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How to learn to love your body

Over 11 million - that's how many posts are now on Instagram under the term #bodypositive. The social media hype has become a worldwide trend that has changed the way we think. But in order to understand body positivity and at best live it ourselves, we have to look behind the cloak of beauty.
What is actually beautiful? Why do we find something beautiful? And how do you learn to love yourself?

Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder?

What you find beautiful is for you to decide. Is that really true? Of course, we develop certain preferences over time - be it for women, men, puppies or home furnishings. But how can we determine for ourselves what we find beautiful and yet all of us are pining for the same actors, musicians or dog breeds? Quite simple: We are not that self-determined when it comes to beauty.

What you find beautiful is shaped by three different pillars: your reproductive instinct, your environment and your culture!

Even if you don't even hypothetically think about having children, your subconscious does. It will always find people who radiate strength and health more attractive. Because only they seem "capable" enough to start a family. Even if this almost Stone Age world view is no longer in the foreground when looking for a partner, it still decides who we find more attractive.

Another factor: your environment. In this case, these are all the influences that pelt into you every day - be it through social media, television, YouTube or posters. They all draw a certain, supposedly perfect picture in order to appeal to as many people as possible. And this is more often achieved by means of uniform measurements, which many people would find beautiful. You often encounter this in advertising, because here the companies have one goal: They only want to associate their products with healthy and successful advertising faces. Only since some time, since the Body Positivity movement, this picture changes.

Your culture is almost the most important factor in your sense of beauty. Because the image of beauty usually unites an entire cultural circle. Even if it changes over the centuries, it always follows a pattern: we find beautiful what we cannot have.

How beautiful is the world?

The fact that we at least partly follow the beauty ideal of our culture is shown by the current trends of the individual countries and continents:

In Europe, people who are generally perceived as beautiful tend to be slim, sporty and light-skinned. For those who have their bodies under control in an affluent society can only be disciplined and successful - the two supposedly most desirable qualities of Europeans.

Especially in Asian countries big eyes are considered beautiful. The eye shape, which is not naturally innate here, stands for innocence and kindness. Women in particular are still able to have their non-existent eyelid wrinkles surgically corrected, so that their eyes appear larger.

In many parts of Africa lush curves are desirable. In the mostly very poor and traditional countries, opulent women mean wealth and prosperity - because curves also point to sufficient money for a good diet. Here it is mainly women who aspire to this ideal.

In America, the media influence the notion of the perfect body. Women should be more curvy here, men should be defined. Plastic surgery is widespread not only in North but also in South America in order to eliminate alleged blemishes.

Fun fact for you to consider:

If you google which ideals of beauty apply worldwide, you will almost exclusively find articles that thematize the beauty of women. Men do not seem to have to submit so strongly to these ideals, at least on the Net.

Why is Body Positivity so difficult?

If the sense of beauty is so complex and different from country to country, why isn't it easy to find yourself beautiful? Inside we know that there are infinitely many different people in the world. They meet us daily and we would (hopefully) never think that a person is not beautiful. A little flaw? Oh, that's what makes the person so sympathetic. But why is it so difficult for so many people to see themselves so relaxed and individual?
If the sense of beauty is so complex and different from country to country, why isn't it easy to find yourself beautiful? Inside we know that there are infinitely many different people in the world. They meet us daily and we would (hopefully) never think that a person is not beautiful. A little flaw? Oh, that's what makes the person so sympathetic. But why is it so difficult for so many people to see themselves so relaxed and individual?
Even if we know that no human being must or can be perfect, we constantly compare ourselves. And we don't do that with the woman standing next to us on the bus or in front of us at the ticket office. No, we're comparing ourselves to Kendall, Angelina and all the others. What's the matter with you? Because they're more likely to meet us than the woman at the register. Two to five thousand times a week we are confronted with digitally manipulated bodies on the net, on walls, screens and magazines. We cannot always remember that hardly a pixel is real at them. And articles like "Weight Shock! These stars don't have a beach figure" or "top or flop - who looks better in the outfit?" don't make it any better. The media compare again and again, even creating an artificial image of a perfect woman: "The waist circumference should be three quarters of the chest circumference. The hip circumference must be a third larger than that of the waist. The mathematically perfect woman is also 1.68 meters tall."
If the sense of beauty is so complex and different from country to country, why isn't it easy to find yourself beautiful? Inside we know that there are infinitely many different people in the world. They meet us daily and we would (hopefully) never think that a person is not beautiful. A little flaw? Oh, that's what makes the person so sympathetic. But why is it so difficult for so many people to see themselves so relaxed and individual?

Even if we know that no human being must or can be perfect, we constantly compare ourselves. And we don't do that with the woman standing next to us on the bus or in front of us at the ticket office. No, we're comparing ourselves to Kendall, Angelina and all the others. What's the matter with you? Because they're more likely to meet us than the woman at the register. Two to five thousand times a week we are confronted with digitally manipulated bodies on the net, on walls, screens and magazines. We cannot always remember that hardly a pixel is real at them. And articles like "Weight Shock! These stars don't have a beach figure" or "top or flop - who looks better in the outfit?" don't make it any better. The media compare again and again, even creating an artificial image of a perfect woman: "The waist circumference should be three quarters of the chest circumference. The hip circumference must be a third larger than that of the waist. The mathematically perfect woman is also 1.68 meters tall."
Even if we know that no human being must or can be perfect, we constantly compare ourselves. And we don't do that with the woman standing next to us on the bus or in front of us at the ticket office. No, we're comparing ourselves to Kendall, Angelina and all the others. What's the matter with you? Because they're more likely to meet us than the woman at the register. Two to five thousand times a week we are confronted with digitally manipulated bodies on the net, on walls, screens and magazines. We cannot always remember that hardly a pixel is real at them. And articles like "Weight Shock! These stars don't have a beach figure" or "top or flop - who looks better in the outfit?" don't make it any better. The media compare again and again, even creating an artificial image of a perfect woman: "The waist circumference should be three quarters of the chest circumference. The hip circumference must be a third larger than that of the waist. The mathematically perfect woman is also 1.68 meters tall."

How can I love myself?

A study by Nivea shows that women of so much beauty are completely insecure. Here the frightening thing came out: 9 out of 10 women renounce food or endanger their health if they do not find themselves beautiful. Just as many do without leisure activities if they do not feel comfortable in their skin. The numbers sound incredible, but almost every woman knows exactly these thoughts.

So what to do for more body positivity? It is clear that you cannot close your eyes to embellished advertising and supposedly perfect bodies. The socially beautiful will accompany you all your life. But you can make yourself less vulnerable by devoting yourself to your body. Here self-acceptance goes before self-optimization.

1: Take care of your body

Body positivity only begins when you don't see your body as something malleable that you can always push to its limits. Become aware that a body needs care in order to serve you well for a long time. Always taking time out to take care of yourself.

2: Listen to your body

A healthy body quickly tells you what it needs. You have an appetite for chocolate? Then eat it and don't force yourself so you don't put on 100 grams. With a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, your body quickly tells you what it needs to be happy. Little feel-good tip: Lie down comfortably on a mat, the couch or the bed, turn everything off and listen to your body. Hear the blood flowing through your veins, your heart beating and your breath moving your chest. That's all you can be with yourself.

3: Appreciate your body for its achievements

Your body makes your heart beat 100,000 times a day. You can run to the tram, carry heavy bags and walk through life every day on both feet. That your body can do this is a miracle! Be aware of that. You don't have to keep thinking that other people may not have this happiness. Just be glad you have such a great body that can only do great things if you treat it well.

4: Forget numbers

Treating well also means you eat enough. Because through dieting, one-sided eating or too little food your body becomes weak and unhealthy. Best banish your scales and listen only to your body feeling. The numbers don't say anything about how much your weight suits you anyway. Kilograms vary from person to person and consist not only of fat, but also of muscles.

5:  Do not compare yourself

The most important and probably most difficult tip is to stop measuring yourself against others. Not only optically, but also internally. What you see every day from people you find slimmer, smarter or wittier than yourself is only a small part of their personality. They are also sometimes sad or have to carry their package. Stay with you and listen to yourself. This also makes it easier for you to reach your goals in life - because you don't run after anyone, but go your own way!

body positivity model Elva Vintage

Elva is a plus-size instagram model. She presents herself self-confidently and proudly, although she is not the so-called "perfect body measurements." In this interview, look at what Elva says about body positivity.

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