Body Positive Parenting 101: Working Toward Being Body Positive

In conjunction with the Body Positive Parenting group on Facebook, I wanted to start a series of Body Positive Parenting pieces. And what better place to start than at the very beginning of what being Body Positive is all about?

parenting corner copyThinking about being body positive can be daunting after living your life being body negative. After all, hating our bodies is the way women bond with one another. It’s an unwritten rule from the sandbox on that girls don’t declare themselves fabulous without getting called names and developing a reputation for being bitchy or stuck up or…whatever. When the few girls do break from the pack and dare to be fabulous, the rest of us sit back and watch in awe. But we’re not inspired to follow along and be fabulous ourselves. No, we’re busy comparing ourselves to their fabulousness, finding ourselves different, and therefore nowhere near fabulous.

The first step toward being body positive is to grab a notebook and a pen. We’re going to be making some notes. Start by writing down all the things your body does each and every day.¬†(For example, my body, laughs, loves, breathes, digests, talks, types, etc.) There’s no magic number; start writing until you can’t think of any more.

Already you have quite a list of wonderful things your body does. It’s an incredible efficient machine that takes food in to create energy to fuel your life. It feels emotions and shares them too.

But your problems with body image aren’t coming from bodily functions, but bodily appearance. The number one thing standing in the way of you loving your body is the media. There are endless articles and videos showing us how models are manipulated to fit the advertising world’s ideal image of Woman. It’s so drastic that many models are not recognizable on the street. If you’re so inspired, throw away the magazines and stop watching commercials.

Commercials are also notorious for promising the impossible. Yes, lipstick and makeup make us feel pretty. But they aren’t going to change our lives. And we aren’t obligated to wear it. The right shampoo or whiter teeth won’t automatically whisk Mr. or Miss Right into your life. That diet aid probably isn’t going to work.

Recently I saw an interview with Jeanette DePatie (aka The Fat Chick) who said everyone should spend part of the day naked. Yes! Whenever you feel comfortable–before or after your next shower or bath maybe–spend some time in your room sans clothes. Lay on your bed. Read a book. Stand in front of your mirror and look at yourself. Really look at yourself.

Personally, I can go days and days without actually seeing myself in the mirror. And this is after doing my hair and makeup! We become invisible to ourselves after time and we need to re-open our eyes. We need to see our wonderfulness!

Chances are you will be uncomfortable at first. That’s normal. But the more you do it, the easier it will become. So get naked every day! Look at yourself in the mirror. Check yourself out. Find a body part or two or three or more you really like. Give yourself a catcall. You deserve it.

I was influenced by many different sources to write this post. Those include Dances with Fat, The Fat Chick, and Dr. Deah Schwartz among others.


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