Why Body Positive?

 

 

 

 

 

     

So much of the sense of disconnection that I experienced prior to the start of my mermaiding journey seemed to start with my feelings about my body.

I wasn't present in my body or in myself, and I felt angry that I'd spent so long suffering with chronic back pain. Angry that my body had changed so quickly after childbirth from a thing of beauty to something invisible and (as I perceived it at the time) considered vaguely disgusting by the rest of society. Anxiety originally triggered by back pain began to further my sense of disconnection.

 

Our bodies are the vehicle through which we inhabit the world, and experience it. If we don't feel we don't feel that safe warm glow we get when we are seen and valued or we don't feel that the world accepts and celebrates what we look like, it's a lot harder to bring the sparkle that everyone of us was clearly meant to put out into the world.

And it feels harder to find connection with others if we aren't even connected to our own bodies.

 

I think of being body positive as a kind of mindfulness about your body and other people's bodies. Noticing our feelings about our bodies, and noticing what we say to other people about bodies, how we treat our body, and other people's bodies, and how that makes them feel.

Noticing that some bodies receive more acceptance and privilege than others. I think of it more of a practice, rather than a point you arrive at, a bit like yoga or meditation.  You can still be body positive, but not feel good about your own body right now. 

 In our social media fuelled world, its hard to avoid absorbing the implicit messages of what bodies are 'supposed' to look like : slim, healthy, young, white, able-bodied, straight, cisgendered, unscarred, happy, pretty, 'normal'.  

And if your body doesn't fit into that vision that we receive on a daily basis, it can be hard to create a vision of body-love or body-beautiful that allows you to accept and celebrate your body.

 I felt so embarrassed about sharing my dreams of being a mermaid when I first realised them, because I thought people would laugh,expecting mermaids to be slim and super beautiful. Luckily more and more we are seeing  people standing up for diverse representation of all body types, but I still think its important to make the statement that 'every body is welcome here'.