Body positivity, or BoPo as it is sometimes called, is a movement that sole purpose is to reject the glorification of diet culture, a trend that mainly targets women, and shifts the emphasis from body hatred, to self-love and appreciation for your body. The BoPo community realizes that the message of “perfect bodies” delivered by the media can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and a poor self-image.
Gina, or @nourishandeat as some Instagram users may know her, is a Illinois resident in her 20s. She understands firsthand how the media’s message can be harmful, as she is a eating disorder survivor herself.
While her Instagram page is mainly about recovery from eating disorders and #embracingthesquish, her page is filled with pastel colors, empowered women and inspirational quotes. About 91% of women are unhappy with the way they perceive their bodies. These may seem like numbers, but they affect real people.
When Gina isn’t running her Instagram account she can be found hanging out with her dog Harry, watching Netflix, doing yoga, or searching for her new favorite snack; basically doing things most of us do every day.
When asked to give advice to other women who may be going through recovery, or even women who may not be diagnosed with an eating disorder but struggle with their weight she suggests two things.
1. Throw away the scale: Put it in storage or any place you won’t be tempted to use it. It’s time to live beyond a number.
2. Rid your social media of anything that may make you feel bad about yourself: This includes “fitspo” and “thinspo” pages. Anything that may make you second guess your lifestyle. Instead, fill your social media feeds with positive reinforcements and anything that interests you. Recovery is also about taking back the life you weren't comfortable living before.
Gina also suggests surrounding yourself with positive vibes and friends. She has found inspiration and encouragement from her close friends Iskra Lawrence, Aerie model and body activist,
and Demi Lovato, singer and body activist.
It can be hard to learn to love yourself again, and you’ll fall off the wagon sometimes and become discouraged this is only natural as you’re human; but you have to keep pushing forward; self-love is the most important and everlasting love.