Here at Balance, we are huge advocates for body positivity and self-love. Not only do we believe that your clothing should be as beautiful and timeless as you are, but we stand for empowering women and being kind to ourselves and our planet.
Over the last few years, there has been a huge shift in the way bodies are portrayed in society and the media. However, while the standards have changed, we still fall short of meeting them. One of the toughest hurdles we face daily is looking in the mirror and being dissatisfied with what we see. This cycle is reinforced by the unrealistic body standards that society has presented as ‘ideals’ to strive for.
What is the Body Positivity Movement?
Body positivity developed into a social movement that focussed on empowering all individuals regardless of their weight and size. This was almost countercultural and challenged the way society prescribed beauty and the ‘ideal body’. These standards are not only constantly shifting with the times but are, more often than not, damaging and unattainable.
Real bodies are scarred, jiggly and ultimately imperfect. These are things that should be celebrated rather than shamed. We need to focus on affirming ourselves and changing the narrative. That is where the body positivity movement comes in.
The Positive in Body Positivity
There are many ways we can move towards body positivity such as ditching the scale and minimising our mirror time. This may sound extreme but if these are ways by which you frequently measure yourself, then it may be time to take a step back.
Image by Gemma Chua-Tran from Unsplash
We are so much more than what meets the eye. After all, your thinness or your abs do not equate to your health either. We are more than a number on a scale and a reflection in a mirror. We are our hearts and souls, our kindness, our generosity, our relationships with others, with our planet and so much more.
By placing too much attention on the outside we train ourselves into believing that it is the measure of our worth. This perpetuates the societal lie that the size of your jeans and the flawlessness of your skin matter in the slightest.
What is Self Love?
Image by Ava Sol from Unsplash
Instead of criticising and breaking ourselves down, we should be looking at ways to celebrate and accept our bodies just the way they are. We already have so much to cheer about. And by lovingly caring for ourselves, we can cultivate an encouraging environment in which to flourish even further.
Self-love doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Integrating small daily habits for yourself can make a world of difference. Loving yourself and being confident in your body is not a destination to arrive at, but rather a daily journey and practice. One of the best ways we can celebrate ourselves and be body positive is by consistently practising self love.
Here at Balance, we are all about it. We’ve compiled some of our favourite tips on how to practice self love. Let’s dive right in!
Stop the Comparison Game
Image by Bruce Mars from Unsplash
Comparing yourself to others is one of the easiest ways to fall into the comparison trap. It only leads to self-loathing, dissatisfaction and the green monster – jealousy. Rather, celebrate what is uniquely yours and cheer on your fellow women.
No two bodies are the same and therefore, holding up a measuring stick to others is a futile exercise. The energy you save with this can rather be put toward your personal journey to becoming your happiest and healthiest self.
Don’t Dress to Impress
Now, this may seem counterintuitive but let’s unpack it. One of the many ways that we fall prey to societal beauty standards is the pressure of how we ‘ought’ to present ourselves. Giving in to this often leaves us not feeling our best.
So why not ditch all that and wear what makes you feel good? Whether that’s a little or a lot, dress in what makes you feel confident and happy. This includes wearing and buying clothing that you comfortably fit into rather than torturing yourself with clothes that aren’t your size.
That’s why here at Balance, we celebrate beautiful garments that are natural, sustainable and ethical. We feel best about ourselves when we feel good about our impact on the environment.
Indulge in a Self-Care Ritual
Image by Maddi Bazzocco from Unsplash
This is where the media has also overcomplicated pampering. You don’t need to have a built-in steam room and a 10-step skincare routine to pamper yourself. Simply running a bath, lighting a candle and putting on some essential oils is self-care, and it more than does the trick.
Stress plays a huge factor in our general wellbeing and filters into other areas like sleep, diet and how we feel in our skin. Taking time to wind down and treat yourself to some me-time will revive and rejuvenate you. Self-care can look different to everyone. To you it could mean popping on a face mask while giving your house a good vacuum. Both your floors and your pores will thank you!
Pay Attention to your Mental Health
Image by Callum Shaw from Unsplash
A healthy you is about more than what the eye can see. We cannot be thriving individuals when we are internally unhealthy.
Therefore, the best self-love we can practice is arguably from the inside, out. Ensure that you are tending to your emotional and spiritual needs daily. Whether that’s spending time with loved ones, talking to someone, reading a book or meditating; make it a priority.
Move your Body Regularly
Image by Stephen Goldberg from Unsplash
Exercise is so much more than a means to achieving aesthetic goals or ‘earning’ your food. By looking at it this way, you are very likely to associate a negative connotation with working out. Instead of having the attitude of ‘I have to’ do this, see it as ‘I get to’ do this.
Daily movement doesn’t need to be a ninja-style workout. Some stretching, light yoga or a walk is more than sufficient and your body will certainly thank you for it. So grab a coffee and a friend or even your furry companion and spend some time in nature.
Be Conscious About What you Consume
No, I don’t mean food, but information. The content we scroll through and take in daily on social media affects us so much more than we realise. These days, social media is almost unavoidable. We scroll, double-tap and click constantly and if we aren’t careful what we expose ourselves to, we end up causing harm without realizing it.
Image by Tim Mossholder from Unsplash
So while you’re cleaning out your closet of those too-small items that you force yourself into, why not do a feed cleanup too. Unfollow the accounts that cause you to compare yourself and leave you feeling inadequate.
Your mind is a sponge and you should be soaking up uplifting content that represents inclusivity and reminds you to celebrate yourself.
Nourish your Body Well
Image by K15 Photos from Unsplash
This is not about losing those extra kilos, but about prioritising health and longevity. If the focus can shift to honouring the body that does so much for you, it can be one of the most loving things that you can do for yourself.
This doesn’t have to be celery cleanses and juicing either. Make healthy eating something that is sustainable, affordable and enjoyable. This way you will be able to make it a lifestyle rather than a fad.
Change your Internal Dialogue
The person you speak to and hear from the most throughout your day is yourself. It would be highly inconsistent of us to preach kindness if we fail to do so with ourselves first. It’s true that we are often our own harshest critics and this can be more damaging than we realise.
Image by Roberto Nickson from Unsplash
Pay attention to how you speak to yourself when you look in the mirror and throughout the day. Learn to celebrate yourself in small and big ways. Along with this, embrace your past selves and treat them kindly like you would a younger sibling. Give yourself grace, allow mistakes, and always be your own biggest cheerleader.
Final Thoughts on Body Positivity and Self Love
Image by Nikola Jovanovic from Unsplash
All these things and more are the bits that seep into the soil in which we grow. Therefore, focus on keeping them loving and encouraging. After all, some believe that plants grow better when you speak to them nicely, so why not practice this seemingly small act of love on yourself and see how you may blossom.
Here at Balance, we are passionate about this topic and always aim to uplift through our garments. We hope that this advice has inspired you not to neglect self-love. Be kind to yourself and watch how positivity overflows to those around you.