The media is saturated with images of unattainable thinness and beauty, rarely including women and men of diverse sizes. How do we combat all this negativity? The body positive movement.

Be critical

The first step to achieving body positivity is becoming an active, educated and critical consumer of media, which is a concept known as media literacy. Media literacy teaches us to view mainstream media messages through a critical lens, and to see the subversive messages hidden in the content.

Literacy counts

We can use media literacy tools to reject our culture’s impossibly narrow standards of weight and beauty.

Body positivity is an active process. Here are some tips to help you live a body-positive life:

  1. Take a stand against negative media messages. You can start by boycotting magazines that perpetuate unrealistic beauty/body ideals.

  2. Try an act of body activism, such as posting “love your body” signs in the restroom.

  3. Take on the body bullies by shifting the conversation away from negative body talk.

  4. Follow body positive organizations and activists on social media, while removing any body shamers.

  5. Stand in front of the mirror and write down 5 to 10 positive qualities, including both physical and non-physical attributes.

Body positivity can take many forms, from outspoken advocacy to personal rejection of the thin ideal. Whether you follow the tips above, or come up with your own, I encourage you to be the change and cultivate a body positive environment.