top of page

True Body Positivity + Self Love

I was honoured to be asked to write a little something for the LSW series on Self-Love - here is what I wrote:

Self-love. Something most of us could do with a little more of! As a business owner whose

entire focus is to build self-compassion and belief in women, you’d think I’d have all the

answers, but lemme tell you - I don’t. What I do know is that we, as women, have been

socialised from the moment we were conceived to believe our value is determined by how we

look. We have a whole history of un-learning to do. Now, after a lorra lorra personal growth, on

those days that I am full to the brim with self loathing I notice it, take a step back and forgive

myself - knowing that it is the system at fault, not me. Now, as time passes the number of times

I self-depricate is decreasing and my self-worth is growing - so I guess I have some answers.

There is a hella lot of pressure to be “body positive”, as if that is what we need - more pressure.

Like a few social media posts are going to change a lifetime of brainwashing. True body

positivity isn’t standing in the mirror nude and telling yourself you are beautiful, it isn’t the act of

believing you are beautiful despite your “flaws”. True body positivity really has nothing to do with

your body or how you look, it is the unpicking of the narratives and stories you tell yourself

about your worth, it is the realisation that you are valuable - totally regardless of how you look.

I dunno if you know but NEWSFLASH you can now be fat according to beauty standards. The

body positivity movement seen on social media and in the press, with women like Iskra and

Ashley Graham at its forefront, is yet another example of capitalist marketing telling us how we

should feel about our bodies. You can be fat, but only the right kind of fat AND if you don’t love

yourself - why girl!?

Imagine all the energy you have spent throughout your life focussing on your body, what you

eat, what you wear, how you do your hair, make-up etc etc, if you’re anything like me you’ll have

felt the depths of emotion entirely triggered by weight gain or what you see in the mirror, or felt

utter shame because of a series of photos, dreaded seeing people from your past because of

how you look…There have been huge celebrations in my life that I have been unable to enjoy

because I have been so consumed with what I looked like, or have been uncomfortable in an

outfit and self-conscious. There have been career opportunities I haven't felt worthy of because

I’ve felt fat. Every single meal tortured by what I want to eat, and what I “should” eat. Planning

life around diets and being consumed with guilt when I break it. When I look back at my

relationship with my body and food it feels absurd, but I know that the majority of women in my

life have experienced the same. Now imagine taking that energy and directing it into your

career, or your passions, your relationships, experiences etc and imagine investing all the

money you have spent on meeting unrealistic beauty standards on joyful experiences. You’d

feel rich! Or even spend that energy of telling yourself you are worthy! You can see why body

positivity and fat phobia are huge feminist issues when beauty standards are constructed by the

men at the top of the ladder. I could go on about this, but I won’t because what you came here

for is to learn more about self-love but if you want to learn more about fat phobia head to The

Anti Diet Riot Club - a rebel community fighting against diet culture.

So what can I tell you about body positivity that can help you love yourself more?

First of all, I need to remind you that you ARE more valuable than how you look. Your value is

immense and immeasurable. I don’t personally know you but I can’t name a single woman who

does not possess immense value, so logic tells me every one of us is worthy. The trick is

realising what those things are. I, for example, am an excellent friend, partner and mother -

some things our society does not deem valuable. I am also really creative, compassionate,

patient and loyal. I make really good food and have a fantastic appetite for new eating

experiences! I have immeasurable empathy, a blessing and a curse. I am emotionally intelligent,

thanks to all the empathy. I am super observant, and a great project manager. There’s loads of

things that make me valuable beyond how I look, a barrel load. It took me some time to realise

it, but now when those toxic demons raise their heads I have something to fall back on - I am

enough exactly as I am, I am more than a body. And you are too.

So, some practical advice:

The thing that comes up time and time again with clients when asked what makes them

valuable, is that they don’t know. In those moments, I encourage them to turn to the people they

love and ask them the question - what am I really good at? What are my values? Why do you

love me? Gather those things into a notebook and keep hold of it. If you struggle to know your

worth, write it down, add to the list and come back to it time and time again. Your own little love

note to yourself.

This is what I love about the LSW Mind Journal. The prompts in the journal can be specifically

used for body positivity and helping you notice the stories you tell yourself and how often you

truly are affected by how you feel about your body.

Because, like with anything else, knowledge is power - and the first step to freedom from diet

culture is knowing how it has affected you and what it triggers within you each day. So that you

can become aware of it happening, pause and let go of it. Time after time. Until those thoughts

stop coming.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post for LSW Self-Love Series. I am Ella - owner of The Pink

Room. A shop + therapy space in Leeds that is entirely dedicated to empowering women and

freeing us all from patriarchal conditioning.

You are enough. Exactly as you are, right now.

26 views0 comments


bottom of page