I wasn’t put in the world just to be
looked at or to fit a societal standard of
The body positive movement encourages people to accept and respect their bodies, as well as others’ bodies. It is also recognizing that our self-worth is not dependent on how we look, and that everyone is worthy of love.
One day when I was researching body positivity, I came across Megan Jayne Crabbe on Instagram. Megan has recovered from anorexia, and now has the mission to spread body positivity. Her confidence, strength, and wisdom was inspiring to me.
I reached out to Megan and asked her some questions about her journey to body positivity, advice she has for those struggling with body positivity, and how body positivity has changed her life. I want to share her answers with you!
With how pervasive unrealistic body ideals are in our culture, how did you begin by shutting those out?
Megan: “I think the first step in learning how to combat unrealistic body ideals is recognizing how damaging they are, and questioning where they come from in the first place. Once we realize that these ideals are things that we’ve been taught in order to proliferate industries that profit from our insecurities, we can see how hollow they are.They are quite literally made up. Should we continue to sacrifice our mental health and well-being trying to attain a fabricated image? Keep questioning, question everything that you’ve been taught about beauty, worth, and happiness.”
How have you kept your body positive mindset in moments where you have felt shame about your body?
Megan: “It’s essential that in learning body acceptance we don’t just stop at learning to feel confident with how we look. We also have to learn that we are so much more than how we look. So even if I’m having a day where I don’t feel totally in love with my body, I can remind myself that how my body looks is such a small part of who I am, and I wasn’t put in the world just to be looked at or to fit a societal standard of beauty.We are more than our bodies.”
How has body positivity changed your life?
Megan: “Body positivity gave me a life back that I didn’t believe I was worthy of living. I spent so many years believing that my real life would start happening once I’d lost weight, but since there was always more weight to lose and new ways to hate my body, it never did start. Now I’m not waiting for my body to change in order to experience life, I’m just experiencing it. I realize now that my body was never the problem, only my mindset.”
Pursuing a body positive mindset can be difficult at times. With the societal messages we have been sent every day of our lives about bodies, it is understandable to find the transition to body positivity challenging. For those who are wanting to be body positive, but still struggle with negative body image, Megan has a great post on her website titled “What To Do If You Just Can’t Love Your Body” and you can read it here.
Megan Jayne Crabbe (bodyposipanda) is one of many body positive figures on Instagram. Instagram can be a toxic place for those struggling with body image. If you want to begin the journey to body positivity, I highly recommend following Megan and other body positive Instagrammers. In addition, unfollow people who make you feel that your body isn’t good enough. You can begin by searching #bodypositive and #BoPo. The journey to body positivity isn’t always easy, and you will have bad days. Beginning to realize that you are worthy of love no matter how you look is a great way to start your journey.
Books that helped Megan shift her mindset and learn about body positivity:
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
Losing It by Laura Fraser
Body of Truth by Harriet Brown
Fat! So? by Marilyn Wann
Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon