By Lauren Anthony
Hey, you’re beautiful. You’re handsome. What does it mean when we’re told these phrases by a friend, family member, or loved one? Most times it brings a smile to our faces and leads us to spread this message to others. Body positivity is one thing that is getting a lot more recognition now a day. It is important to spread body positivity because once someone acts on then it will catch like fire. Whether it is through an inspirational quote on Facebook, a sweet text, or a compliment while walking to class, there are many ways we can spread the love to one another.
Let me begin by introducing myself, my name is Lauren Anthony and I am a senior here at the University of Idaho. As someone who struggles with her body image, I knew it was time to do something about it. By sharing music, videos, events on campus, and other things I come across my intention is to share the beautiful power that is body positivity. One way I’m doing this is through Body rEvolution. Body rEvolution is an internship here at the University of Idaho through the Women’s Center.
Throughout this spring term, myself and three other students will take on the hard questions when it comes to talking about the body and struggles such as self-esteem, even struggling to accept who you are. We’re getting involved with events like Body Positive Week during the month of February 16-18, talking to our fellow students and our classes about finding body acceptance and showing them that no one is alone. During Body Positivity Week, Amy Pence-Brown, an alumna of our university, will be coming to talk about her experience standing out in Boise, Idaho in a bikini and letting strangers write encouraging words on her body, More details to come soon!
Loving our body is not an easy task. Magazines, TV ads for the newest weight loss programs, and even others around us can cause our body positivity to shift to negativity. While society does have a lot to offer to help us embrace our bodies, they still promote certain standards for what everyone should look like I want to change this. I want to share what I find around campus and on social media about body positivity. Body positivity is possible and it can be channeled to all audiences.
Youtube is a wonderful place to find body positive videos. This trailer I am sharing is still in the process of becoming a full documentary. Recently, I found a trailer, Embrace- The Documentary – Trailer, about the negative feelings that surround many women about their bodies. This trailer strictly does focus on women, but it shares that a lot of feelings are the same. You can go to bodyimagemovement.com to see the women’s stories and to help contribute to making this documentary come to life.
I hope to examine many other aspects of body positivity this semester through music, Youtube videos, and websites that promote loving the body we have. While this topic is very difficult to talk about, but it is worth talking about and letting everyone who reads this know they are not alone. It is not as simple as saying “I look good and no one can stop me.” While I applaud all who can do this, for some of us it may be finding a great playlist of inspirational songs, watching a huge collection of videos, or anything to help instill body confidence.
Body positivity is for everyone, not just for women. No one should feel that a topic is exclusive to others and not them. My goal is to find ways to help both men and women with body positivity. Society may have many forms of body positivity, but there can always be much more. The more, the less negativity can be seen and absorbed. The journey to love our body is not an easy task, but with time, hopefully we all will be able to openly say we do love our body. Our body matters and even on the days it gives us a ton of trouble it loves us.
So! Let’s begin this adventure together! Sara Bareilles wrote a great song Brave and I challenge all who read this post to play this song and remember you are brave. You are so much more than what you think at times and I challenge you to remember that.
It is time to end the concept of body negativity and to embrace body positivity for what it truly is. Oh and did I mention it? You’re beautiful and you’re handsome and you deserve to have a smile on your face all the time.
Link to photo seen above: Wall with words “I believe in you” on it