Let Body Positivity Shine This Spring

Spring is in the air here in London! The spring solstice officially took place this past weekend and the weather has definitely been celebrating the changing of the seasons.

Warm and sunny 50 degree temperatures have been a most welcome change to the gloomy past few months. As the weather continues to get warmer and more beautiful, people are beginning to switch out their bulky winter wardrobes for bright and light items more appropriate for the new season.

It is now that we see articles begin to pop up online and in magazines, giving us advice on how to “Get Fit Quick” and “Get The Perfect Bikini Body.” Lacking any sort of scientific or proven basis, these articles seem to do more harm than good and they leave out the most important piece of advice anyone can receive. Love your body and yourself.

Warm weather, short shorts and beachwear reveal many parts of our body that have been hidden by sweaters and leggings for the last few months and automatically bring many people to body shame during the spring and the summer. This negativity has an awful impact on the way people view their bodies and themselves, impacting their self-12208316_723499947686463_5965880352187481038_nconfidence as well.

Psychologists use the term “body image” to describe our internalized sense of what we look like. We judge our physical appearance with our own unique mental representations or map of what we believe our body looks like. This is all based on what we see when we look in the mirror however, or how much we are regretting the delicious pint of Ben & Jerry’s we had for dessert the night prior. Our own perception of our bodies includes a lot more than the size of our clothes.

“To some extent our body image is idealized based on how we would like to look. It is also based on a mirror image of our actual appearance. Other people see animated or moving images, whereas we view our own image mainly through photographs or mirrors where our expression is still,” explains Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a Manhattan neuropsychologist.

This idealization of body image is something that is extremely harmful to our ability to respect and love our unique bodies, especially when the media encourages us to compare ourselves to celebrities and photo shopped images in advertisements and magazines. In order to love our bodies the way they are we must realize that we have been blessed with the bodies we have through genetics and though it may sound harsh, we must realize that celebrities are not “average” people.

Celebrities have teams of people guiding them through workouts and diets, taking care of their skin, hair and beauty regimens. The pressure that society puts on them is so harsh that many even speak out that they have suffered from eating disorders, emotional disorders and drug addiction due to the “perfect” pedestal on which they have been placed.

They also train and diet using the help of professionals all throughout the year to maintain their unique physiques. It is for this reason that regular people should by no means compare themselves to the actors, actresses and singers that they see on television and in the media.

Imagine the pain and judgment that could have been avoided if people realized that body positivity and confidence is where true beauty lies. 1465105_723499994353125_5254011910664686403_nA confident and happy man or woman is instantly more attractive, whether they have a muffin top or not. An online editor for Cosmopolitan, Loni Venti, recently admitted to “struggling with crippling insecurity” despite trying just about everything (hypnotism, therapy, personal trainers, self-help books) to no avail. Instead, she confesses that she has just become good at faking her self-confidence.

Her struggle with self-confidence is one that many men and women face. However instead of succumbing to this struggle with loving ourselves, we must instead find the way that works for us to be at peace with our bodies and ourselves. It is only then that we will be able to find true happiness in our lives.

We spend the most time with ourselves, share the most thoughts with ourselves and should have the most respect for ourselves as well. We are our own inevitable lifelong companions, and once we begin to appreciate the uniqueness of ourselves is when we will find the strength to live confidently. Simply acquiescing to negative self-esteem or turning to the Internet to find a crash course diet is just not going to cut it in the long run.

The Internet has turned into a home for body shaming trolls and incessant pressure to give in to our society’s current “standards” of beauty, standards unreachable to the average non-celebrity human. This is saddening, because there is so much more to beauty than what meets the eye. There is no need to read articles such as “14 Ways to Get Bikini-Ready in 24 Hours” because there is no way to get fit in just one day. Fitness is something to aspire to and can be done most efficiently over a period of time.

Dr. Hafeez advises her clients to “forget the diet hype. Eating right and regular exercise and sleeping enough are your weight control keys to success!” This is why workout guides such as Kayla Isines’ “Bikini Body Guide” have become such a success because they show real results. This guide in particular features a 24 week program with HIIT, LISS and Stretching, as well as a comprehensive healthy eating plan.

This is the guide that I have been working out with for the last 6 weeks and I have noticed so many changes in my body, confidence and energy levels. I feel both physically and mentally stronger. The BBG Community on social media is incredibly supportive of my BBG journey and this is something that I would definitely recommend.

As always, a balanced healthy lifestyle is important. If you work hard you should also spoil yourself. Coming into touch with one’s mind and body is what will help increase your confidence this spring and make your inner beauty shine outwards. As long as the person looking back at you in the mirror is smiling, you know you are doing something right.

Stay Classy! xx