During the height of the holiday season, I have seen an increase amount of negative body image pictures circulating social media. The day before Thanksgiving generated a lot of memes and pictures on social media to poke fun at the concept of overeating and being “fat”. As I scrolled through my news feed, I could not help but cringe at these sights. Our culture embraces the concept of health as being thin. Not only is health given set standards, but image is, also, incorporated within the health definition. What many people fail to acknowledge is that every person is different. Therefore, to say that a healthy person should maintain a thin sized body is flawed, to that sense. All bodies are different.
Of course, it is easier said than done. Living in a world consumed with negativity, it may seem impossible to stay positive. Yet, here are some tips that can help you enjoy the holiday, putting aside the negative body shame.
- Change the way that you think about food. Instead of judging certain foods as good or bad, simply refrain from judgement and acknowledge that food is food. Some food may be more nutritious than others. Yet, eating a certain food does not label you as a bad person.
- Speak up. If you find something on social media that is negative or offensive, speak up. No need for negative comments, but rather, reach out to whoever posted that remark and talk to them about it. Calmly, express your opinion and knowledge. You never know how much of an impact you may have.
- Get educated. Research the topic on reputable websites. Knowing the facts and research, provides you with an opportunity to form a valuable opinion and understand both sides to the argument.
- Decrease screen time. The media is filled with negativity. Why not, separate yourself from the screen and enjoy time with family and friends. That is what the holiday season is all about!
- Take time for yourself. Whether it be, through exercise, sports, or your favorite hobby, it’s important to take the time and acknowledge all that your body does for you.
It only takes one person to change the conversation and make the world a more positive place. Will you be that person?