Be your own beautiful

Chanelle Hanberry, Staff Writer

In the past, some men and women grew up with the belief that their bodies were not perfect because their bodies did not match a model in a magazine or an actor on a television show. They were pressured into believing that if their bodies didn’t look the same, they wouldn’t have a happy ending like in fairytale books. Young men and women believed that their bodies weren’t perfect because of how society viewed them. Society favored the “hourglass figure” over the “pear figure;” the “pear figure” over the “apple figure.”

To me, body positivity is whenever you accept your body for how it is. You look at all your flaws then you smile and say, “Thank you.” You wouldn’t be you without your flaws. No one has the “perfect body.” Even if you want to be skinnier or bigger, it’s still your body. You are given only one body in your life. The least you can do is treat it well.

Body positivity also means encouraging other people to accept their bodies.  According to sociologist Charles Cooley, “I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” In the past, we were the ones tearing ourselves down based on what we thought people thought about us. Not only do we tear down our own self-esteem but others add fuel to the fire that you’ve already started. If you pass someone and they look really nice, a small compliment could really brighten someone’s day.

Recently, I was on TikTok, and I found multiple pages that promote body positivity. They are all different sizes focusing on the same purpose. People, such as TikToker @peachnspice, normalize flaws and show them off as perfect.

Our flaws are not what define us. We define ourselves – our personality, attitude, posture, even how we speak. We are one with our bodies; our bodies are not one with us.

When I was younger, a friend of mine struggled with self-confidence. In her mind, she believed that she was “ugly,” and that was her reason why no guy wanted to date her. On the outside, people believed that she liked how things were going while on the inside she was hurting. She wanted to look as good as the cheerleaders, but she believed she could never look that way.

In the early 2010s, the body positivity movement emerged. My friend started seeing people with different bodies showing off their flaws. She saw how confident they were. That’s when she started to internalize body positivity and believe that her body wasn’t as bad as she had been made to feel.

In high school, she broke out of her shell and started accepting her body. She started showing off what she had rather than hiding it as she did in middle school. People approached her and wanted to become friends with her. She realized that accepting herself was all she needed to do to be happy. Nowadays, she’s complimenting others, showing off her flaws and telling people, “You’re beautiful, no matter what you look like.”