I spoke to the folks at Proud2Bme a while back about making body positive art. You can find the interview HERE.
If there’s one thing I’d add to what I said, it’s that too often (and especially after reading and thinking about this article) constantly striving to be positive and self-loving can crash and burn (for me personally, at least) by easily becoming one more personal failing to be hard on myself about. I’m guilty when I feel I haven’t done all I could to embrace and love myself on any given day. It is an exhausting prospect, and one born of privilege. When you put the weight entirely on your own shoulders to empower yourself, it becomes easier to crush yourself in turn. Self hate is not your fault. Beauty is a cultural construct. Our society capitalizes on the systematic shaming of bodies. The system is misogynistic, racist, ableist, homophobic and transphobic. You are not a failure if you cannot and do not always love yourself. Rather, the system is a failure for not loving you. When I feel most confident about my body, it’s not on the days I eat lots of salad and repeat affirmations in the mirror. It’s on the days I’m so busy that I have other things on my mind. The days I’m working on projects I’m passionate about, or with friends, or camping and not looking in a mirror for weeks. When I’m not thinking about loving or hating myself, is when I’m happiest. Because it’s then that my ‘beauty’ settles comfortably into the place it belongs: completely irrelevant to my value as a human being.