I’ve seen a new body-positive trend on TikTok that goes along with a Katy Perry song, “I Kissed A Girl.” The videos feature people showing off their “normal” bodies. Anything from blemishes, stretch marks, tummies, thighs, and everything that is usually excluded from the social media narrative. I was in awe of the beautiful people I watched embracing their bodies, and for the first time in a while, I saw people with bodies like mine.
I can’t say enough about how nice it is to see different body types represented on social media. Before the body positivity movement, my Instagram feed was filled with unrealistic body expectations from beautiful influencers posed in just the right way. No matter the workouts or diet I tried, there was just no way I could achieve that body type and I thought I was unworthy because of it. It would poison the way I viewed myself because I had a little bit of a tummy. It hurt how I saw myself and the romantic relationships I had with people.
This may sound dumb, but I didn’t know I could unfollow the people who promoted unhealthy solutions to weight loss and made me feel ashamed of my body. For a while, I thought it was a way of motivating me to go to the gym and work out for hours. It was silly, but when I was finally able to separate myself from that negativity, I was ready to accept my body for what it was capable of doing. I wish the sudden realization of loving my body happened sooner, but I’m thankful that I can be happy now.
Last year I talked about my relationship with food and how I was working on how I saw food. Since then, I’ve grown and recognized what my body likes and doesn’t like, what makes me feel good, and not stopping myself from having a treat once in a while. I wanted to work on that relationship first before I decided to get back to working out.
Working out is so much better now too. I work out to move my body and feel strong — not to lose weight and look a certain way. It was a hard process to realize that my body changes all the time. When I changed that mindset, I was able to go to the gym or do a Pilates video at home and feel good that I moved my body. It’s a much better relationship than the one I previously had, which consisted of a lot of cardio machines. I still have so much to learn about myself and how I can better serve the body positive movement.
There are still flaws in the body positivity movement. We need to do better welcoming every body to bring real positive change for future generations. There are many resources available to us and an incredible amount of content creators who actively educate people on how we can do better. So, let’s support each other and continue educating people.