A friend and I were discussing body image the other day. She is a thin, traditionally beautiful woman that, despite her outer beauty, has struggled with self-love her entire life. While we were talking she mentioned that she had followed one of my suggestions- I told her to follow Instagram accounts, Tumblr’s, and Facebook’s of fat, colored, trans, and disabled bodies that were liberated. Their bodies didn’t have to resemble her own to have a positive impact on her life and, as a matter of fact, would make room for her self-love. They would also make her more sensitive to the struggles of other bodies.
I follow fat positive, transexual, pansexual, gay, lesbian, black, strong, skinny, hairy, and all of the people in between. I want to look through my Instagram feed and feel amazing after. This meant that I unfollowed a lot of people. Instagram models, girls I don’t like (even if they are fat), and other randoms that made me eye roll. If I notice that an account routinely inspires self-loathing in me, I unfollow it. Call me what you want but I won’t say sorry for going on a visual diet. My visual diet consists of people that are unapologetic about their appearance and work daily to inspire more liberation in themselves and those around them.
Lillian Bustle accurately describes what unwittingly happened to me when I started following curvy, plus, and/or unconventional body types- I started to find those bodies, and soon after, my own body, more attractive. I stopped placing thinness on a pedestal.
I started noticing that I not only liked my body more but I preferred my body and being in a space with a woman that was thinner than me no longer made me feel less than. I loved my body, I knew I was beautiful, and another woman’s thinness was no longer threatening simply because she was….thinner?
Many women believe that they are doing themselves a favor by following fitness models on Instagram that hashtag “bodypositive” at the end of their posts. While they serve their purpose and are certainly great at many things, I’m here to suggest that you should go a little deeper.
Regardless of your outer world, begin looking at all liberated bodies. Your heart, mind, and soul will open up like it never has before. You will begin to see that chubby dude, that lady with a disability, and that trans-male in a new light. You will have a fresh, new perspective that is inquisitive and accepting rather than judgemental.
The best part?
Partaking and being supportive of their body liberation will rub off in your life in more ways than I can count. You will enjoy the benefits of everyone being included and that is cool.
The Curvy Broke Girl