5 steps to Loving Your Body Just the Way It Is

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 12.00.58 PM Body dysmorphia has been trickling down from the media for the past thirty years, with current models weighing 23% less then the average woman. No matter how much push back the industry gets, it just won’t budge, because insecurity sells. Also in the last 30 years, the internet has developed into the people’s media and finally there is a glimmer of progress in the reversal of these harmful body ideals. Lately, story after story pops up in the news feed about how people are fighting back against body prejudice. IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE WORLD! Tucson is fortunate that it has one of the worlds most prolific Body Love advocates right here in the old pueblo, Miss. Jes M. Baker. ArtFire partnered with Jes to produce the crowdsource funding video for The Body Love Conference, which is sure to be a leap in the right direction for body positivity. We asked Body Love Staff, Kiki Nelson and Allison Jones, Ondrea Levey and Erin Jaye to suggest 5 things that all of us can do today to start loving our bodies just the way they are.
  1. Challenge your assumptions about health. Weight is nothing more than your relationship to gravity, a woman who is overweight can still be far healthier than a woman who is seen at an “acceptable weight.” Because of the quest for size zero, people will often form dangerous habits to get there, which sacrifice their health in the end. Everyone has their own genetics, life circumstances and medical conditions that effect their weight.
  2. Show a model of self love to youngsters. Don’t spew off comments about the size of your thighs. Don’t obsess about diets or dress sizes or anything negative about the body, instead praise the healthy choices you (or someone else) makes. “These veggies taste amazing. The energy i get from them makes me feel so good.” or “I worked my bumper off at the tribal fusion interpretive dance class last night. It felt great!”
  3. Throw away fashion rules about dressing for your body type, choose to honor you and what you feel confident wearing. Even if it shows of a little skin, has stripes or clings to your body, if it makes you feel good- everyone else be damned.
  4. Speak out and stand up when someone puts down another’s body. When you hear someone dissing another lady about her shape or looks, say something. “That makes me uncomfortable. Please don’t say things like that around me.” Or “she looks good to me.” are two good approaches.
  5. Do not feel the need that you have to explain, defend or justify your body to anyone. People who make comments about your body and it’s changes do so under the guise of concern, but often they are really belittling and shaming you to gain superiority and make themselves feel better.
This *bonus* tip comes from the last Body Love Campaign and is self evident: Smash the Scale!
Smash the Scale! © Danny Valdez

Smash the Scale! © Danni Valdez

Jes Baker © Liora K Photography

Jes Baker © Liora K Photography

On April 5, 2014, in the heart of the Sonoran desert, people from all over the world will join some of the biggest names in body acceptance activism at The Body Love Conference. The Body Love Conference is a high energy, positive and progressive event where women can come together to build a community in a supportive environment while participating in revolutionary presentations and workshops on: the history of the beauty myth, social concepts of aging, post-birth bodies, choosing a size friendly provider, how to love yourself naked, writing the body, multi-racial media, clothing alteration, body-positive dance, how to love your body after sexual assault, the beauty in disability, transgender body love, and why it’s crucial to challenge and reform social norms. Screen Shot 2014-03-13 at 12.12.27 PM Among the body-positivity celebs booked to attend are EffYourBeautyStandards founder and model Tess Munster, photographer Jade Beall of A Beautiful Body Project, Louis Green, founder of Body Exchange. Sonya Renee Taylor of The Body is not an Apology and Pia Schiavo-Campo of Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick.
To be a part of changing the world, purchase your tickets here: Body Love Conference Tickets.
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    Here are some viral videos that challenge media body ideals: Buzzfeed Makeover with Unexpected Reactions Video Selfie Photography Project by Dove   Other videos about Body image: Negative Body Image on America’s Next Top Model Tyra Banks Can Dish it but Can’t Take it Video Demonstration of Body Editing in Photoshop Photoshop Before and After GIF’s News Anchor Jennifer Livingston Responds to Letter About her Obesity

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