WOMEN
08/05/2013 11:08 am ET

Learning Body Positivity

Getty

Having a positive body image is incredibly difficult for both women and men, though usually body positivity is seen as only a women’s issue. People of both genders are affected by eating disorders, self esteem issues and other problems related to the society’s obsession with an ideal body.

Loving yourself is generally really hard, and loving the way you look may be hardest part of it. We consume media that tells us that only certain types of bodies are acceptable or desirable, despite the fact that most people don’t have those and still live meaningful, loving, exciting lives. But we believe the lie — we obsessively count calories, we hide the parts of our bodies we’ve been told to be ashamed of, we spend an inordinate amount of time worrying that we don’t look the way we’re “supposed to look.”

But all hope isn’t lost! You can be a body positive god/goddess, whether you have a six-pack of abs, flabby arms, love handles, a flat chest — whatever! It’s time we all stop hating ourselves, because it’s pointless. You only get one body, and your life doesn’t start when you lose weight — you’re living your life right now, and any moment that the way you look keeps you from being happy is wasted.

CONVERSATIONS