The Body Positivity Project
by Monet Lindstrand
Growing up a girl in today’s world is no easy task. There seems to be negativity everywhere. And the main recipient of that negativity are the bodies of young women and girls. Everywhere you turn there is a new monster, looming in the dark, preying on both the weak and mighty. As these monsters grow stronger, their damage becomes more permanent and extensive. Before long all that is left are the shells of once beautiful and strong girls, ruined by the dangerous and judgmental monsters that are all around us.
These monsters in our world today take form in many ways. Some are the cruel boys across the street who laugh at your pale complexion, calling you a vampire who ought to stay out of sight. Or perhaps they may favor the school principal who embarrasses you in front of your entire class, calling you out for your “short and slutty skirt” and sending you home in shame. And sometimes those demons walk along the street, sneering as they call you fat and ugly and a pig. But the scariest monsters of all are the ones that live and breathe inside of you. They’re the voices that whisper cruel things in your ear while you lie awake at night, barely holding on as is. Or the shriveled and ugly reflection that you think is you in the mirror when really it is the demon distorting your true and beautiful image. But there is a way to stop these creatures from being able to do harm. Fight back.
As actress and feminist Emma Watson once said, “I’m a human being, an imperfect human being who’s not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure”. This is such an important thing to remember nowadays, especially when young women are teenagers. Being a teenager is hard, especially when you’re a female fighting against the injustices of this world. I decided that I am going to try my best to put a little positivity back into the world. So, I set to work and created a post on a social media account titled “#bodypositivity” and included the following caption: “sometimes the summer leads to the sadness of a non-perfect body, so to pump everyone up, I challenge everyone to post a #bodypositivity picture”. I then tagged about 20 people and asked them to post a picture as well and caption it in any way they wish. I had four people give me permission to use their captions and pictures, so here they are!
Top left, Cassie:
“I’ve struggled to be positive about my appearance but grew to embrace who I am. I believe that everyone has something about them that makes them amazing people and we need to celebrate that.”
Top right, Maddie:
“And just so you know, no matter what you look like, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!”
Bottom left, Leila:
“Even though for the most part they’re never romanticized in literature or the media, I really do love my dark brown- almost black eyes. They’re my favorite thing to draw attention to and to me they’re my best trait.”
Bottom right, Grace:
Like these lovely ladies, I challenge you to post a picture of yourself that makes you feel strong and caption it with something you love about yourself and the tag #bodypositivity. It is incredibly important to respect and love yourself because when you respect yourself, others also respect you. Because all it takes is one click and one post to not only change your own view of yourself but other people’s views of themselves. And if I can say that I was a part of that change, that revolutionary, wonderful change, then I have left a mark on this world. Please take the five minutes it will take to post a #bodypositivity picture and know that you are doing your part to fight the monsters that want to hurt you, and you will be happier and more confident. I just want you to all know that YOU are Beautiful and YOU can change the world!