change how she feels about herself or encourages negative self-talk. It only changes how she feels about Hollywood.

Being yourself is beautiful

Being yourself is beautiful
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“I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.” —Emma Stone

Actress Emma Stone’s spin on body positivity takes into account that beauty may be in the eye of the beholder. However, she makes it clear that there is nothing more beautiful to behold than a person who is unafraid to be herself. Take the time and be kind to yourself.

The value of physical beauty is questionable

The value of physical beauty is questionable
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“You can’t really invest in your looks as your only ‘thing’ because it is a depreciating asset.” —Rashida Jones

Actress Rashida Jones sent this message to all young girls during a panel discussion at the 2014 Women in the World Summit and capped it off with the advice to put the effort into cultivating “intelligence and talent, which will appreciate and get better as you get older”.

Spread the love. Read on for powerful kindness quotes that will stay with you.

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