Body positivity is no doubt an incredibly powerful movement, helping people of all shapes and sizes embrace who they are and find confidence in their bodies. Body positivity doesn’t come easily to everyone, especially on the Internet, where criticism can feel like it comes from every direction and judgmental comments are as common as cat videos.
But you don’t have to despair or lash out in anger; there are plenty of small things you can do to promote body positivity online, even in simple day-to-day interactions with your social media followers or other Internet users. Here are eight tips for promoting body positivity online.
Social media sites constantly inundate us with pictures of photoshopped models, but what happens when we see these images every day? Well, we start believing that thinness is beauty and ugliness is fatness. That’s why it’s so important to boycott photos of photoshopped bodies on social media. It’s also necessary to promote images of real women who aren’t airbrushed into oblivion.
Post Images That Show the Diversity
It can be a challenge to find photos of people who look like you because our visual culture is saturated with images of thin, white, able-bodied cismen and women. If you’re looking for alternatives, try Instagram accounts that feature a wide range of bodies or photo-sharing apps like Unbound.
Make Petitions and Donate to a Body Positive Organization
You don’t have to be an influential blogger or vlogger to promote body positivity. Join and share petitions promoting body positivity, donate money to a body-positive organization, and reach out if you want your school, workplace, or community center involved. You can also encourage and attend events like art shows with a body-positive message. You can also set up your donation campaign on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Sites like GoFundMe may be overcrowded with campaigns, so go try GoFundme website competitors first.
Celebrate Small Victories
When you’re trying to raise awareness and promote body positivity, it can be easy and tempting to focus on all of your perceived flaws. To combat that tendency, celebrate small victories instead. It is also a great way to stay motivated as well! Tell your followers how you’ve grown since you started talking about body positivity. Remind yourself of what you have accomplished and what progress has been made toward your ultimate goal.
Create Art That Speaks About Body Issues
If you’re feeling inspired, create your body-positive art by photographing yourself in something you love wearing and posting it online. Consider sharing a selfie or self-portrait to help spread your message and inspire others who are looking for body-positive images. If you need ideas for poses, search #thebodypositive on Instagram or Pinterest. You’ll find plenty of inspiration there!
Show Confidence in Yourself
Most of us think of confidence as a trait we either have or don’t, and you know what? There is a certain amount of truth in that. But what if we told you there are ways to improve your levels of confidence, even if it isn’t one of your strengths? Confidence can be learned, even if it isn’t one of our natural gifts.
So, how do you go about boosting your confidence and making sure it stays boosted? It all comes down to simply believing in yourself. The more time you spend celebrating your accomplishments and taking pride in who you are, not only will others see what an amazing person you are, but it will help boost your self-esteem.
Educate People Who are Shaming Others
It can be tempting to sit back and watch someone else get called out online, but pointing out a person’s negative behavior is more effective than engaging in it. If you see body-shaming comments on your feed, tell that person what you think of their actions and maybe help them understand why their words were harmful. Stand up for others by explaining how fatphobia or racism isn’t OK — you might even want to start an ongoing conversation about it and help people discuss the ongoing problem with body shaming.
Share Stories of Other People About Their Experiences
Other people’s stories are a powerful way to promote body positivity online. Share them on your social channels or in your articles! You can also write a personal post about what inspires you about other people. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert or be able to solve someone’s problem for them for your story to matter.
The key to promoting body positivity online is honesty. You need to tell your audience that yes, they can lose weight, and you want them to — but only when they’re ready. You want them to stay true to themselves and only share content that will help them achieve their goals. That way, no matter what size they are now or in the future, they’ll know that you’re their ally and supporter through all of it.