Be mindful of how you talk about your body and other bodies.
Tip # 13 for the holiday season: Be mindful of how you talk about your body and other bodies.
From getting dressed up to dinner parties to spending time with family, many people will deal with difficult feelings about their body image over the holidays. As if the barrage of unrealistic beauty ideals we face year-round isn’t already enough!? Everyone deserves to enjoy the holidays without being shamed for how they look or what they eat. Remember that the words that you use can be a powerful step towards creating a body-positive culture for all.
Here are a few phrases to try out from Bevin Branlandingham:
“Hey, I try to be neutral about food because I think all bodies are good bodies.”
“Hey, I’m worried about commenting about the value of food and body insecurity in front of these little ears nearby. I’d love to help them love bodies of all sizes so they don’t end up with food or body issues.”
“Cultivating a culture of food enjoyment is really important to me. I would love to enjoy this delicious food instead of assigning value to it!”
Of course, it may not always feel safe to talk in this way and we don’t have a lot of control over what others do and say, but we can notice the impact of what we say and choose our words wisely. It’s also really important to practice self-compassion if you find yourself in a space where people are body shaming you, themselves or others. This kind of talk hurts a lot of people.
Tips for body positive holidays from the Calm team:
Jade: It’s important for me to acknowledge what clothes I feel comfortable in, and not to pressure myself to wear anything that triggers negative thoughts. If I need to dress up, I make sure I do it in a way that gives me confidence, noticing when I might be comparing myself to others, and offering myself as much compassion as I can. When I hear others say shaming their bodies, I can find it deeply upsetting, so offering them kindness as well as taking space if I need to is important!
Christi-an: Talking about the body as “too much this” and “not enough that” has become quite normalized. Although, I can’t control what others say and do, I try to be a leader by not centering conversations around what my or other people’s bodies look like. I also seek out articles from body-positive writers who help me to undo some of the harmful learnings I’ve received around what is beautiful and expand my definition of beauty to include all sizes.