Unpopular Opinion: you don’t have to always love your body.
There, I said it. Now before you start scrambling for your pitchforks- hear me out. I think body positivity is a beautiful, wonderful and necessary thing. You should love everything about you. However, I also believe sometimes body positivity can make you feel worse. Let me explain:
Have you ever had a day that you weren’t really feelin’ yourself? Maybe when you’re on your period, or when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and for some reason, all of your clothes just look like crap on you? Have you ever then expressed these thoughts and immediately gotten shunned for thinking them? Then, knowing you shouldn’t be thinking the negative thoughts about yourself that you’re thinking, you feel even WORSE? Same.
When I was a junior in high school I was on the dance team. At practice, we would all be wearing leotards and tights and we would stand in front of the large mirror and just absolutely rip ourselves apart. We’d examine every inch of our bodies, spotlighted under the fluorescent lights. We’d pinch our thighs, our guts, complain that our boobs were too small or too big. That our butts weren’t perky enough or that our hip bones didn’t stick out enough.
We were peer-pressured into looking at ourselves under a microscope, silently daring each other to find something wrong with ourselves that was worse than the girl standing next to us.
I’ve always been thin and boney, and even more so in high school. Being the insecure 16 year old that I was, I would contribute my own insecurities to the conversation and be immediately shot down. The girls would tell me I was being stupid, or I was showing off.
Suddenly, I became insecure about having insecurities. In an environment where every aspect of my physical being was being hyper-analyzed, why was I being patronized for, at the very base of it, admitting and accepting that I wasn’t perfect either? Were my flaws any worse or any better than the girl standing next to me? Who’s to judge that my insecurities and feelings aren’t valid? Surely not the 16 year old girl that stood next to me. I don’t care who you are or what you look like- we’re all human. We all have insecurities and we’re entitled to our own feelings.
In an age where you’re supposed to embrace and celebrate your flaws, am I still not allowed to feel insecure?
I’m almost 25 now, and I know I still have a lot more growing up to do. However, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the moment I decided to allow myself to feel insecure, it took an enormous weight off my shoulders.
So you know what? Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel. You’re entitled to your feelings, and more importantly, you’re entitled to your insecurities. That’s not to say you should embrace the negativity, but I think it’s important to acknowledge it, feel it, and grow from that. Loving your body is a process, and it’s one that I’m still in the middle of. Some days are better than others but each day I’m feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin… so much so that my wardrobe for this photo shoot was just a pair of tights I spent too much money on.
“Our feelings are valid because we feel them.”
Do you ever feel the same way? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
Until next time,
Photography by Karla Ticas
Tights: Gucci | Bra: Urban Outfitters (Similar Here)