Plus-size – why?

Plus-size – why?

We see it everywhere. In the adverts, billboards, clothing apps, TV, social media and even at your everyday bus stop. The list is never-ending. People have been so used to this word. But it never was thought through, was it? Plus-size is something that’s been around since late 20s. It was invented by a man, which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Why would a man want to categorize people by their size, right? Well, let me tell you how it all started.

The woman named Lena Bryant was widowed in early age of her life. She was a dressmaker, providing a good living for her and her son. One day she borrowed some money from her brother-in-law and went to the bank. The officer in the bank misspelled her name as Lane and that’s how “Lane Bryant” came to life. She rented a small place and started selling her clothing line. One day, a pregnant woman came to her shop asking for something “presentable but comfortable”. Lena created a dress with an elastic waistband and accordion-pleated skirt. This piece of clothing soon became known as “maternity dress” and was the best-selling piece in Bryant’s shop.

After Lena Bryant got married, her husband took over the shop and began to expand it. Soon, Albert would establish three types of women figures and made clothing to fit each one (I have so many comments about only 3 types of figures but I will leave it until the end of this post). Maternity clothing quickly was shadowed by “plus-size” clothing. And the phrase is used to this day.

Now, I’m grateful for Lena Bryant Malsin (and her husband David Bryant) to start a clothing line where bigger women are appreciated and look beautiful in their clothes (functioning to this day) but I have just one question – why? There’s so much wrong in calling the clothing for bigger women “plus-size”. Do you agree? Well, let’s review a little bit.

First things first, there’s a “plus-size”. Okay. Why isn’t there “micro-size” too then? If we’re so easy to categorise people by their weight, then sizes from 4 to 8 should be called “micro-sizes”, shouldn’t they? Why did we call people that have more pounds here and there “plus-size” when skinny people are JUST skinny people? There’s no answer to that but I think it’s very wrong. It’s not fair towards bigger people. Some even may find it offensive. Some may take it as a huge attack towards them. There’s something in the word “plus-size” that makes me want to yell. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s just because I find it so hugely inappropriate.

Can we also talk about that all “plus-size” models aren’t really what the name says? They’re always have big booties or bigger thighs, or even bigger boobs, interfering with their body measurements but usually they have flat bellies and no double chin or whatsoever. How’s that plus-size and who said it’s okay to quietly shame women who have those things by calling a supermodel “plus-size” when they’re actually look healthy and normal? We DO care, you know? It’s not fair towards us – that’s the message to every fashion designer ever. Maybe try to use some real big women instead. Women that happen to know what “big” means and women that actually cherish their bodies the way they are – with floppy bellies, saggy boobs and cellulite. Women that care about being true to the world.

I strongly believe that calling ourselves “plus-size” isn’t the right thing to do either. It’s complete opposite – we are hiding behind the word, trying to avoid calling ourselves “fat”. And I know it, I used to do it a lot. But I think, looking at all of those models and calling ourselves the same way they are called is absolutely devastating for our mental health. We see advert with so called “plus-size” and then we look at ourselves and discover that we’re look nowhere near the way the model looks. And it brings us down. I don’t know about you but I’d rather call myself “fat” and be happy than call myself “plus-size” and get disappointed when I don’t live up to their expectations. It messes with out mental health.

I want to raise awareness about how bigger clothes are more expensive. If you’re a bigger woman, you probably know that buying cute clothes is always more expensive for you than your skinny friends. You can buy the same shirt, in the same shop but it will be double the price. Why is that? Well, sellers say that it’s because there’s more fabric used to make it. Well I say – screw you! That’s not because you use more fabric to sew it. Size 2 is bigger than size 0 and size 6 is bigger than 4 and they still cost the same. It’s just the way for companies to shame bigger people because they don’t look like models. They might as well put a tag on our clothes saying “you are different than other people so we will charge you more for it”.

I want you to take a minute right now and think – did it ever hurt you when you’ve heard the word “plus-size”? Does it hurt you right now? How do you feel about it? These days, we have so many great shops for people that are bigger but I wish that they won’t call it “plus-size”. How does simply “fashion for all” sounds like to you? I believe that every size is just a size. Whether it’s a 6 or 16. We are all equally beautiful and we deserve to be treated equally too.

Here is the video of Ashley Graham talking about “plus-size” – I want you to watch it. I want you to see yourself differently and I want you to see that no matter what your size is – you’re beautiful. You are writing your own beauty.

Self-love vs. Narcissism

Self-love vs. Narcissism

This post is written by my amazing friend, Wiktoria. I am very thankful she decided to help me out with my blog and take up on a challenge to write this article. You can find her here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vee.cky/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/wiks_/boards/

I don’t know if living in 21st century is a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, people are more familiar with the importance of the body positivity and self-love topic, but on the other hand, we are being judged for actually believing in it. It is kind of like we should be aware of its existence in general, but that’s all. But why? Why people need this pressuring urge to tell you what you should and what shouldn’t believe in? To set the rules? 

You should love yourself, but not too much. You should be proud of who you are and how you look like, but always try to be a better version of yourself. You don’t have to change, but people don’t like it when you do this and that. You should; you shouldn’t; you have to; you don’t have to… What if you truly love yourself the way you are? What if you don’t want to change because you already are the perfect version of yourself? Does it give you a label of a narcissist? 

Self-love and narcissism are often mistaken these times. It is like you shouldn’t admire yourself too much. It is kind of like they expect you to be unsatisfied with the way you are, even if only with the smallest part of your existence. There is always something wrong. There is always a reason to complain. Otherwise, you are just being a narcissist and that’s unhealthy. 

According to Cambridge Dictionary,


narcissism means putting too much interest in and admiration for your own physical appearance and/or your own abilities.

It is disapproved and can lead to a narcissistic personality disorder in which someone has too much admiration for himself or herself and too much concern with his or her own importance. Now, tell me, is self-love, self-acceptance and not beating yourself for not being enough of such an issue? Is it wrong to make peace with your own self? Let’s compare. 

Self-love is a non-existing term in my favourite Cambridge Dictionary, but you can find it everywhere else around the Internet. Andrea Brandt, a therapist from Santa Monica, speaks out loud about this topic and she even brings up the issue of self-love mistakenly taken as a narcissism. According to one of her articles self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.

Clear, right? Then why people still don’t understand the difference between self-love and narcissism? Personally, I don’t know. Trying to get into someone’s head is pretty tiring and time consuming, that’s why I stopped a long time ago. I still feel the need to educate people, though, so let me tell you something. Loving yourself is never a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you think you’re the best. You are aware you are not and you know that you, as well as everyone else in the entire world, have some disadvantages. You’ve just learnt how to accept them, like them, and love your own self despite them. It’s difficult. It’s a hard journey you have to go through if you really want to get to self-love. And you deserve to be proud of yourself once you get there, or you’re a halfway, or you just started. You have all right to feel good about yourself and no one can take that from you, especially not those who use some terms, not even knowing what they mean.

Did you know that there is a difference? What is the first self-love thing that comes to mind when you think of it?

How to build your self-confidence

How to build your self-confidence

Hi, my name is Liz, and I am the writer behind LizLovesBlog! Topics I write about range from sustainability, fashion, beauty and lifestyle so I was really excited to get a change to write for Monika. 

Self-confidence is something that is tricky to build, and hard to teach. For me, it comes in waves – sometimes I feel super confident and love my body and the way I look, and some days I’m the opposite.

Something I find really hard to say (especially on the internet), is that I like my body. Of course, there are things I would change, and I definitely want to keep progressing and becoming the best version of myself. But I do like the way I look! I feel like we are conditioned into this mindset that we should want to change the way we look and that nobody is happy with how they look but it just doesn’t have to be that way. So these are some of the tips which have helped me to build self-confidence over the last few years.

Practise self-love. 
If you have insecurities about your appearance, challenge yourself to write down (at least) one thing you like about yourself each day for a week. And then at the end of the week you’ll have a long list of positive attributes to look at.

Self-love is something everyone can work on, use affirmations, write them down or speak them into the universe, it might feel silly, but I do believe that this works. 

You also need to take time for yourself, try to take care of your body and appreciate what it does for you. This might mean having a long bath to relax, or it might mean going for a run to clear your head. Self-love is different for everyone so make sure you are doing what feels right for you, and not what you think you should be doing. 


Remove toxic people from your life, and your Instagram feed. 

Surround yourself with people that want you to succeed. Finding people who build you up and support you can make a massive difference to how you feel about yourself. 

Having the right friends can make such a difference when you’re having a bad day or not feeling yourself.  

Along with real-life, you need to follow the right people on social media. It’s no secret that social media has affected the body-image of its users, and it is very easy to get lost in an influencers Instagram feed and end up comparing yourself to them. There are, however, a lot of amazing individuals online who focus on body confidence and loving yourself and are really honest and real. These are the people I want to follow and I think you should too. Remove anyone who makes you feel inferior and follow people who inspire you and boost your confidence. Your social media should be fun and inspiring, if it is anything but this, you need to make some changes.  

Don’t compare yourself to others. 

This is something that I have realised over time and it’s also something I have worked on within myself a lot recently. Everyone is on a different path and what is meant for you will come your way. Whether it’s a relationship or a job interview, comparing yourself to other people will get you nowhere, it’s actually more detrimental to you because it’s a waste of your time and makes you feel worse. 

Growing up it always felt like there was this ‘ideal body type’ and to become attractive I have to fit into that body type, but I had to come to terms with the fact I would never look like that, even if I starved myself or went to the gym for hours every day. And also, this ‘perfect body type’ changes, which makes it even harder to achieve when the goal posts are constantly shifting. Once you realise that all bodies are beautiful in their differences, you can start enjoying life more without worrying about what you look like and what other people think. 

Fake it till you make it.
This is something my mum used to say to me all the time and I never really got it. But it really is true, if you walk into a room of people you have never met before, you can be anyone that you want to be. There are times in my life where I have felt so nervous and unsure of myself, but people thought I was really confident because of the way I acted. 

Nobody knows that you are nervous or unsure of yourself unless you show them. Confidence is very much an act and if you keep acting confident it soon follows naturally. 

If you’re looking for other blogs that talk about confidence, I highly recommend visiting: https://inlpcenter.org/self-confidence/

Where to find Liz:

Blog – http://www.lizlovesblog.co.uk/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lizhartley04/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Lizziejhartley

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/elizabethhartley15/

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Body Positive Babes That Need Your Attention

Body Positive Babes That Need Your Attention

If you are the person who reads my blog regularly, you must know how being body positive is important to me. I talk about it a lot on my Instagram, I love sharing my opinions about it and I wrote a couple of posts on how to be body positive. I think many people associate body positivity with plus size people but body positivity is something that applies to everyone.

We all have something that we don’t necessarily like about ourselves. You maybe were born with something that you don’t like about yourself. Maybe you’ve been in the accident and your body changed. Or maybe you are trying to hide your scars because you think they’re ugly. I have to admit that I hate my body sometimes too. But I blame it on the image that society and Internet painted in my brain; an image I sometimes can’t forget. But there are people who inspire me and make me believe that there is nothing wrong with me and I shouldn’t listen to what other people say.

  1. Megan Jayne Crabbe

This is my favourite person in the entire universe and if I am saying that – I mean it with every piece of my heart! You may know her as @bodyposipanda on Instagram. She’s one of the most positive people I know. Her posts are always so inspiring and I love her videos where she just embraces her body and dance away with such a great attitude. I have been following her on my personal account for about two years now and she helped me throughout so many tough times. She is definitely worth to check out and has a #1 spot on my list.

2. Stephanie Yeboah

Another person whom I love and adore greatly. If body positivity was a person – Stephanie would be it. Just read the caption on the post above. It is so worth it. She’s been inspiring me to be myself for such a long time now and I am grateful for it. Although she probably will never know I exist I treat her like my friend because she’s been with me through the times when no one had my back. Follow Stephanie here.

3. Jules Von Hep

I really had to promote this man – Jules. He is the most hilarious and loveliest person I have ever discovered. Men are struggling with body positivity as well. No thanks to Love Island, men are facing certain standards when it comes to their bodies. There have been increasing body positivity amongst the men nowadays but we still have to show them that is it okay if they don’t have a six-pack or huge muscles. Jules is definitely promoting this mindset. I think he’s fabulous and I love him.

4. Em Ford

View this post on Instagram

At the time this picture was taken… I was the girl with an expensive skincare routine, who found out she had 3 rare health conditions, and nobody to turn to. The girl who felt trapped and too afraid to leave an abusive relationship, so cried herself to sleep every night, covered it up, and pretended everything was okay. The girl who tried her best to keep up appearances and smile through Instagram posts and YouTube videos whilst she dropped to 99lbs, a size 00, and her body began shutting down. The girl who struggled to use her arms, who’s body sometimes didn’t work, who couldn’t remember words or do basic things on a daily basis, yet the doctors didn’t know why. The girl who’s friends barely recognised her. The girl who began to think that maybe she was as crazy as she was led to believe. The girl who didn’t know who she was anymore. The girl who shut herself off from the world. The girl who’s skin began to show the real truth of what she was going through. Or quite simply, the girl who has been through hell and back, to feel as confident and beautiful as she does today. Now if we’re really going to get into specifics, I can assure you that my skincare collection is worth a hell of a lot more than $1,437… but who am I to get in the way of a ‘good meme’ right? I’m just a girl… but I have a story, and my name is Em Ford. This is my story, and I’d love to read yours #imjustagirl. #redefinepretty #skinpositivity #acnepositivity #mypaleskinblog

A post shared by Em Ford (@mypaleskinblog) on

If you don’t know Em Ford, what are you doing?! She’s the girl that has been blogging since 2014 and she’s been very open about her acne. Her Instagram focuses on her makeup looks but also she is not afraid to show her skin (as on the picture above). She can be an inspiration for so many young girls that think makeup will solve the problem and they will love themselves again. Well, newsflash – you have to love your acne skin too to be fully happy with yourself. Em also have a YouTube Channel called My Pale Skin, where she focuses on makeup looks. You have to check her video called REDEFINE PRETTY.

5. Ash Soto

Ash likes to call herself “the girl with the world painted on her body”. You can find her @radiantbambi on Instagram. She has the condition called vitiligo which is a condition that makes your skin lose its pigment cells. She is proud of how her body looks and I am really in love with how confident she is! I refuse to believe she wasn’t self-conscious about it once but now – she is such an inspiration for so many people with or without the same condition. You definitely should follow her for the confidence you want to achieve.

Who is your inspiration? It doesn’t have to be a famous person – it can be a family member or a friend. What do you think about being body positive?

Why Is Body Positivity So Important To Me?

Why Is Body Positivity So Important To Me?

We live in a world where people can be cruel. So many of us at least once in their life heard “you’re so skinny, you should eat more” or “you’re fat, you probably should consider a diet”. We are misunderstood by our loved ones and friends. We always thought there was something wrong with us and that we have to change for them to love us. We didn’t get the support we needed from them. Unfortunately, it made this world bitter and some of us aren’t here anymore.

Some people think that I am being narcissistic when I compliment myself – they don’t understand that by doing that simple thing once or twice a day, I LEARN how to love myself and my body. It helps me to get rid of bad thoughts. It helps me strengthen my character because as long as I love myself, other people’s opinion shouldn’t matter. So why being body positive so important and how does it affect all of us?

Let’s start by discovering what exactly is body positivity? For many people, it means many different things. We all have our views and opinions about it. There are also different parts of the body-positive community. The most basic, dictionary explanation says:

Body positivity is the idea that people should feel happy with and proud of their body, whatever shape or size it is; a movement advocating the view that people should not be ashamed of the appearance of their bodies, or any aspect of this, especially size.

This definition is perfect for me – in every aspect. I think that being proud of how you look is very essential, especially when so many people can tell you otherwise. Being able to love yourself is easier said than done and I know that for a fact. So I pinpointed a few things that explain why body positivity is so important and why should we practice it every day.

Your Body Is Your Soul’s Home

Just think about how important your whole body is – it keeps your organs in. It is like a protective layer that makes sure you are safe and nothing will happen to you. It holds your heart and lungs – the vital organs you cannot live without. It has your tummy where all of this delicious food you eat goes. It absorbs all the vitamins you take in to keep you healthy and strong. But most importantly – it holds your soul. Without a soul, you wouldn’t be the person you are today. It lives within you. It’s its home. Your soul cannot leave your body – it’s permanently there until you die. How can I not love my body if it is the house of one thing that makes me who I am?

Mental Health

Body positivity can be hard, especially when there are still so many people that don’t believe in it. Our mental health is something that should always be taken care of. In the world full of hate be a person who can see positive in negative. See your flaws, acknowledge them, love them. I know your mind probably is trying to bring you down but that’s because most of us have been fed with lies all our lives. We heard that big isn’t beautiful. We’ve heard that being more than size 10 is already too much. Our mental health suffered in many ways because people made us believe that size matter. It doesn’t. What matters is what kind of person you are inside and how you treat people around you.

Having the right mindset is the key to loving yourself. When we love ourselves, our mental health can improve so much. It is all about how we perceive ourselves, not how others see us. Seeing ourselves in a positive light can decrease depression and anxiety, making us happier people in general. I used to tell myself that I’ll never be enough but one day I woke up and realised I am. I might be big but my heart is so much bigger.

Losing Or Gaining Weight Won’t Necessarily Make You Love Your Body

I’ve heard it so many times before – “you’d be so much happier if you were skinnier”, “losing weight is necessary to love yourself”, “you cannot love your fat rolls. They’re disgusting”. Well, here I am, wearing my crop top, writing this blog post and waving my middle finger at everyone who said that to me. I used to want to lose weight so badly once. I thought that I can’t love myself if I will be big. My whole life I was being watched on how much I eat, what I eat and if I exercise enough. I even starved myself at one point in my life just to lose pounds. It wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t right. But I didn’t know that back then.

The first time I realised I am losing weight for other people but not for myself was the first time I said “no” to the voice inside my head that was making me do all of those horrible things. And it felt good. I finally realised that losing weight is making me more and more miserable instead of happy as people said. And I stopped. I stopped caring about how much I weight because I realise that it didn’t matter. Losing or gaining weight won’t necessarily make you happy and in love with your looks. Let’s be honest here – if you don’t like your body before losing – you’re already on the wrong track.

For me, the right attitude for that should be: “hey, I love my body but I want to improve it. I want to feel better and healthier. I want to live longer. My body is lovable no matter my size”.

Equality

We know, a long time ago, women fought for equal rights against angry men that couldn’t imagine a woman in the higher positions such as governors, Parliament members or even presidents. But I want to talk about a different form of equality. The one that supports all the sizes and shapes. For some people, it is hard to keep an open mind. They don’t believe that fat people are just people who have fat. They believe we are an entirely different species (or at least that’s what I’ve heard). There is no equality when it comes to different sizes. We were born into a world where being fat is wrong and inappropriate. Where people will look at you weirdly when you are tiny because of your metabolism. There is no right way in this world. Fat – wrong. Skinny – wrong. You just simply cannot please the crowd. I really would like for people to see us, plus-size babes, as an equal to all of the skinny gals. After all, we are only people and it is only right to treat everyone the same.

Confidence

One of the most popular misconceptions about big bodies is that we don’t have any confidence in ourselves. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. I know so many people with bigger sizes that are so confident in their skin they love to post their photos online. I am one of them. I love my body. I think my back rolls are cute and my thick thighs are so lovable. I want to believe that I am as pretty as any other human being. Being fat doesn’t make me ugly in instant. Just because I have some more fat doesn’t mean I am not beautiful and I will be shy like a mouse. Yes, some of us may not be the most confident people in the world but it is learnable – it doesn’t always come easy.

That’s why we need to support each other and boost our confidence by talking about it, showing it, being fans of one another. We have to help people who are not in this place yet by hyping them up, telling them how good they look, just showing them our support and love. It doesn’t take much to make a struggling person happy. One compliment can change their whole day.

To summarise, self-love isn’t easy. It’s a process – long and sometimes very tiring. We need help from one another to make it easier. There will be moments when you will doubt yourself and that’s okay. Doubt is part of the process. If you can go past that, nothing will be impossible for you. So put on your cute dress, make yourself a drink, stare at yourself in the mirror complementing every inch of your body and enjoy you it as much as you can!

What body positivity is for you? Do you agree with me? What do you do to boost your confidence up?

Let me know in the comments!

How To Be Body Positive – Part 2

How To Be Body Positive – Part 2

Yesterday I published the first part of How To Be Body Positive. I didn’t think I will make a part two but after talking to my friends for awhile they shined a light on a different aspects of body positivity and self-love. Things that I wasn’t really processing in the previous post. I was impressed by how their minds work and how passionate they were about it so I asked them to make a list of some tips for me and I promised I’ll create a post about it.

The definition of self-love in one of the online dictionaries says that it’s an appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue, proper regard for and attention to one’s own happiness or well-being. In simpler words, it is a lifestyle where you accept yourself for who you are, with all of your flaws and imperfections. So what else can we do to feel better with who we are?

Understand you’re unique

It’s something that we are struggling a lot with nowadays. Some of the people are trying so hard to look like models and be perfect. They’re using the creams for stretch marks and wicked machines to break the cellulite, everything just so they can look like others. I believe perfection comes with imperfections that we have to accept. After all, our imperfections make us who we are and no one is the same as you. You are the only person looking exactly like you. And there might be someone who looks similar but they will never be you.

Accept your flaws as a part of you only you can change

Let’s face it – we all have flaws. Nobody is completely perfect. And that’s okay. We don’t need to be perfect. Our flaws are something that makes us unique. Taking me for an example, my jaw is crooked a bit to one side so when I smile it looks a bit weird. But I learned how to love it because it makes me who I am. And yes, I could change it but why would I do that? I love this flaw. And I won’t stop because someone once told me that I should get a jaw augmentation to correct it. It is mine and only mine. And simply I can decide what I’ll do with it. So accept yourself the way you are. Love yourself, all of you, no matter how big or small.

Stop comparing yourself with others

There is simply no point in it. Just as I said – you are unique, so comparing yourself to somebody else would just be silly. I used to do this a lot, I believe we all did at some point in life. Mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and wishing we had what others have. Instead, try to think of you and others as equal people. No one is better than you, no one is prettier than you, no one is greater than you. They may have money but money can’t buy your happiness. It can buy you expensive things you can surround yourself with but it won’t fill your heart. You happiness starts with you and how you perceive it.

Respect your body and mind

Get rid of bad habits. I know, it’s easier said than done. I’ve been going in circles on this one. I just can’t give up pizza nights and crisps. I still eat healthy foods but I don’t care about calories that much. I don’t intend to change anything about myself as I love myself the way I am. But not everyone will feel like that. As much as you love yourself you can have plans to lose weight for your happiness and satisfaction. Eating properly and doing some exercise can help you see that you’re owner of your body and only you can make it look different. Let your mind get a rest from the information coming through TV or Internet by doing some hobbies you have. I personally like to take a little time to meditate in the morning and in the evening or do some yoga.

Create personal boundaries

If there is something you don’t like when you’re around your friends, for example they are talking about something that makes you uncomfortable, talk about it! They are your friends and they have to accept your decision and how you feel about things. These aren’t necessarily words, they can also be actions. How many times you got stuck in the situation where you didn’t like what is happening but you were too scared to say anything about it so you just suffered in silence? It’s through personal boundaries that people will know what you allow and what you don’t, and they will adjust to you. You’ll also become a better judge of people, creating a space where only the most important and understanding will get a place.

Encourage yourself everyday

When you achieve your goals, even the smallest ones, encourage yourself in every possible way. You got up today and dressed? Tick! You achieved something! You did your exercise today (even if it was only 10 minutes)? Perfect! You ate a home-cooked meal that you cooked all by yourself? Amazing! Everything you do can be an achievement that could encourage you to do better! And when you are finally comfortable with setting yourself some bigger goals, you’ll see that you can do anything you put your mind to! So grab a notebook, write down things you’ve always wanted to do but never get a chance to and work to reach it!

Nowadays people have so many things to do, whether it’s taking care of family or working 12 hour shifts that they forget about taking care of themselves. Why won’t we switch things up a little and start to think more about ourselves. Take your time, own it. Be your own boss.

What do you think about these tips? Do you think you can do anything? How do you feel about taking more time for yourself?

How To Be Body Positive?

How To Be Body Positive?

I know a few things about self-love.

I sometimes have this horrible moments when I hate my body so much that I can’t look at myself in the mirror. I guess we all do, right? I used to be bullied because of how I look. People in my life have been telling me constantly how I should lose weight and be skinnier and that didn’t help me with loving myself. It just made it worse on every possible level. I always weighted a few pounds more than I should and I was fine with it until I started going through puberty. My mum was obsessed with me watching what I eat and how much I eat. She would constantly push me to exercise and do things I didn’t want to do. It made me miserable. I felt like I couldn’t eat a packet of crisps without her noticing my weight gain. I didn’t want to feel like that and I know it was a main reason I moved to the UK, away from my family.

Self-love isn’t easy. It’s complicated and hard, especially when there’s so many people thinking that fat girls cannot be loved, when there is so many diets promoted on every possible social media. I am size 20 right now and I am happier than when I was size 12. I don’t know why, but gaining weight made me realise that the only person that must accept me is myself. I worked hard on restoring my confidence and my positivity and I am finally here. How I did that, you may ask? I created a self-love routine that helped me to see myself in a different light.

What’s self-love? Well, to me, it’s an ability to appreciate my own worth. It’s focusing on your happiness and well-being. It’s the love for yourself and pride in being the way you are. It’s your mental health and awareness of thoughts you’re thinking. It’s self-respect that every person should have to their bodies.

Creating self-love can take days, months or even years but it doesn’t matter as long as you try. It took me a long time to actually mean some of the things I said to my fat reflection. “I love you the way you are” I said. “No, you fat bitch, go lose weight!” my mind followed. It happened every time. I ‘m sure if you’re like me you understand. I want to share with you some tips on how to start self-love routine, how to keep track of how you are feeling about yourself and make yourself a happy, accepting person that controls the way of thinking about yourself.

Tell yourself something nice every day.

”You look beautiful”. ”I like your t-shirt”. ”Your butt looks great”. ”You are worthy”. Those are only some of the phrases I tell myself every day. It doesn’t matter if you actually mean it because I am pretty sure you won’t. It will feel like you’re forcing yourself to make it work. And it’s okay. It takes time. It will hurt at the beginning, but it will be worth it. You can use anything positive that comes to your mind. As human beings, we’re afraid of saying things like that out loud because some people may think we’re narcissistic. Maybe I am. It’s alright sometimes, so try to find something positive about yourself every day until those little pieces will come together and you’ll see yourself as a beautiful person you truly are.

Touch your body with love

I know so many people that hate their bodies so much they sometimes hit it with anger, treat it as it is not a part of their bodies and they just want out of it. It’s mostly stomach or thighs that we don’t like about ourselves. It’s terrifying to think about how much negative thoughts we have in our minds. I can already tell you – it’s not the way to make it better. And it never will be. Instead, try to caress your body slowly, with love. Look at it, smile to it. Bond with it. Realise that your body is only yours and you have to love it first before anyone else can love you for it.

Smile to yourself in the mirror

I used to look at myself, at my reflection and point out everything that’s wrong with me. Every flaw that my body has – every little stretch mark, every bit of cellulite. And I never smiled. It made me depressed because my thighs weren’t small and my belly was floppy and ugly. Right now, standing in front of the mirror and staring at my reflection I smile. Every time. I smile to my thighs, thanking them for being big and thick. I smile to my belly to let it know that I love it and there’s nothing wrong with it – it keeps all of the important parts of you inside, why would you hate it? Try to do the same. Be thoughtful of how your body looks like. Be happy that your body is the way that no one else’s body is.

Create skincare/self-care routine

Usually, when I wake up I drink a glass of water, dress up and proceed with my skincare routine. I wash my face, put oils and eye cream and then put some moisturiser on. Somehow that simple act in the morning makes me more confident. It makes me feel fresh and, somehow, fearless. If you don’t have the time for skincare routine in the morning, don’t worry – you can do it in the evening. Instead of skincare routine when you wake up, you could try some 5-minute meditation or read a small part of a book. Just a something to remind you that it’s a new day and there are new challenges waiting for you.

Try ”got home” routine

The ”got home” routine can help you to prioritise yourself. Many women think about lots of things to do before they think about themselves. It’s always kids, dinner plans, feeding pets, etc. Have you ever came back home and didn’t even take your shoes off – you just went straight to the kitchen and started cooking because your partner will be home soon and you feel like you need to satisfy them before you? That needs to change. Take your time. Take your shoes off. Change your clothes into something comfortable. Take care of your hair, hell, take a shower if you need to. You’re important. PRIORITISE YOURSELF.

Start a journal

It helped me a lot to write about my feelings and write down my thoughts. I do it in the morning, for about five minutes and then reflect on it in the evening. It made me realise that some of my problems aren’t even problems. It was just my mind trying to bring me down. It can help you to track your progress to self-love and body positivity. It’s helpful with changing your thoughts and putting them on the right track. Try to buy a small journal at first and then you’ll see that a small one is not enough because you have so much to write down. And it’s awesome, keep going. You’re on the right track to self-love, mindfulness, and acceptance!

Being self-loving, self-caring human being is not always going to be easy. There’s too much hate in this world for this to work entirely right. There are people who will try to bring you down. They will try to change you but no matter what, I want you to remember that you don’t have to change for anything. You’re perfect just the way you are. I believe if we take a few small steps, one by one, we can change a lot. If body positive community will grow we can take over the world!

What do you think about body positivity? Do you think it’s something we should or shouldn’t practise?