January was National Self-Love Month, so it seems like the perfect time to talk about body positivity. For lots of people, body positivity sounds like a hoax or even downright ridiculous. We'll we're here to tell you that it's not. Body positivity is just as important to physical and mental health as eating right and exercising, and we're here to tell you why. 


What is body positivity?
Body positivity is a movement that aims to change the way we think about our bodies based on cultural standards. It aims to shift the focus of healthy living from "living above the chin until you're thin" to occupying your own body on your own terms. Its ultimate aim is to help you find a better level of well-being in the body you have, rather than trying to change that body to conform to unrealistic standards of beauty. One of the principle ideas of the body positive movement is to define weight, one of the most restrictive elements of society, as the weight your body is when you are living a reasonable lifestyle, rather than defining it by generic height/weight tables or even arbitrary Body Mass cutoffs. For more information about the body positive movement you can check out these sites about what it is and its primary principles


Why is it so important?
It may seem pretty obvious why it's important to love yourself and your body, but what most people don't understand is why we need to have a month dedicated to loving ourselves. It seems pretty clear that we should be loving ourselves, but this very often is not the case. Because of different industries in our society, Americans struggle to conform and mold themselves to the standards plastered on billboards, magazines, movies, and advertisements. And when we are unable to conform to these standards, we look for faults in ourselves rather than society. Body positivity is important because it focuses on shifting the power away from corporations and onto individuals; rather than looking to the television to figure out how we should look, the body positivity movement is encouraging individuals to define the ideal and fight against unrealistic standards of beauty and fitness. Today, it has become notable for an individual to love the body they have, when it should be self-evident. You can read more about the importance of body positivity here.  


How do I become body positive?
The task of becoming completely body positive seems pretty daunting, and for some people even outright impossible. But there are a few things that we can start doing now, small things, that will move us all towards body positivity. The biggest part of joining the body positive movement is realizing that you have the power to define who you will be and how you will look, and what it comes down to is reminding yourself over and over that you are beautiful no matter what you see on TV. You can find a great article here about little ways to be more body positive in everyday life and different ways to combat cultural images of beauty and worth.