Although body image has always been a topic of conversation, body positivity became a hot topic in 2016. The conversations over the past year warrant a set of body positive New Years resolutions for the upcoming year. I mean, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with traditional goals. But when resolutions like “lose more weight” and “eat right” always make the list, one can’t help but think about the pressure that comes with them.
Don’t get me wrong. These New Years resolutions make sense, especially if you’re trying to focus on your health and well-being. What I’m referring to is the specific mindset that comes with these goals. Often, they disregard body positive thoughts and focus on society’s expectations. For example, "Lose weight" can be tweaked. A body positive version would be to maintain a healthy weight for special body type — something that is different for everyone. Meanwhile, “Eat right” can be replaced with finding healthy foods that you love while enjoying treats in moderation. Again, it’s all about that mindset.
Tweaking traditional New Years goals with body positive thoughts simply keep things real. It lets you mentally combat societal norms while acknowledging your own badassery. Most importantly, it will help you learn how to embrace your body, one day at a time. Bring it on, 2017.
1. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Amazing
Wear whatever the heck you want, regardless of what the fashion gurus say. This holds true even for clothes that are supposedly "not appropriate" for your body type. If it makes you feel amazing, then rock it.
2. Pick A Favorite Body Part
It might sound strange, but it's one of the best things you can do for your body image. Your favorite body part can be your hair, legs, or anything in between. For the ultimate confidence boost, make it a point to highlight that specific part.
3. Practice Self-Care
I think we can all agree that life can get really chaotic. As a result, self-care is usually put on the back burner. In 2017, promise to make time for massages, face masks, or extra rest — regardless of how packed your schedule is. Don't let self-care be an option; make it a priority. In other words, treat yourself.
4. Exercise For The Right Reason
One of the biggest mantras of a body positive outlook is focusing on the real reason for exercise. Do it because it's good for your body — not because you want to fit in smaller jeans. Aim to reach a healthy weight, not a "perfect" one. The ideal weight is what's healthy for your body type and no one else's.
5. Find A Workout You Love
While you're it, take the time to find a workout that fits your personality and lifestyle. Anything from yoga to dance class is fair game. It might take a few tries to find something you love, but it'll be worth it. After all, if you actually enjoy it, working out won't be a drag.
6. Talk About Your Flaws In A Positive Way
There is an emphasis on "positive." Openly talking about your flaws will give that confidence to face (and embrace) them. How's that for reverse psychology? Don't be afraid to share how you're learning to accept said flaws. There's a good chance someone else can relate. To top it off, it's the best way to normalize said "imperfections" instead of treating them like a taboo topic.
7. Practice The "No Makeup" Look
In 2016, R&B queen Alicia Keys started a "#NoMakeup" movement that made serious waves. This movement drew attention to the way makeup shields our real selves from the world. Does this mean you should toss your stash? Not at all. Instead, practice being comfortable with makeup and without. It'll remind you that you're so much more than that winged eyeliner.
8. Compliment Yourself Every Day
In 2017, consider starting a body positive journal. This doesn't have to be anything crazy. Simply write down a one-sentence compliment to yourself at the end of each day. Did you finally go for that massage? Make a stranger laugh? Find a killer outfit? Write it down, because your awesomeness matters.
9. View Yourself As A Whole Person
In other words, remind yourself that you're so much more than your flaws. People might not even notice these things when they first meet you. And if they do? This is where your personality, kindness, and general radness comes in. These things will always be more important than your physical appearance.
10. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Although you can't choose your body, you can definitely choose the people you hang out with. In 2017, place your energy in people that practice self-love. Learn how to give support to those that give it back.
11. Don't Judge Others
Judgement works both ways. Avoid hating on other people for the way they dress, walk, or talk. This holds true even if you keep these judgments to yourself. Take a moment to notice your thoughts and question them.
12. Call Out Body Shaming
It goes without saying that we're all attracted to different body types and features. But once someone starts scoffing at another person's body, speak up. You don't have to throw a punch or cause a scene. Instead, saying something like "Hey, that's not cool" can bring awareness to the comment.
13. Stay Aware Of The Media's Tricks
The media's obsession with Photoshop is no secret. But when advertisements are so ingrained in our daily lives, it can be hard to avoid them. The next time you see an ad or a commercial, be critical. Remind yourself that normal people don't look like that without studio lights, makeup, and digital editing. And while you can't stop the ads from appearing, you can totally change how you perceive them.