So I know the body positive community sort of started out with this “everyone is beautiful” theme. I also know a lot of folks were fed up with the idea that everyone has to be told they’re beautiful, saying things like “no, not everyone is/has to be beautiful and people should realize that’s not the most important thing in the world and that doesn’t define your worth, etc.”
And of course beauty doesn’t define one’s worth and their quality as a human being, but when you have people who send you desperate messages, telling you they feel like they’ll never find anyone who could possibly love them because of how they look— how can you tell that person to focus on other things?
Just hear me out— occasionally, when I felt bad about myself, being told beauty isn’t everything made me feel a little better. Occasionally. But most of the time, I didn’t give a fuck that it wasn’t everything, because it was the very reason I felt like shit. It isn’t everything, but I’m reminded of it everywhere, so it did feel like everything. And what helped me with my body positive journey, more than being told that beauty didn’t define me, was being told that I could be desirable to someone, that I could be sexy or beautiful. It was being told that someone out there would think I was the bees knees that helped me more than anything.
Of course I know my worth isn’t defined by how I look, and that I can be good at many things that have nothing to do with beauty. But I don’t intend to spend my life alone. Although I know for sure now, I hoped before that I could find someone who’s fascinated with every part of me, not just what’s on the outside, but also not just what’s on the inside.
I want people to think “wow, she’s smart and cool” but I also want someone to think I look good, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. So I guess being told by the body positive and fat positive community that I’m beautiful makes feel more comfortable than essentially being told I shouldn’t focus on something that I want to focus on.
honestly though, I’ve gained confidence by thinking about/doing these things:
1. giving fewer fucks, a little at a time (the feeling of liberation from the chains of societal expectations is so much more amazing than feeling the pressure to look a certain way)
2. actually trying to find your body (or parts of it) to be sexy and desirable, etc. this is the tough part. Well, it wasn’t for me. I’m fucking sexy.
3. know that there are (always have been and always will be) other people out that that desire you and that you desire back, if that’s also what scares you about your body.
4. understanding that your health ain’t got shit to do with this. Loving yourself should not have a direct relationship with how healthy you are. You can love yourself (and really, despise yourself) no matter how many or few egg whites you eat and laps you run.