Today Lindsey and I are continuing the conversation about body positivity that we started in this post last week!
In this chat we addressed questions like where we are both at with body image currently, what has shaped a negative narrative up until this point, and what we are doing to change that.
This is such a complex subject and the more conversations I have surrounding it, the more I am convinced that women are just at the surface of it. You see currently in social media there is a host of #curvygirls who are stepping out with a message of body love (and we are hella proud of them!) but we are realizing that this is a message that all women, thick, thin and anywhere in between need to believe for themselves.
We hope you enjoy the conversation below and join in in the comments. We’d love to hear where you are at with loving your body currently? If there is a negative narrative concerning body image, what has contributed to it? What has helped you shift your mindset?
L | I feel like the goal for everyone should just be positive about their body. That’s not where everyone is though because of how the world is right now. Everything is like you should be like this or that. I feel like everybody’s bodies are built to be so different. We should embrace our bodies for how they are and what they do for us rather than how they look to other people.
J | And I’m not entirely comfortable with my body right now – I just would like to be in better shape, but I’m finally realizing that I’m never going to get there with self hate. Like I love the post that talked about loving your where it is at even if you’re in the process of changing it.
J | So right now I’m trying to shift my mindset to loving my body right now where it’s at in order to care for it even better. And we’ve both felt that, even in reality that we were either too big or too little depending on the crowd. And I don’t think people are necessarily realizing how detrimental their little comments here and there can be. Like as I debunk this mindset and replace it with truth, I know that some of the people that have said these things care for me deeply and honestly wouldn’t have said them if they knew better.
L | And that’s what I think is sad too, is that people feel like they can say things about your body. Just why is that a thing? We have no idea what people are going through or where they are at. And they could be completely healthy even though their body looks completely differently than anothers.
I’m not comfortable right now, but that is based more on how I feel than how I look.
J | And I think that is what it is becoming for me as well. But for awhile it was just that I wanted a
“Bikini body”. But I love that meme I’ve seen going around that says “How to have a bikini body. Have a body and put a bikini on it!” Like that is how it should be.
L | Yess!
J | But for a long time now I have been picking apart these things that I dislike about my body when I’m looking in the mirror. And it’s even made it difficult for me to receive compliments from my husband. I’ll be like well I don’t believe that about myself so he must just be saying that because he has to. And that’s not healthy at all! But the more I love my body, the more I’m able to receive his compliments and even change.
Like even the fact that we’ve been saying we want to start working out again regularly for over 2 years now, we haven’t been loving our bodies. We’ve been hating the parts of our bodies that we want to change so working out feels like a chore or a punishment of sorts.
L | Right. Well and I think it’s easy to focus on an end goal and get too overwhelmed with that. But I don’t really think there should be an end goal as far as what we want to look like, but rather what we wanna feel. And there isn’t really an end to what we’re wanting to do, we want it to be more of a lifestyle change.
J | And it’s not realistic for certain people (even us, unless we actually want to put in that much work) to think our end goal looks like a fitness model. That physically doesn’t work for everybody and that’s OK.
I’m realizing the more conversations I have with people on this topic, how widespread it is. People on all ends of the spectrum have issues with body image and food. And there is so much talk of “good” foods and “bad” foods or “I’m being good today” when you don’t indulge something you want or “I’m being bad today” when you don’t follow a specific diet that day.
L | Yeah, that is not healthy either.
J | I just want to eat food and enjoy it in a balanced way that fuels my body to feel the best that it can. And like this doesn’t even have to be a conversation about transforming your body or eating habits honestly. Like I feel like in many cases women are comfortable in their own skin for themselves but just need that little mindset shift or permission to say it’s okay to love my body this way.
L | Yeah for sure. And if you feel good in your own skin, GO YOU! Keep doing what your doing, seriously!
J | I just wanna add one extra element to the conversation that I feel like shaped much of our perception of our bodies growing up. Which is church culture and even school dress codes to an extent. I kind of wrote a little about this in the post about Why Style & Revival. So just from a revival aspect, God created our bodies and said it was good. But then I was told so many times that my body is too tempting I have to cover it up. And like the get out of jail free card that men often get in the equation. Like in high school I remember having this pretty top that I’d borrowed from my cousin and I felt really good it in. It did have a low cut neckline and I remember a boy saying “I just want to touch them,” about my boobs. I remember sharing my annoyance about it with somebody and they were like “well what’d you expect.” But why because they are there do men feel like they are there for the taking? Like you can acknowledge that my body is beautiful without thinking you have any right to it. That boys will be boys BS won’t be cutting it in my house.
L | That is so stupid. And why is everything so oversexualized and then it is put on us to cover it up.
J | And I’ve even been thinking about how when I’m styling something I will say things like “You may not be able to get away with something if you are bigger on top.” But why not?! Like that has to feel shaming too. I just want to get away from that line of thinking entirely. Our bodies are beautiful, and first of all you can’t hide the curves entirely but even more than that why are we being told too.
L | Yeah I think it needs to be more about you and what you’re comfortable in. Some people are going to love it, some are gonna hate it. Do you!
J | I just want there to be this cultural shift where women are comfortable in their own skin. And, how I’m teaching my boys from a young age, not to sexualize the female body. Like it is a beautiful thing, acknowledge that but don’t take it further than that because it’s not yours to take.
L | Yeah, they’re not all out there for your enjoyment or pleasure. And I think too, that women are better able to lift up other women, when they love their own bodies.
J | Yes! Empowered women, empower women!