[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Trendy term? New trend ? The hope of lasting change on the bodies of women (and men)?
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Today body positive (translated as positive body) is talked about, but what is it really?
It’s about exposing your body without complexes, in its natural state, without filters or retouching on social networks in particular. An assumed body where we reveal ourselves without shame in the face of current dictates.
But is it really possible? How do you succeed in reclaiming who you are when you have hated your body for so many years?
As a Dietitian Nutritionist I will answer these questions with you.
Evolution of the female body throughout history
What we can observe is that from antiquity to today the idealized image of the woman’s body has evolved a lot… We could even say that it has gone through all the extremes: from curves to thinness, from milky skin to an intense tan.
I put a magnifying glass on the evolution of the female body throughout our History:
In the Paleolithic era, in Europe it was fleshy and curvy women who were the fashion criterion, in Egypt it was better to be thin, muscular and slender. If you were Chinese you were required to have mutilated feet, shaped like a lotus flower with a slim figure, very pale skin and big eyes.
In the Middle Ages, blondes were successful with their wasp waists (we didn’t hesitate to use super tight corsets to achieve our goals… “you have to suffer to be beautiful”… Let’s not forget that!), then during the Renaissance the standards of beauty were very pale, white and very round.
In the 1920s the ideal woman had a flat chest, a petite figure, short-cut hair and a tomboyish style.
After the war, thinness was a sign of poor health so women were asked to be sensual and curvy like the famous Marilyn Monroe.
Then, as cinema became more and more popular, it offered us female bodies that went from luscious sensuality to the hyper slimness/androgynous thinness that we can observe today.
Finally, throughout History, the body is considered as a piece of clay that we must shape according to current fashions, as if we could, like sculptures, take the shape desired by our society, naturally and easily… ! Have we forgotten that we are not made of earth but of flesh, blood and… emotions? feelings?
What is Body positivity?
This is a social movement that we observe on social networks which is based on the principle of self-acceptance (mainly of the body).
Too many social norms, too much pressure on the ideal appearance to have (and unreal, let’s point out) have favored this idea where from now on the feminine ideal is a woman at ease with her body, who is aware of her shapes, who assumes them and who knows how to highlight them.
Thinness is now worrying, especially when it refers to models who do not hesitate to wear their health to extremes to stay on the catwalks.
The body positive movement invites women to post and share photos of themselves naturally, that is to say without makeup, without filters, without retouching. It is even the opposite that is highlighted: small defects such as cellulite, pimples, redness, scars, etc. We could associate this movement with #wewantthetrue where women show themselves again, in their most natural state.
It is therefore a question of denouncing that we can love ourselves, that we can be loved regardless of our appearance! I say thank you ! Indeed, it was time to highlight the diversity of bodies and the singularity of each one.
But beware ! To be body positive what you need is to learn to love yourself and this is where I find there is a lack. Learning to love yourself doesn’t happen overnight, especially when you’ve spent years hating this body, hiding it, trying to forget it.
Breaking your fears and taboos yes, but it is a personal development that takes time (sometimes years) and social networks, or this body positive movement, shows that some women take responsibility for their body as if it were easy and natural. Yet no!
How to become positive?
I hate my body, will I succeed in being body positive?
Of course, but not as easily as what is shown on social networks, because once again, you only see an image posted at a given time.
Acceptance of oneself and one’s body requires work to let go, self-love, and regain confidence and esteem. When she was lost, nothing was better than having someone accompany her. You will only benefit from it.
Reclaim your body image
We are in a rhythmic society where we follow the rhythm without even realizing it: waking up at 6:30 a.m., shower, breakfast, journey to work,… Until the evening! In these lifestyle habits, how many people forget about their body? Forget to connect to them?
Thanks to relaxation and meditation every day you can experience focusing on yourself, your body and thus not losing the connection. Breathing is an exceptional tool that helps you stay in tune with yourself. I really invite you to try so that you don’t forget yourself again!
This will also allow you to focus on your feelings: are there areas of your body where you have tension? Where ? Did you have a good day ? How do you feel today ?
Questions that seem so simple and yet are put aside (sometimes for years).
Harmonize who we are: body and mind
That is indeed the objective, yes. Stop living only with your head and restart this beautiful mechanism that is your entire body, connected, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, including your mind.
Now that you have all the keys, liberation and the body positive goal are yours!