I get it. You see inspirational quotes telling you to love your body and you're just not feeling it. You decide that body positivity is fine for other people, but not you. These body positive people sure look happy, though. After decades of hating what you see in the mirror, maybe it's time to try something different.
Try Body Neutrality
Start with other people's appearances. Your next door neighbor may be wearing the ugliest coat in the history of outerwear, but you can decide that the coat doesn't really say much about the person wearing it. When you notice that Sheila in Accounting has put on a few pounds, don't form an opinion about that fact. From there, you can move on not passing judgment on yourself.
Too tall, too short, too fat, too whatever. Your body is the size it is. OK, I'm too short to reach the top shelf without the stepladder. But in general, there's no such thing as too short or too tall or too fat. You've been thinking, "My hips are too wide to fit in that skirt." In reality, that skirt is too narrow for your hips. That skirt is not the boss of you.
You're More Than Just Your Body
You weren't put on this earth just to look good. How boring would that be? Your body is what your brain uses to interact with the world. If you're going to judge yourself, judge your brain.
A few years ago, I read an article about a woman who finally reached her goal weight a few months before her death. Back in the 70s, she joined some program that told her what she should weigh and she spent decade after decade trying to get there. Everyone quoted in the article praised her determination and dedication. She died of natural causes, which means that she probably wasn't too healthy when she hit that goal. And yet she and her loved ones celebrated her weight. And this? This is what lands this woman in the newspaper? Sigh.
What do you want to be celebrated for when you're gone? I'm a good cook, can make anyone laugh, and if you have trouble standing up for yourself I'll do it for you. If anyone at my funeral talks about my weight instead of those things, I'm going to haunt them. Name 3 of your best non-physical qualities. Write them down and tape them to your bathroom mirror as a reminder.
Who Profits From Your Body Shame?
The reason it's so hard to adopt body positivity is that you've been hearing the exact opposite message for years. But who exactly has been telling you to lose weight all these years? Your mom, sure. But she meant well and was probably lightheaded from her own diet so maybe she wasn't the best authority.
There's a lot of money to be made by making people unhappy with their appearance. Magazines sell issues with the latest diets and exercises. Weight loss programs aren't free. Neither are diet pills, diet shakes, or weight loss surgeries. Are you going to let a bunch of corporate fat cats tell you what to do?
What Does This Have To Do With Clothes?
We've all looked at ourselves in a department store dressing room mirror and wished for a different body. And we've all been thrilled with our reflection in that same mirror. The difference is the clothes. When we wear clothes that are right for our individual body, we feel a lot better about that body. The truth is that there was nothing wrong with your body in the first place.