For anyone following the body-positive movement and lives on the fringes of it, it can be a perplexing thing.
"How do they stay so confident?"
"Why can't I be like that?"
Take it from us: It isn't without its struggles. Being body positive isn't a black-and-white thing — just because you're trying to practice self-love doesn't mean you'll get it right all the time. If you're on the journey to loving yourself, know it is OK to feel all the feels, and that these struggles are completely normal, valid, and part of the growing process.
Here are eight struggles even the most body-positive people still go through.
Feeling like you absolutely have to love your body at all times, and feeling massive guilt when you don't.
If you're labeling yourself as body positive, that means you have to be that ALL the time, right?
While that is absolutely the goal, and it'd be nice to simply love your body endlessly, the reality is you're going to have bad days. And with those bad days come opportunities for growth. The idea is to love yourself unconditionally, even in the face of things you don't like — to not wallow in the self hate. You can still promote body positivity and have limits yourself: You're a work in progress. Cut yourself some slack.
Feeling like you aren't allowed to let trolls get to you.
Listen, loving yourself or not, when people are assholes IT. SUCKS. You are absolutely entitled to your feelings about what jerks have to say on the internet, but the key is to teach yourself how to rise above. Make yourself a list of clapbacks or simply let them scream into the void.
People assuming your confidence is cockiness.
Loving yourself is not the same as being full of yourself. Having a healthy appreciation for who you are doesn't make you a narcissistic asshole. Flaunting who you are with pride is simply showing the world that you are here, and have a right to be so.
Feeling like you can't change your body.
This is a touchy one for a lot of people, but being a body-positive person does not mean you can't change your body. If you want or need to lose weight, gain weight, or do nothing at all, that is YOUR choice.
The goal is to love yourself unconditionally and not to feed into the damaging diet culture that perpetuates the notion that you aren't worthy as you are. That doesn't mean you have to be only one thing forever.
People assuming that only fat people and women need body positivity.
Thin people, men, women — whatever you identify as or look like, you can be a BoPo warrior and need the movement. However, understand that the movement is to elevate and celebrate what is not considered mainstream. So if you see images of fatter, gender non-conforming, hairy women floating around, it is because the movement's goal is to normalize all bodies, and the folks that fall into the mainstream already have that privilege. That doesn't give anyone else the right to tell you that you aren't struggling in your own way.
Feeling obligated to share everything.
Only YOU get to be the writer of your story. You do not HAVE to share every triumph and failure to be a true BoPo person.
People assuming you're only seeking attention.
To be fair, this is half true — however the attention is really more like awareness: that you're here, that you have the right to be. And that you deserve to be seen and appreciated too.
Feeling obligated to dress provocatively in order to show off self love.
You don't have to pose in your underwear from the most unflattering angle to champion body positivity. It's about doing you, for you, unapologetically, while building others up. You want to post a bathroom selfie with nothing but black bars covering your nipples? GREAT. Want to wear loose clothing and still feel sexy? COOL.
The only right way to walk this road is to do it your own way.