The Art of Body Positivity

Written by: on December 19, 2018
Tags: Guest Blogger, Inspiration, Role Model, Teen, Teen Blogger, Women in Tech

My name is Millie Barnes, I’m 15 years old and I run the Instagram account @the_art_of_body_positivity

There was a time when my appearance was the most important thing to me. It was the thing I cried about most. The thing I thought about most. And the thing I hated most about myself. It was what I saw in the mirror and what other people thought about me was my top priority. I thought that my body was a mistake, a flaw in my character and something that definitely needed to change.  In my mind, I was too fat, too big, too imperfect to ever be beautiful.

Body positivity changed that.

The objective of the body positivity movement is for everyone to love themselves. Love their body, their mind and all their ‘flaws’, no matter what size, gender, colour, sexuality or social class you are. It is a movement that changed my life and a community in which I feel safe. So let me explain in greater detail.

As a society, we put a lot of pressure on our physical appearance. Girls must have clear, radiant, pale skin, perfect glossy hair, plump lips, big eyes, long eyelashes and thick neat eyebrows. They must be tall and skinny, with a flat stomach, perky breasts and an hourglass figure. They must be thin everywhere and have no stretch marks, spots, wrinkles, cellulite, body hair or rolls anywhere on their body. We are told through countless adverts, magazines, billboards, TV shows and images that we see everyday that this is what all women should look like. We are sold these messages from a very young age and society has continually fed us this for generations. We grow up believing that, if we become more like the photoshopped models we see everyday, we will be happier, healthier, more loved people. But let me tell you now, this IS NOT TRUE.

You see, if the media convinces us that we are not good enough – that our skin, weight, hair and bodies are ‘wrong’ – then many will pay to fix the problem. Companies make millions of pounds out of our insecurities, selling us products, potions, pills and plans so that we can achieve the ‘ideal body type’.

But let me tell you the god’s honest truth… Your body is completely perfect. It does not need to fixed or altered. It does not need to be changed or perfected. You may believe that your body is full of flaws and problems. But why do you think that? Because society has taught you to think that way your whole life, making money off it all the while. Companies make money out of creating an impossible body type because if it was attainable, their businesses wouldn’t last very long.

Despite what society has taught me, I know that we do not need to change ourselves. We are ALL incredibly beautiful in our own way. No exceptions. And that includes you.

Wherever you are on your journey of self love, you CAN learn to love yourself. You are worthy, beautiful, incredible and deserving of love. You are enough. Self love is not a destination, it’s a mind set and way of life. It’s not an easy journey and even today I still struggle with certain things. But the more I write, the more I talk to the people, the more I know that you (yes you) have the power to fall in love with yourself.  How ever far off that may seem to you, you can do it.

So next time you look at yourself in the mirror try not count your flaws, try not to look at yourself through the critical eyes of the media. Look at your incredible body, that keeps you alive everyday and say to yourself:

“I am beautiful”

By Millie Barnes, aged 15.

GIF credit: Andrew Ward / Nora Whelan / Buzzfeed
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