Proud2Bme | 5 Tips for Fostering Body Positivity in Our Communities

  • Body Image
  • Body Positivity

5 Tips for Fostering Body Positivity in Our Communities

By Devyn Parsons--Body positivity is the idea that all bodies are beautiful and worthy of respect. This seems simple enough, but the existence of body-based discrimination, the lack of diversity of bodies in the media and the prevalence of poor body image all indicate that our society has considerable progress to make before it can be called body positive.

The broad scope and complexity of these issues can make them seem insurmountable. How can one person hope to create a more body positive society when the problems at hand are so large-scale? What can any one individual who cares about body positivity do to make a difference?

As with any social movement, significant change requires the cumulative actions of many individuals over time. A single violinist could never hope to perform an entire symphony on their own, but that doesn’t make their contribution any less valuable.

You don’t need to embark on a large project to be an advocate for body positivity. It’s just as powerful to model self-love and respect for diversity in your daily life, and to encourage your friends and family to be more body positive. With that in mind, here are five simple but meaningful ways to promote body positivity in your community.

1. Be a body positive role model.

Inspire others to become more confident in their own bodies by being unabashed in the celebration of yours. Wear the clothes you love, do away with negative self-talk, and never apologize for any aspect of your body.

2. Don’t be critical of others’ bodies.

Body positivity is about acceptance of all body types. Celebrate diversity rather than passing judgment and others will follow suit.

3. Start body positive dialogues.

When you notice obvious photoshopping in an advertisement, lack of diversity in a movie, or body-shaming in a magazine, point it out and start a conversation about it. You may get people thinking about these issues in a way they never have before.

4. Share positive messages on social media.

If you see a body positive quote, article or piece of artwork that inspires you, share it on Facebook, Tumblr, or whatever social media sites you use. This is a great way to help body positive ideas reach new audiences.

5. Don’t tolerate body negativity from others.

This is both the most challenging and direct method I’ve suggested, simply because most people don’t like to be made aware that what they are saying is harmful or offensive. However, if you’re brave enough to call someone out for being body negative, it can be great opportunity to educate. Try to avoid being confrontational; you want to explain your perspective while being understanding of their own. It’s often most effective to have these conversations one-on-one rather than in a group. 

To create a more body positive society, it’s crucial that messages of self-love and acceptance reach broad audiences, and not just those individuals who are already aware of body positivity and all that it entails. Communicating with your friends and family is a great way to start spreading the word; hopefully these five approaches can help you do that!

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.