Woman posts photo of back fat, calls BS on "body positive"

Aug 11, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. ET

We all have hang-ups when it comes to our bod. Case in point: I'm scrawny. And pale. And the only time I like my feet is when I'm not looking at them. We know the guidelines of what is (and isn't) beautiful are an elusive sham, but what we know and what we do are two totally different things.


For example, I wear my body positivity frock as often as the next woman, yet I'll hide behind 10 pairs of socks before subjecting some poor esthetician to giving me a pedi. This subtle hypocrisy peppers our every action, which I'm assuming is what led to this empowering photo on Instragram by vociferioustart and its equally thought-provoking caption:

"Your #bodypositivity doesn't mean s*** if you aren't including the 'unflattering' bits. Broad backs, rolls, stretchmarks are all normal. #me #fatspo #fatvisibility #notyourbeforephoto #bodypositive"

This chick deserves the highest of fives. We should all start taking this "what you see is what you get" approach with our bodies. Think about it: Did you buy your last pair of jeans because you loved them, or because they make your thighs look smaller? Is your favorite dress your favorite because it's pretty, or because it tucks in exactly what you want it to? Is the bra you're wearing just for support, or is it to make Lucy and Ethel look bigger? Or smaller? Or slightly less lopsided?

Sure, we love our bodies — with strings attached. We love our bodies as long as we're able to successfully camouflage the aspects of it that are less than stellar or that might make others uncomfortable. And if we're unsuccessful at doing so, we cancel plans. Or awkwardly make fun of ourselves when we feel too exposed. Or, when complimented by someone, we retract it for them.

With all this in mind, we're taking the approach of asking not what our bodies can do for us, but what we can do for them to fill them with some TLC. Here are a few ideas:

1. Think about the women you admire

You don't admire them for what they look like. You admire them for who they are and the trails they've lit on fire. Start thinking about yourself the same way.

2. Focus on your life, not your looks

Your next promotion isn't going to be based on the fact that you can't breathe out in your office attire. Your friends aren't going to remember how you hung out of your bikini last weekend — they're going to remember it as their favorite weekend of the summer. Whether or not he calls isn't going to be based around your cellulite: He's either interested, or he's an idiot.

3. Enjoy your ass… ets

Why are you focusing on your so-called "flaws" when there are a bajillion wonderful things about your body you can be a humblebrag about?

4. Your body is a wonderland

The only time your body will ever look like shit is when you treat it as such. Focus on the health of your body, not its shape. The first step toward body positivity with no strings attached is accepting every square inch and taking care of it to the best of your ability.

And you know, when all else fails, do what I do: The second you find yourself apologizing for how you look, just tell yourself to shut the f*** up.

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