On an average day, the Internet is full of things that will make you want to smack your head and/or give up on humanity as a whole. Examples include Buzzfeed lists about horribly racist/offensive things people have tweeted, videos about bullying stories that make you cringe, and shared links on Facebook that go against everything that is good in the world (like that girl who hunts exotic animals). But then there are the days where the Internet makes you smile, and actually feel good about your peers. This is one of those days.
This morning, I read about not one, but two amazing body positive campaigns that all girls need to know about. I love when I get to see popular bloggers or big organizations stand up to the unhealthy messages women receive by spreading words of love and acceptance. In a world where girls have to deal with the pressure of unrealistic beauty standards every single day, it’s comforting to know that there are people out there who are committed to making sure we all learn to love ourselves rather than strive to be “perfect.” It’s so inspiring, and it genuinely makes me feel better about myself.
If you’re struggling with body image issues, or you’re just trying to figure out how to be more confident (and let’s face it, aren’t we all at least a little bit?), then you need to read about these two self-esteem-boosting campaigns right now. Let’s go through them together, shall we?
The #BodyConfidenceWeek2014 Photo Challenge
Popular vlogger Aly Bongo created this amazing photo challenge for #BodyConfidenceWeek2014. If you have an Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen different photo challenges on there before – there are usually random ones for each month or fitspo inspired challenges. This photo challenge is a little different. It inspires girls to really show off who they are without saying anything negative about themselves. How refreshing is that?
Aly explains in the video: “I noticed so many people posting negative things about their body. At first I’m like, great, do whatever you want to do, it’s your body. But then I was thinking about it, and I was thinking, we only really do these things because we’re programmed to it. We’re programmed to think that skinny is beautiful, we’re programmed to think that we have to look a certain way, and be a certain thing, and wear certain clothes, and do certain things.” She adds, “I really want us to all celebrate our body. I really feel like confidence in yourself, not just with your body but with who you are as a person, is the most important feature anyone can have.”
So, she created this photo challenge. It’s for this week, but who says you can’t do it whenever you want since it’s already Wednesday? Here is the schedule if you’re interested in participating:
- Monday: Take a picture of yourself as you are, then say something you like about yourself. You can say anything you love, whether it’s related to your looks or your personality. Just make sure it’s positive!
- Tuesday: Post a photo of yourself that you love, and say why you love it. It can be an old photo or a new one – just make sure it’s one you genuinely really like.
- Wednesday: Post a photo of something that you used to be insecure about, and then explain why you like it now. This can be looks or personality related.
- Thursday: Post an old photo of yourself and say something positive about yourself. Ideally pick an old photo that you used to dislike, and find the positive in it.
- Friday: Post a photo of someone you love and admire, and say why you think you’re beautiful. Whether it’s a family member or a celebrity!
- Saturday: Post a photo of yourself at the beach, and embrace what you look like. Yes, that means in your bathing suit.
- Sunday: Post a photo of something that you’re proud of, something that you like about ourselves. It can even just be a saying that we need to remind ourselves of more.
What I really love about this challenge is that it forces us to say good things about ourselves. I’ve always noticed that a lot of women tend to put themselves down because they feel like saying positive things about themselves comes off as cocky and annoying. Not so! There’s a big difference between bragging and being confident. It’s okay to say what you love about yourself, and I’m so glad that someone with influence is encouraging us to do that on social media.
If you want to participate, upload your photos on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook, and use the hashtag #BodyConfidenceWeek2014.
The #StopTheBeautyMadness Campaign
The #StopTheBeautyMadness is going in a different direction to make us feel more confident. Instead of saying positive things about ourselves, the campaign urges girls to call out ugly truths that are not only prevalent in our culture, but also in our own minds. The idea is that by calling out these ugly truths, we can go about changing them rather than believing them.
This campaign is basically trying to get rid of the impossible standards that so women strive to live up to. Created by Robin Rice and author Lisa Meade, the campaign wants girls to start standing up for themselves. According to the website, we should create a new world where “our beauty is defined by whole-self qualities, not eye-to-nose and bust-to-waist-to-hip ratios. In this world, we KNOW we are more than our appearance, our size and our shape.” Awesome!
Here’s how you can get involved: you can either share your own thoughts, or share the #StopTheBeautyMadness ads that have already been created. You can check them all out on Pinterest, and a few of my favorites are below. The hashtag on Twitter already shows tons of tweets by women who were inspired by the campaign. Share your favorite images or your own ugly truths on your social media accounts using the hashtag, and start spreading some body positivity.
Here are some of my favorite images:
Between these two campaigns, and these amazing female empowerment illustrations we highlighted earlier, I’m feeling super inspired. Are you? Get involved with these campaigns, or create your own. We could all use a little more confidence.
What do you think of these body image campaigns? Which one inspires you the most? What makes you feel more confident? Tell us in the comments!