The Meaning of Body Acceptance
Body acceptance is a plethora of things. It’s liking who you are regardless of the way you look. It’s not judging others by their appearance. It’s believing the skin we exist has no moral values – it can’t be good or bad. It’s just skin! It’s removing the stigma surrounding weight and health. And overall, it’s knowing that the way you look doesn’t determine who you are or what you are destined to do.
There’s a stark difference between body positivity and body acceptance – the main one being that body positivity forces you to always like and adore the skin you exist in. Now, that’s just not real life. Our brains don’t work that way. No matter what point in the relationship with your body that you reach, you are never going to like it 365 days of the year. It’s not a stagnant thing; our minds, our perception, and our bodies are ever changing. As is the media and their portrayal of what the ‘ideal body’ should be.
That’s where body acceptance comes in. It’s not just about coming to terms with yourself and moving on. It’s an ever-growing, everchanging task of accepting your body for what it is: a body. It’s not something that determines the be all and end all of everything. It does not measure your worth. It does not determine how lovable you are. It’s just a sack of skin with some bones and goo thrown in there – gross, but also pretty amazing.
Body acceptance is knowing that you are not a fashion statement. You are a human. Your body has kept you alive for your entire life and that alone should be enough for you to respect it.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to love your body. Sure, it’s pretty wonderful if you do, and something I would suggest to strive for (slowly). But it’s not imperative. You have to be kind to yourself. Kindness, always, should be paramount.
Kindness to your stomach. Your thighs. Your arms. Your chins. The stretchmarks on your hips. The dimples on your waist. The sagging skin on your back. Kindness to you for surviving every single day so far.