What is the Self-Love and Body Positivity Community?
By Vanessa Palencia
Have you heard?
CVS has initiated the launch of “Beauty Mark,” which is a move against using digitally altered photos in its marketing of beauty products. Although not the first company to take this stride towards a “no-manipulation” standard on photoshop and altered images in its ads, it’s particularly important because this move comes at a high-peak of the self-love and body positivity movement.
Notice that I said, movement and not trend. Women around the world are partaking in the stride against digitally altered images, voicing for proper representation of women of all shapes, sizes, and color. There is a much greater demand and need, now more than ever, to see authentic and raw portrayals of the human body in the media because we desire to see people that we can relate to. It’s particularly hard to connect to just a small spectrum of bodies and bodies that have been digitally altered to standards of “perfection.” That’s where the body positivity and self love community come into the picture.
The body positivity and self love community has to be one of the most inspiring communities I’ve ever come across.
They’re vulnerable. They’re raw. They’re full of love and people who desire to seek the change they wish to see in this world: a plethora of self-love, body acceptance, confidence, and positivity toward other individuals, as well as themselves. They’re not afraid to make themselves vulnerable for the sake of reassuring others that there is nothing wrong with having cellulite, eating a burger, or holding fat on your body, and they’re not afraid to rebel against the diet culture and beauty industry for the sake of preserving our natural, individual beauty.
The community has become a safe haven for those who seek refuge from a life of torturing themselves to conform to a certain way of living via extreme dieting, self-harm, and self-degradation. It has become a community for those who seek to feel accepted and loved just the way they are in a time when society tells them that they’re not good enough. It is a piece of heaven in a deceitful, cyber-infested world. Even though the self-love and body positivity community advocates for increasing self-esteem and positive self-image, they are blamed for “promoting” a life of obesity.
However, what most of those cyber bullies fail to realize is that the purpose behind this movement is to help others accept and love themselves where they are right now. The purpose of this movement is to gain equal representation in the model industry where there was none. The purpose of this movement is to challenge the status quo and redefine the ideas of beauty so that future generations can focus more on contributing to this world through their dreams and goals and not become so fixated on comparing the aesthetics of their bodies. If that means going for a walk 3-5 days a week as opposed to dragging ourselves out of bed to sweat it out at the gym and “burn fat” 5-6 days a week, then so be it. If that means listening to our bodies and feeding it when it’s hungry instead of timing and measuring our meals down to a tee, then so be it.
The self-love and body positivity community embraces our individualistic beauty and character. They understand that self-care and self-love looks different for everyone. It does not rebel against eating healthy or going to the gym, but it rebels against the peer pressure that doing these things are a requirement to be considered worthy or beautiful. And that’s what I love about it.
If you haven’t experienced the wonderful essence that comes with immersing yourself in this community, then you need to check out some of these amazing Instagram accounts: