Shame in the Name of Body-Positivity

The type-A body and our desire to fit that image in order to feel accepted and valued… 

Yea, yea, yea. We know.

There is a progressive movement circulating around body-positivity that is incredibly loud and with great power. We are releasing the veil. Clarity is arising around the notion that we do not have to look a certain way in order to be loved, successful, powerful, and valuable. We are realizing that our bodies are ours. Not theirs. We own them

As women become more and more aware of the boundaries that have been placed on their bodies over the course of predominantly the last 75 years, they are seeking greater disconnection from the old body paradigm (look a certain way in order to be/have x, y, and z) and are instead embracing the idea of loving their bodies and themselves now.

Women are becoming engaged in a movement that is bringing light to the notion that thinness is not the only way to define health, and curves are not the dark road leading to disease and isolation.  All bodies are beautiful bodies.

Commercials, advertisements and magazines stating these nonsensical ideas still run rampant. All the while, we fight back – everyday – by choosing not to let these ideas create shame or infiltrate our sense of worth.

And yet…

What I witness in my clients and women dear to my heart is a new paradigm of shame.  The: I am not being body-positive enough shame.

Even with the new paradigm of body-positivity, we are still living in a world recovering from deeply engrained negative-body messages. The old paradigm lives in the experiences of our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends, and all the women around us. We have been fed message over and over again that express we aren’t enough, or that we better hang on tight in the small chance we are.

We have become more aware of and knowledgeable about these false notions associated with the old paradigm of body-image.  And with this, we become more aware of when we are falling into its traps.

I witness countless women who are warriors for and within the body-positive movement experiencing great shame in moments when they feel not so body-positive.

They work day after day, reminding themselves they are beautiful. That their bodies don’t need to change in order to be a valuable human being. And yet, as already mentioned, the old paradigm runs deep and still has a very active voice.

So, what I wish to express here is that we cannot let ourselves add shame to shame.

There was shame for not being “right” in our bodies. And now, with more knowledge and awareness, we know in our hearts that we are already “right.” However, sometimes those old stories creep in through the cracks of our thoughts. And in those moments, we may feel that memory of not being “right.”

In that moment, you body-positive warrior, do not feel shame for not always being body-positive. 

Do not add another layer of judgment for not doing it right. Instead, release that second layer of judgment, and spend a moment reminding yourself that you are “right.” Even in your shame.

We are at the forefront of the deprogramming age. The muscles in our brains and the memories stored in our bodies take time to make space for the new paradigm to fully take over.

Give yourself permission to be human  to have moments that aren’t always body-positive.

When you do have those moments, speak them. Shame is strangled be your voice – by your willingness to uncover the silence.

By sharing your experience of perhaps not being in the most body-positive state, you are giving women around you the permission to also be human.  The act of reflecting each other’s humanness alone gives us so much space for healing.

Again, we are at the forefront of a huge shift – a shift that is seeking to break down a multi-billion dollar a year industry that will works its ass off to remind us otherwise.

You are allowed to break. You are allowed to feel the old-paradigm.

Do not add shame to shame. Speak your feelings to your Sisters.

Expecting yourself to be body-positive at every moment, without break, is simply another version of perfection.

Let yourself get the hell out of that hole. Your perfection is no good here.

Your humanness is accepted with full permission.

Honor your body to depths of your soul, while giving yourself permission to be human and speak those moments. 

Use your fellow troops to pick you up and guide you back to the light of yourself.

You are a body-positive warrior.

 

With love.