Words and actions can have a profound effect on how you think about yourself. They can build your confidence, but they can also leave a lasting, negative impact. Stereotypes and a cultural of criticism have plagued the way women look at their bodies and the bodies of other women. We have internalized an ideology that can influence our thoughts in ways of which we aren’t consciously aware.
In recent years, the dialogue surrounding weight, body type, and what it means to be healthy has been evolving. It is more all-encompassing, inclusive, and less concerned with a prescribed ideal. Instead, a community has built up around acceptance and the importance of loving your body at every size. Proving that the internet can be a wonderful place of positivity and encouragement, Natalie took to Instagram to share how one tweet inspired her to think about her body differently.
The tweet posted by @bodyposipanda said, “Bopo challenge: only touch your body with kindness today! No pulling/poking/grabbing, just soft strokes & nice words. You’re doing great.” As a body-positive blogger and Instagrammer @bodyposipanda, a.k.a. Megan Jayne Crabbe, has been an encouraging figure in this space inspiring others while learning to love her body. Phrases like “happiness is not a size,” can be found throughout her blog posts and social media.
Hey ‘gram 👋🏼. It’s been a while. _ So one of my fave bopo figures @bodyposipanda tweeted something about a month ago that said: “Bopo challenge: only touch your body with kindness today! No pulling/poking/grabbing, just soft strokes & nice words. You’re doing great 💜” _ Upon finding this tweet, I have been trying really, really hard to make sure I am kinder to my body. Instead of pinching and grabbing, I’m patting. “Hi, squish. You’re here. And that’s okay.” _ My wonderful boyfriend, upon seeing how much this tweet has changed my point of view, has adopted a new saying: “pats and rubs only”. Whenever I feel self-conscious about my belly, he gets me to repeat it and give my extra squish a lil pat. _ No more grabbing. Pats and rubs ONLY. Try it. Instead of wishing it wasn’t there, give it a lil pat and acknowledge it. It’s a part of you. Your body has gotten you through everything up until this point and it deserves to be loved. There’s no time like the present to start trying to rebuild your relationship with your body. _ #bopo #bodypositive #bodypositivemovement #bopowarrior #boporevolution #bopowarrior #bopogoals #bopotribe #bopobabe #bodypositivity #bodypos #bodyposi #allbodiesaregoodbodies #everybodyisflawless #selflove #selfworth #loveyourself #youarebeautiful
A post shared by Natalie ✌🏼 (@bopo.love) on Apr 28, 2017 at 4:21am PDT
“Your body has gotten you through everything up until this point and it deserves to be loved. There’s no time like the present to start trying to rebuild your relationship with your body,” Natalie says in her Instagram post. This exercise in body positivity challenged her to think differently. In the process she adopted the phrase, “Pats and rubs ONLY.” She encouraged her followers to try it for themselves saying, “Instead of wishing it wasn’t there, give it a lil pat and acknowledge it. It’s a part of you.”
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