October 6th is National Plus Size Appreciation Day, which was created in 2017 to celebrate body types in all shapes and sizes. It’s also a time to open the conversation about how body image can affect self-esteem.
What is considered plus size? In the clothing industry, size 18 and up is considered to be plus size. But in the modeling industry, sizes 6-16 are considered plus size. So in the images we see everywhere in the media, the people modeling the clothes do not reflect the bodies of the people that will be wearing the clothes. This perpectuates unhealthy and unrealistic expectations about how we should look.
The pressure to be skinny is often cloaked in the message of the need to be healthy. While there is evidence that weight can impact your health, it’s not the whole story. Everyone can work on engaging in healthy behaviors, which can lead to feeling better about themselves at any size. This may be eating well, exercising, interacting with friends, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, regularly seeing your health practitioner, and meditating. Everyone has a unique body and a unique life that got their body to where it is today. Accepting others, accepting ourselves, and valuing everyone’s process, can lead us toward connection and away from judgment
Our bodies can be appreciated for all that they can do for us and not just for how we look. Everyone can feel confident in their body and be proud of what they can achieve with the body that they have.
There are many role models that are leading the charge in body positivity.
We can look up to powerful women in the media who advocate for self-love, including Lizzo, Demi Lovato, Serena Williams, and Mindy Kaling. They all share the same message: For everyone to love their authentic selves and create a positive relationship with their bodies.
Let’s all remind ourselves and those around us that we are all valuable. Follow the links below to learn more.