Body Acceptance Is About More Than Size

Making peace with your body is about more than making peace with the SIZE of your body.

You can’t discount that it is—of course!—about making peace with your body’s size. Our society is obsessed with how much we weigh versus how much we “should” weigh. Anti-fatness biases are embedded in our lives. Diet culture is an integral weapon used to bludgeon us into submission. It’s easy to get caught up in the belief that body acceptance is just a size thing.

But making peace with your body is also about making peace with your crooked third toe on your left foot. And your eyes that aren’t quite symmetrical. And your cowlick that makes your hair lay in a funky way. It’s about making peace with all your body’s parts, one at a time, from your crow’s-feet to your pinky toes.

It’s also about making peace with your skin color. You come to know that a person’s worth is not measured by the amount of melanin in their skin.

It’s about making peace with the physical parts that determined your sex at birth, even if those parts don’t reflect the gender you identify with. Even if you elect to have surgery to change those parts.

Making peace with your body is about expressing yourself through your outward appearance as part of your creativity. It’s about showing the world glimpses of who you are based on your hair styles and your wardrobe. Or maybe it’s hiding those pieces of yourself that you’re not ready to share with others.

Making peace with your body is accepting that there are some things your body can’t do and not letting those limitations define you. It’s about accepting that your body may need extra support to function.

It’s also about embracing change as a part of life. You live in a human body, which means your body is going to change in countless ways over the course of your lifetime. You stop resisting the change and allow yourself to get to know each new iteration of your body.

Making peace with your body will always require you to confront your feelings about the size of your body.

But making peace with your body is also about so much more. Your body is a complex, intricate vessel. Dive deep into all the beliefs related to your body. What is true for you? What is someone else’s truth? What societal and cultural body beliefs have you adopted as your own? What brings you back home to your body so you can live in peace with it and in it?

Making peace with your body will force you to confront the racism and sexism and homophobia and anti-fatness inherent in body judgment. Did you know that the body-positivity movement began with Black women in larger bodies claiming their rightful space?

Unlearning old, toxic stories about your body, and other people’s bodies, is tender heart work. You’ll feel challenged and uncomfortable. But you’ll find liberation from body shame if you’re willing to show up for yourself and dig in. And once you find your own freedom, you’ll begin to desire body liberation for everyone.