Michelle Elman is a body positivity guru that I follow and she created a body positivity Tag for her YouTube Challenge. I do have a YouTube Challenge, but I don't like sitting down in front of the camera to record video and I don't feel that is the best outlet for my creativity. However, blogging is and so a blog post is far more appropriate. Her goal was to create something she felt was missing from YouTube and she's right. It's hard to find true body positivity stuff on there. It's also, though not as hard, to find it on blogs and while I am definitely not the best advocate for the movement. I am doing my best to educate myself and become a better one.
The Questions and My Answers
1) When did you discover body positivity?
Probably around 2010. When a friend who I worked with began getting involved in the feminist movement in Calgary and began sharing details with me at lunch and when we got together. She had such begin ideas and blew my mind. I have a lot to thank her for. One day hopefully I'll be able to talk her into guest posting about how she got started.
2) How do you define body positivity?
It is learning to love who you truly are and all the pieces of yourself inside and out. It's the acceptance that you must also do the same for others. It's being graceful and kind and seeing beauty beyond what media tells us.
3) What used to be your biggest insecurity?
Ironically, and this worked out perfectly for this post and was not planned at all, but wearing white. I have lots of insecurities about my body too, my stomach, my nose, body hair. But those are all things that I generally can not change. Wearing white is a choice and I am insecure about it because it's one of my favorite colors to wear and yet all I ever hear is my mother's voice about how awful white makes me look. "How we girls, can never pull off white because..." and whatever her reason of the day was. We're too fat or too pale or our leg hair is too dark. The negative talk that white brings to my head is very harsh. So I have this beautiful pair of jeans, that I pull out on days where I am feeling very confident and I strut around in them because that's the only thing to do when you need to counter such negative talk. Last time I wore these pants was almost a year ago and you can see that here.
4) What made you chose self love?
I realized that I didn't want to be my mother or grandmother. That I didn't want to spend my life hating myself and becoming bitter. I didn't want to allow my bitterness to spoil the wonderful relationship I had with my partner, his family and all my friends. Because that's exactly what bitterness has done to my family and it's so incredibly sad. I also was tired of being selfish. It's interesting how in choosing self-love that allowed me to stop being selfish. When you open your heart to loving yourself you can love more and more freely. If you close yourself off from self-love you lose so much more than just feeling beautiful. You lose the ability to deeply connect with other people too.
5) Beauty rule every woman needs to break?
I think it varies from person to person. I think every woman needs to do that which means them most powerful. I loved that Michelle Elman mentions that she refuses to wear heels. I also stopped wearing heels. I still own two pairs of booties, but as they are fully supported my ankles are okay with them, but otherwise heels do great damage to my ankles and I just didn't want to chance losing my ability to run, so heels went out the window.
I also think every woman and man, really, should color their hair something fun at least once in their life. Having purple hair has been so freeing. It also makes people treat you so differently and that is very eye-opening. That experience makes you realize how you treat people based on their appearances and that maybe you should wait for their personality before judging whether you'll be friends.
6) What is the biggest misconception about body positivity?
I don't think this is the biggest misconception but something that I am struggling with, is that I don't fit into any "groups". I fall squarely in the middle of average. So a lot of people can't seem to understand why I want to be part of the body positivity movement when I am 'skinny enough' or others think that I am doing it for attention and others think it's because I'm too lazy to lose weight. When really it's about learning how to be a person who can support others and having a safe place to go when I do need it. I hate that we have to label everything, even within movements.
7) Name 3 things you like about your body.
My hands, my collarbone, my hips.
8) What is the one piece of advice that you would give to someone struggling with body confidence issues?
Unfollow anyone who doesn't make you feel good and follow those that do. If you need suggestions ask someone, you trust. Believe in yourself it gets better. Read good books, with great protagonist written by feminist authors.
9) What are your top 3 favorite books that changed your perception of your body?
This makes me want to read them again to see if my view on the books have changed but off the top of my head I would say
Fire by Kirstin Cashore - read the whole series to be honest but Fire is just amazing. It's fantasy, but she is a strong protagonist and I love her to bits. The One Hundred A Guide to The Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own by Nina Garcia - This book might seem a bit odd but I never took this book as you must be this size to have these items, but more as a every woman must own these. Looking through the illustrations, they are all excessively tall thin and stick like but I didn't think of it that way then. What to Say When Your Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter - I wrote about it here, but it was the first book I ever read that made me change the way I thought about myself.
I'll think on the third and get back to you.
10) What is your favorite thing to do to celebrate your body?
A bath! A manicure and pedicure! Getting my hair retouched! A massage! Yoga! A quick run! A cup of tea beside the fire. I've learned this past year that there are many ways in which I celebrate my body and it's strength, it's been an amazing year of discovery.
11) Who do you want to tag?
Many, many people. But I am afraid, I am afraid to call them out because I don't know how they feel about Body Positivity. I don't want to upset them by calling them out. The thing with Body Positivity is that when calling people out, is it can bring anxiety and that would not be my intention. My intention would be as a remind of how powerful and amazing I think they are and that I want to see more of that from them! I also love hearing that about them. So ladies when I call you out, know that this isn't to bring you anxiety it because I think you are a beautiful power woman!
Amanda, Chels, Donna-Lynn, Daphne, Jillian, Jazmine, Karen, Nicole (and those of you who don't blog, could totally guest blog) and to any of my readers who are interested (just let me know if you do!)
And thanks to Michelle for creating the tag.
I feel it appropriate to do a body positivity tag while pushing my boundaries and taking pictures outside in a public place. I don't do it often and I'm very nervous every time I do it but its something I wish to be more comfortable with so it must be done more! Unfortunately the camera focused on the tree and I didn't check because nerves!
I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.