If You're Tired of Trying to, "Love Your Flaws," You're Not Alone. There's More to This.
It's 2019 (in case, like me, you're still sometimes forgetting, 5 months into the year).
Body positivity has gone relatively mainstream (although, to be wholly accurate, the mainstream version of body positivity is, well, not wholly accurate to its original intention. "Body positivity" is based in the fat liberation movement, a social movement seeking to change anti-fat bias by raising awareness of and eliminating societal discrimination toward folks living in larger bodies. There are lots of sources to learn more about this, and some of my favorite Instagram accounts include @thefatsextherapist, @yrfatfriend, @chairbreaker, and @jervae, among many many others.).
I've learned a lot from listening, and one of the biggest things I've learned is the whole, "love your flaws," message of body positivity? Yeah, that's not it.
First and foremost, when we name something (anything!) about our bodies a, "flaw," whose definition are we using?
Who decided anything was wrong with our bodies, or any one particular part of it?
Where did that idea come from?
What are we saying about other bodies that also exhibit those features?
We won't be talking about, "loving your flaws," here, for quite a few reasons, but perhaps the most universal one?
I don't think that's a goal you really have, when we get down to it.
I don't think it would make you feel good to pick on some body part you've been told needs to be fixed, agonize in the mirror over it every morning to keep it top of mind all the time, only buy clothes that cover it up, and somehow be totally hype about it anyway.
It doesn't make sense.
Marketing to you that way is dishonest, IMO.
I didn't always think this way, though; like you, I remained convinced that if I just had the right program or the right food on my plate or the right level of self-esteem, then I'd embrace every part of my body, love myself, and be one of *those* people.
It took a lot of zooming out, being asked a TON of questions by clients, and taking a hell of a lot of seats for me to realize, what most of us ACTUALLY want is to feel good in our bodies, to be safe in our bodies, to be respected in our bodies, to be left tf alone about our bodies, and to do what we want with our bodies.
Ultimately, most of us want to think about (and criticize) our bodies (and ALL bodies) less, so we can be more of who we are, beyond our bodies.
(There's a whole you under there, you know?)
This has caused a huge shift in my fitness business, a realignment for which my soul has been aching for years. I don't get it right all the time, but what I do, these days, is coach womxn (and some men) to feel comfortable in their bodies, to feel confident in their lives, and to feel strong in their souls.
Through strength training, often, but not always.
VERY often (read: always, with varying degrees of subtlety), this is accompanied by a heavy dose of introspection, a shift in perspective, and a change of habits (especially with respect to language, expectations, and standards).
For those of you that are here for this sort of work, whether you've been here from the very beginning or are new around these parts, I'm so grateful. The conversations we've been having have been incredibly thoughtful, nuanced, and, ultimately, liberating.
I'm excited to continue these conversations, letting out more of what's on my mind and heart, sharing more of what I'm reading, and hearing from more of you as we grow here.
Is there anything in particular you'd like to see covered? Anything you want to learn more about? What have you been really enjoying here?
I'd LOVE to hear more about it, and write about more of what you want to read about, and hear from more of you.
Hit reply and let me know!