2016 Resolution: Gain Self-Love

 
 

In January, the media bombards us with New Year’s resolutions messaging that inevitably hinges on weight loss. Weight loss is purported as an equation of self: lose pounds to gain self-worth. We are taught that we will be better, healthier people if we take up less space in the world.

 

These “correlations” undermine complex, personal understandings of well-being. Endeavoring towards self-acceptance looks different for everyone. We wanted to offer this reminder, knowing body positive ideas often get buried beneath the heap of good food/bad food lists, workout tutorials, and weight loss support products (apps! gym memberships! ready-made meals!). We wanted to offer a suggestion: that our primary resolution be not to shrink, but to grow and gain in self-love. We’ve compiled some additional resources that you can turn to when you need encouragement:

 

1. Body positive activists and role models: Find people who role model body positivity in ways that you connect with; open yourself to their inspiration and leadership. Compiled by Mashable, this list includes 8 women who leading movements to encourage acceptance of the shapes we take. These include Melissa Fabello of Everyday Feminism, Pia Schiavo-Campo of Mixed Fat Chick, and Sonya Renee Taylor of The Body is Not an Apology. Ragen Chastain of Dances with Fat reminds us: “This year, instead of focusing on being less, let’s focus on being more. Resolve to have more gratitude for everything your body does for you. Take up more space in the world. Speak up more about things that are important to you. Do more joyful movement. Eat more delicious food that nourishes you. This year, instead of trying for to create a ‘new you,’ resolve to take the old you out for a spin. I think you’ll find that she’s pretty spectacular.”

 

2. Body positive journeys: Read accounts of other people’s experiences and discoveries as they recognize media messages and learn to love their own form. For example, Estelle Tang who summarizes her experiences in Rookie. She concludes: “…my body is my constant companion. It’s not an “other.” It’s me.”

 

3. Inspiring self care: Search for modes of self-care that make you feel whole and complete, no matter your size. We were thrilled to recently learn of Black Girl in Om, which “promotes holistic wellness and inner beauty for women of color.” Explore Fariha Roísín and Sara Black McCulloch’s column on the Hairpin, in which they interview women about their self-care methods. Or simply search the “self care” tag on Tumblr for images and words that resonate.

 

We wish you a year of learning about and celebrating yourself, as well as the people who value you and enrich your life!

Vanessa Wright