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In the age of hashtags, Instagram and blogs, there aren’t many people who haven’t heard of the Body Positivity Movement. Body positivity is the celebration of all bodies, regardless of any real or perceived flaws.  The movement that has been empowering people around the globe to love their body, rather than tear it down because it may not be the ideal vision of ‘perfection’.

The truth no one likes to talk about is that sometimes, it’s hard to practice body positivity.  Learning to love the body you’re in and celebrating it rather than hating it is something that takes time.  Body positivity looks different for everyone, but that’s the beauty of it. Celebrating your body may mean treating yourself to sexy plus size lingerie for the first time, posing proudly for a group photo, or simply leaving the house without makeup.

But what happens when body positivity isn’t enough?

I know what you’re thinking; how could it not be enough? Loving and celebrating your body should be enough, right? Well, yes, in theory.  It should be, but that isn’t always the case.  No matter how proud you are of every roll, dimple, or stretch mark, there will be moments where you aren’t.  That’s when body acceptance comes into play.

Body acceptance isn’t discussed as heavily as body positivity, perhaps because people who preach body positivity don’t want to admit that, sometimes, it’s difficult to practice what they preach.

After many days of finding myself standing in front of a mirror, trying to take a picture that I loved enough to post, captioning it with “#bodypositivity”, I had a moment of realization.

I realized that no matter how much I may want to love and celebrate my body, sometimes I’m unable to.  However, I will always be able to accept my body.  I accept the parts I hate, no matter how hard I try to love them.  I accept that this body has gotten me through so many years of life and times of hardship.  And I accept that this body is the only body I’m ever going to have.  Body acceptance means looking in the mirror and maybe not loving what you see, but being able to step back and realize that that’s okay.  Because no matter how you feel, you accept that this is your body.  A body that deserves to be accepted and respected by yourself, and everyone else.  This body is the best – and the only – body you’re ever going to have.

So the next time you find yourself struggling to celebrate your body, consider accepting it instead.  If you can’t be proud of the rolls, dimples, stretch marks, or other things you wish you could change, try to accept them.  Think of what this body has carried you through and be proud of that.

 

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