The Power of Body Positivity


Clarion photo Clara Rehmann

Siana Ramos aims to spread body positivity throughout Cleveland

By Siana Ramos, Reporter

Body positivity is one of the most powerful rebellions. By being body positive and choosing to love ourselves, we are rebelling against all of the poisonous messages that are fed to us and internalized daily. These messages reinforce all sorts of damaging ideals but they can all tie into one big message: we are not good enough. Being body positive is one way we can take away the power of that message.

“I think it’s so powerful to feel positive about your body and mind. It’s a rebellion to do so! I love reclaiming parts of my body I wrote off as disgusting when I was younger,” said senior Jasmine Pierce.

High school is a time of growth and it’s hard to enjoy this time when you don’t love the body you’re growing in. It’s so important to feel safe, at home, and in love with your body. Our bodies are constantly doing so much for us, no matter what’s going on, our bodies are always working to keep us going. Our bodies love us so much and they deserve to be loved back.

It’s a lot easier said than done, especially when so many things around us try to convince us that we don’t deserve to love our bodies. Most of the media does not promote body positivity. The only body type the media deems acceptable is the thin, hairless, white body. This is dangerous because it reinforces the idea that people of color’s bodies are not acceptable, that large bodies are not acceptable, and that something as natural as hair on our bodies is not acceptable. These are extremely damaging and horrible things to reinforce. “I feel like in our society the right to feel positive about your body is stolen from us so often due to marketing, internalized misogyny, and racism, etcetera,” said Pierce.

“I feel like in a way we have been bullied into disliking our natural selves. We feel the need to shave and shower daily, when hair biologically helps protect our bodies from harmful bacteria and diseases,” Pierce said.

There are many ways to be body positive, and it can mean different things for everyone.

“To me body positivity is the fact that I have a body that feels and communicates, functions, takes up space and exists in a society that really tries to distance us from our bodies. My body positivity is meeting my body at where it is everyday with compassion. If that means I notice that I want to move my body, or maybe feel bad or good about it, body positivity encourages me to notice what’s going on for me,” said senior Julia Kohn-Brown. “Sometimes I need my body positivity just to be ‘Oh, I notice this is happening–is there anything I can do to improve my experience right now?’ and the radical compassion to actually do that, but it’s also that I have a body that is functioning, powerful, and has endless wisdom. In the end that is all that really matters.”

Being body positive is a truly powerful thing. If you’re having a hard time with it, one way to practice body positivity is to express appreciation for yourself and your body. Thank your body for all of the incredible things it does for you and don’t be afraid to tell yourself you love every inch of you! Taking time to really appreciate yourself and your body can have a very positive impact on your self esteem.

You are good enough, your body is beautiful, and you have the absolute power to love and embrace every part of your body!