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Monday, 25 February 2013

SURHUL Love Your Body Campaign

By Sidonie Bertrand-Shelton,
Equality & Liberation Officer

What does it mean to be body positive?

I suppose it means being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about liking yourself for your character traits, your humour and kindness, and about liking your body regardless of its size or shape. 

When we look around us, we are bombarded with images of what a perfect person should look like. Turn on the TV and you’ll see what you should be driving, wearing, what you should smell like and the phone you should have. The perfect person has a slim but toned body and all of these accessories that compliment that: by buying this product, you’re one step closer to becoming them. But what’s so good about these perfect people anyway? I bet the models couldn’t care less about what they are advertising, it’s a job after all. I can tell you that this is the case, as I know people who have been models. They have insecurities, hopes and dreams, and are as clumsy as the rest of us! 

How about feeling good about yourself, without feeling inadequate? This is why being body positive is so important, and it’s not just about the body. It’s about who and what you are as a person. It’s about encouraging people to tell us what you like about yourself, because everybody likes something. What makes us beautiful and engaging people are the imperfections. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true! What do you like most about your friends? Their flawless skin or their sense of humour? Their perfect hair or their spontaneous dance moves on the floor?

This seems so obvious, but we need to be reminded sometimes. We don’t have to be modest all the time, we can be proud of ourselves just the way we are. 

Members of the Inclusion & Representation Senate, including Hodan, Jess and myself worked on making a day to celebrate what’s good about you. Everything from your big heart to your generosity, from the beauty spot (not mole) on your tummy to your singing voice to your eyes. You can love all of that! Hodan and Jess filmed this incredible video to ask the students of Royal Holloway just what they love about themselves, and this video sneaks a smile onto my face every time. So be positive, be body positive and celebrate who you are, not who you want to be. By being who you are, you’re one step closer to happiness.

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