Today is Body Confidence Day, a time to honor our unique and amazing bodies and selves! We’ll be celebrating on Twitter with a #NEDAchat on body positivity, diverse role models, and self-care techniques. Aerie model Iskra Lawrence, singer/songwriter Matthew Koma, and our other panelists will share personal experiences, helpful tips, and resources for support. Tune in by following @nedastaff and #NEDAchat on Twitter today from 2-3pm ET!
In the meantime, five of our writers bravely shared their body-confidence journeys. Check out what they had to say below:
Stephanie Ziajka: “Unconditional self-love is a beautiful thing, but the journey to personal acceptance and body confidence doesn’t come without tribulation. As difficult as it was for me personally, once I started accepting my perceived flaws and imperfections as beautiful, I finally began to feel like I was thriving for the first time in my life. Body confidence has made me happier than any diet, dress size, or number on a scale ever could.”
Katrin Alyss: “My body confidence really started to gain traction in 2015. I was walking around Cedar Point in shorts and dancing to the music that they were playing there. I wasn’t worried about how I looked dancing, I was just having fun letting loose at my favorite playground. This year in 2017, I decided to try on dresses at the mall. Earlier in my recovery dresses weren’t even on the radar for me. I purchased three. I wore a dress for my anniversary this past year at Olive Garden. I haven’t crossed the finished line yet, but I am getting closer than where I was three years prior.”
Diana Denza, Communications Associate: “I haven’t always felt good in my own skin, which fueled my eating disorder in college. To me, body confidence means stepping outside of your comfort zone and owning who you are in each stage of your life. Wear the crop top. Get the tattoo. Dye your hair pink, blue, or purple (or maybe all three). Skip the heels that you can’t walk in. Or do the exact opposite of what I’ve written if it makes you feel more like yourself.
By experimenting with different styles, practicing intuitive eating, exercising at my own pace, and allowing my body size to naturally fluctuate, I’ve felt a lot better about myself. I also read books and articles by women (shout out to Issa Rae, Samantha Irby, and Lindy West) society would define as ‘fat’ or ‘curvy.’ They’re smart, powerful, wonderfully imperfect, and not afraid to speak their minds. Remember: you deserve to feel good about yourself. Anything else is a lie.”
Kira Rakova: “I think body confidence is a non-static concept. A lot of people see (body) confidence as something that you either have or you do not have. But there is a grey space—body confidence is an ever-shifting spectrum. Like many people, I struggled and still struggle with that idea of the grey space, but I think even realizing that exists has been helpful in my journey.
More specifically, though, I think realizing that I don’t need to be confident about every part of myself helped as well. For me, that grey space is being able to accept myself bit by bit and in ways that I can instead of pushing myself to be “confident” all the time in every way.
Finally, I just want to note that body confidence, as it is part of the larger body positivity movement, needs to be understood within body politics. Body confidence and positivity is not just about working toward feeling good in one’s own body and making others feel good. It is also about working toward making the world a safer place for marginalized people to feel safe in their bodies. And I think that’s something that is often forgotten.”
Ashley Michelle Williams: “Since the age of 12, I have been on the journey in loving my body and being confident in my body. I always felt insecure from a young age as I was very curvy and wanted to be smaller like my peers. However, as I have gotten older and as our society began to embrace this idea of curves even more, it also helped me to love my body and be confident with it. It’s helped me to realize how diverse we all are and that our body type is the perfect body type for us.
Yes, we need to take care of ourselves, eat right, and move our bodies, but we shouldn’t go to extremes to do so. We shouldn’t try to be anything more than who we are. Who we are individually is a beautiful thing and so is the body that we each have been given. So let’s be confident in it!”