What Does Being Body Positive Really Mean?

Although LaLiviLou is still new in terms of the actual name, the content I’ve been writing as been around for a year now, so those of you that have followed me from the start (shoutout to you lot!) body positive posts are hardly new to you.

I wanted to bring them back with a little breakdown of what it is to truly be body positive. So many people can say they are, and probably do, but this post is about showing you how to separate from when you say you’re body positive to when you actually are!

Related Post: I’m A Body Positive Promoter and Proud

From a personal perspective I think I always thought I was body positive. I liked my body and wasn’t overly bothered too much on what other people thought of me. Through my teens I think I still would say I thought I was body positive, but to be honest I think it’s fair to say that wasn’t the truth. Aside from the fact I guess I didn’t really know at the age of 14/15 years old what it was to be body positive, but I also was incredibly aware of the media and how I should look.

I remember on holidays where I’d be having fun with family I wouldn’t care what I looked like when on the beach or by the pool, I was too busy enjoying myself and playing mermaids with my younger sister. But, when I’d look back at holiday photos from years before I would be so critical of myself; the clothes I wore, the way I did my hair, how I was standing etc, etc…and that is not body positivity. I mean you can even see in the photo below how at the age of about 15 I was holding in my stomach..like whaaat! It doesn’t make me annoyed at my younger self, it just makes me frustrated! I wish I could go back in time and shake myself and tell myself that I don’t have to act in a certain way or look a certain way to look good in a photo!

what does it really mean to be body positive

Me, back in 2012 on holiday in Cyprus

How I saw myself in terms of my body positivity kind of slipped away as I moved up in my teens. I wasn’t the most confident person ever, I did still compare myself to how I thought I should look, but I guess I kind of knew deep down I would never look like that image, so I just kind of accepted it. I wouldn’t call this body positivity. Even though I had accepted my body, I’d accepted it on the notion that I couldn’t look like the beautiful models and celebrities so I might as well just deal with it. I wasn’t taking the stance that my image was just as beautiful and wonderful; that’s body positivity.

Well I’m proud to declare to you, that I am body positive. I dress for me, and how I love myself looking. I wear my makeup how I want it to be instead of trying to conform to how I think it should look. My weight and body image is all about my self-care and health, not because I’m trying to achieve a certain dress size or weight. I’m simply looking after my body and my self in the way that I want; not to try and make it conform to a society standard. So it’s taken a long time to get me to where I am today, unfortunately I think it’s rather hard to be surrounded by the media that we have today and to not be affected by it, so I thought I would share with you what I think it is to be body positive.

Love All Of Your Angles

There is always that one angle we all prefer of ourselves: fact. Whether it be our left side, our right side, or slightly above or slightly below we all have it as our go to pose for photos. Now of course this is okay, but it’s about not hating a photo if you don’t have that angle. It’s about being in a club photo and just smiling because you’re happy to be there, and not making sure your smiling, tilting your head to the left, hand on hip, knee bent, hip popped, stomach in, two inches back from your friend and an inch apart from her, shoulders back, arm parallel to your body etc etc…See how ridiculous it looks to write, so why do we think like it?!

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I mean this is obviously an exaggerated pose, but I think it demonstrates my point rather well…say hello to 2012 Olivia again!

Being body positive is about just loving photos for what they are, a moment of happiness captured in time. Being body positive is not worrying about where the light is, or how you need to staple your hand to your hip on a night out so your always photo ready!

Dress To Impress…Yourself!

Okay so we’ve all been there; the changing rooms of a clothes store looking for the perfect outfit for an occasion and you chose the uncomfortable one because it makes your {insert: boobs look bigger, bum look bigger, tummy look flatter, legs look longer} and not the one that you feel comfy and happy in but it doesn’t do one of the aforementioned traits. I realised a long time ago that if I wanted to be happy with my body I had to be comfortable with it, and the idea of spending and entire night struggling for breath and/or adjusting my boobs, it wasn’t the idea of a good outfit for me. Now I should point out, you should be dressing in whatever you want that flatters yourself and you feel good in, but by feel good in I mean inside as well as how incredible you look! So who cares if you go for flats over heels? You will be able to dance so much longer and harder and without the pain of blisters holding you back!

Look At The Food On The Menu Not The Calories

One thing I can’t stand is calorie counting. If the food tastes good and you eat in proportion of how much you exercise, who cares what the numbers on the back of the packet says! This is especially true for when out on a meal. For me, when I go out for a meal its a nice occasion, I dress up a bit more than I usually would to eat (mainly because when I’m eating at home I’ll be in trackies or a dressing gown or something) so it’s a nice treat! The last thing I would then want to do is feel like I have to have the salad or the ‘skinny pizza’ that just upsets me because why would I want a pizza with a whole cut out of the middle?! (NOTE TO PIZZA PLACES: Seriously, if you’re going to serve a pizza with salad make it a side salad, don’t get rid of some of the pizza!) If I’m going out for a meal I’m going to have exactly what I want, whether that be greasy onion rings and a burger or the salad. You should be able to eat what you feel like eating not what you feel you should.

pizza

Eat what you enjoy, even if it is a pizza the size of a small moon (and notice how I have veg as a side so I don’t lose any of the pizza goodness! I will never understand the whole ‘cut away some of the pizza and replace it with green’ malarkey…)

So those are just three things to me that I think are crucial to what it means to be body positive. Of course there are more but this post was already getting sooo long so I’ll write some more soon! Just remember that loving yourself isn’t being selfish or egotistical it’s just about respecting yourself and treating you how you deserve to be treated. Being body positive is the most liberating thing, and I honestly invite all of you to stop and question yourself whether you really are body positive, or whether you just tell yourself that in the hope you’ll subliminally convince yourself you are.

Ox

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