HI there, my name is Lana & I'm so happy to be able to share my little option piece about my thoughts and journey with body positivity during these crazy covid times. I hope my thoughts and writing help you in some way :)
There is so much pressure today to embrace the body positivity movement, but how does that look, feel, and translate into reality?
Does body positivity mean that I relax and let my body just be as it is because all bodies are made beautiful? Should I work on my body because apparently nothing is sexier than a perfectly rounded and toned bootie? Should I start sipping almond latte’s, join a yoga studio and subscribe to the modern cult-mindsets of ‘wellbeing is king’? Should I start doing exercises because “we are in a lockdown ladies and it does not mean we can relax, There are no excuses”?
What does body positivity say about my practical, financial and anatomical limitations?
Also , what does the doctrine of body positivity say about depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health issues that arrive from the lockdowns we’ve found ourselves in these last few years?
Is it ok to admit that body positivity does not feel very positive anymore when there are so many conditions placed on my appearance?
I don’t think I’m the only one that would admit that the last 12 months have been very challenging. Personally, I’ve experienced my marriage breakdown, major back surgery, chronic pain, and weight gain from all these things combined. I’ve gone from what I thought was the dream relationship/ reality to being alone during the Melbourne lockdowns after a major back surgery.
I’ve followed the body positivity movement with trepidation and after the year I’ve had, I feel like I don’t want body positivity; I moreso want body neutrality.
What does this mean you ask? For me, it means that I don’t want all this attention or spotlight on the shape or size of my body. Social media sells/markets a glossy glamours life style, but we all know the reality of life is that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows 24/7. The everchanging ‘standard of beauty’ that are constantly being marketed to us leave me feeling stressed and I feeling like it’s all unattainable.
It’s only after my recent back surgery that I realised this body has been carrying me for the last 32 years and I need to care more about the health of my body instead of always focusing on the aesthetics. I want to provide food, rest, joy, physical activity and love to my body; not shame, guilt and stress. I want to be loved, be healthy, wear good clothes that make me feel comfortable and confident. Like everyone, I don’t want to be judged or identified only via my body, I am much more than that.
In this way I want both neutrality and positivity for my mind and body. To be in a place of balance where my mind, soul and body are fed by standards of love, kindness and peace. Understandably, this journey of the mind and body are not quick ventures and will take my life to perfect, there are no quick fixes. I think the most important part of this journey of self-discovery is to simply begin and be open to change.
* This photo is an image Lana has made of the glamorous Grace of Monico if she wore our Pink Waratah print ;)