Loving a growing body

IMG_0435_v2_cropI haven’t posted a lot of body positive stuff in a while and I want to talk about that for a moment now that it’s no longer a secret that I have a bun in the oven.

A few months before I got pregnant I started gaining some weight – and then some more during pregnancy (naturally). And while I think all bodies are beautiful no matter their size, I did have some mixed feelings about my body changing. It’s not always easy to notice and address my emotions while I’m in the midst of it all, but it’s more clear to me now that I get some distance to it.

I didn’t realize at first that the weight was bothering me at all. I felt fine with the person looking back at me in the mirror and wasn’t hating my body or anything. But the thing is, I haven’t been too keen on showing it off either. It’s been fine as long as it’s hidden under large sweaters and some loose fitting pants, but it has felt a little icky once the clothes got removed.

You don’t have to be comfortable with showing your naked body to the whole world to be body positive. Loving your body does not mean the same thing for everybody. It will look different for each of us. But I know what it means to me and I love to take pictures of my naked body and have never been embarrassed to show it off so for me to suddenly feel uncomfortable with that means it’s time for me to check in with myself and see if everything is ok. And to be completely honest it hasn’t been.

As a Non Binary person that struggles with dysphoria from time to time, having my body changing in a way that emphasise my feminine features has been challenging. My belly is getting larger every day, and so is my breasts – which is the most difficult part for me. I’ve desperately wanted to be one of those pregnant people who embrace their changing bodies and feels beautiful all the time, and I’m working on it. I’m just not quite there yet.

What’s great though is it only took me to realize, acknowledge and accept that within myself for the negative feelings to slowly start to fade. Body acceptance and self love is not something that happens over night, it’s a journey. And that is ok.

I’ve started experimenting with taking some photos of myself again, and it’s helping a lot with regaining my confidence and body positive attitude. On the pictures bellow I tried to make art out of my difficult emotions towards my body by embodying the darkness within.

My body was different half a year ago than it is today. My body will continue to change in the time to come. But by not attaching myself to what I looked liked 6 months ago or what I looks like today, I can try to embrace the changes that is to come. My body will take me on a weird and wonderful journey this year, and I’m gonna try my best to love and accept it as much as I can. I just need to have some patience.

A better way to be body positive!

Yes, I do actually believe that you can do “body positivity” in a not-so-positive way. But it does not have to be like that. Let me show you!

As I talked about a little in my previous blog post, the extreme focus on looks in today’s society is damaging to all of us. The body positive movement going on right now is awesome and much needed to repair (or at least begin to repair) the damaged body images of the worlds media influenced population aka everyone. But we have to do this in a way that does not alienate or degrade people with other body types than our own.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean is the wrong way to be “body positive” (if we can even call it that):

I understand where the people that post things like this are coming from. They are probably sick and tired of their bodies not being as respected and celebrated as people with slimer bodies traditionally has been. Or maybe they just want to show that their proud of their curvy bodies and does not think much more about what they are posting. I understand that people are angry. I am too. We should be.

But we can’t direct the anger we have towards society’s unattainable beauty standards towards the people that have the type of body portrayed as more ideal in the mainstream media. It is just as ok to have a smaller figure that is is to have a large figure. We all suffer under the same strict beauty regime and we are better of fighting to change society’s attitude at large than fighting each other. It’s more than ok to express pride and love towards your own body type. It’s not ok to do it at expense of other people feeling good about themselves. There is nothing body positive in that.

A better and more inclusive way to be body positive or create attention around body image could be like this:

It’s also ok to celebrate YOUR body’s specific traits, as long as you don’t talk shit about other bodies in the process.

All bodies are beautiful, and all bodies deserves to be accepted. My body is ok, so are everyone else’s bodies. The diversity in bodies existing in the world should be celebrated. Luckily I see that this is the direction we are heading in. It makes me happy to see what the past couple of years has brought in terms of representing diversity; in the model industry, social media and in the public at large. It gives me hope for a future that can hold space and acceptance for all of us ❤

*Images and Illustrations are created by me, but are mostly based on quotes written by others*