Body Positivity Week was May 9 - 15. It was a great week and we totally killed it! I'll have official stats on the week soon, but I wanted to share some of the amazing reader feedback we've gotten on some of the stories from the week!
From a reader to all BuzzFeed staffers:
Can I just say a huge thank you for your articles and posts about body appreciation? I've never felt particularly compelled to contact Buzzfeed with praise, even though it's an almost daily aspect of my life. As a young woman, there are a lot of times when I feel insecure and uncomfortable with my body. I've never truly felt like I accepted my body and the amazing things it can do. Admittedly, I haven't been the kindest to it and I haven't taken care of it as I always should have, but I had an epiphanic moment today while I was on Buzzfeed, where I genuinely just took a day off to be kind to myself. I can't really explain it, but seeing the articles on Buzzfeed that talked about embracing your body and loving yourself struck something deep within me. I just wanted to thank you for using your amazing platform to help spread such a beautiful message to all people who struggle with their body image. I'm sure you get a lot of notes like this, but I just needed to express my utmost gratitude to all of you. Thanks for helping me realize just how much I can and should love myself, imperfections and all. Keep up the good work!
And a few more:
FROM: Lina Gomez
LINK TO THE ARTICLE: Body Positivity Week
Thank you for doing this segment. I know I am not alone in saying that I have struggled with my body image for so much of my life and the articles you have published have given me a way to bring up the issue with my family and friends. Thank you.
FROM: Bree Mazzella
Hello!! I love body positive week sooo much. I think it's so cool how there are a ton of stories on what makes people feel comfortable in their own skin:)) I just think that it would be great if yall extended body positive week to body positive month, and just let everyone empower themselves by being themselves:)) thank you for listening!! Much love xx
Dear Buzzfeed staff,
I'm sure you get all kinds of questions and comments, but here's one more.
I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for body positivity week. I've been struggling with eating disorders for several years now, and only recently been trying to move on and take care of myself. Seeing such an overwhelming amount of support for all body types is so amazing and encouraging. Your devotion to healthy positive minds and bodies reminds me to have a healthy positive mind and body.
So thank you.
Honestly thank you. Because even though I don't know any of you personally, I feel like you're all rooting me on in this.
Your forever fan,
LINK TO THE ARTICLE: Any and ALL Body Positivity Week articles!
Hello! All I wanted was to let you know that I LOVE what you've done with Body Positivity week, and it has helped me in so many ways. I know so many people who struggle with feeling inferior or unattractive, but this topic has been brought to a new light and has even made me love my body for what it is. So, thank you! Keep it up!
Arianna Rebollini's post, 58 Things You Could Do If You Stopped Worrying About Your Body, really moved people:
Responses to Julie Gerstein's post: I Hated My Body Until It Stopped Working
Your story on body betrayal was amazing. Thank you so much for putting this out in the world for people to see on a site like buzzfeed. I've "suffered" from eczema/dry skin/sensitivity almost as long as I can remember. The creams, the pills, the lotions, the doctors who just throw prescriptions at you and send you on your way, the embarrassment of being afraid to take someone to bed because of the stains on the sheets, only wearing black clothes because a blood stain wouldn't show if I had flare up in the middle of the day...I know it all. You perfectly summed it all up by saying "afraid it's become a part of me, like breathing." Thank you for sharing your courageous story
My name is Brittany. I don't know if you will read this or if I am sending this message to the right person. I just read the article "I hated my body until it stop working" and I just wanted to thank you so much. You have put words to my story. I completely understand how this feels. I used to hate my body. I have been over weight for as long as I can remember. I over exercised, tried crazy diets and even tried starvation. The feeling of hate for myself ran deep in my veins. I would scratch my face out of pictures and would cut myself all the time. However, five years ago something happened in my body where I felt a deep pain in my lower back/upper butt. I went from hanging out with friends to not being able to stand or walk for more than five minutes. I've been to doctors and none of them no what is wrong. One said I had early arthritis from weight lifting and another said I had SI joint pain while others just look at my weight and say well there is your problem with a "smile". I no longer can do simple things like go to the grocery store or maintain a steady job without feeling a terrible pain. People can't understand my pain because they can't see my pain. So seeing the article made my day because it reminded me that I am not alone and that others understand what is like to miss the body that you use to hate. Lastly, cause I didn't mean for this email to be a novel, I want to thank Buzzfeed so much for doing body positivity week. Buzzfeed and its articles are the shining light in my day. Once again thank you, thank you and thank you.
Much love and appreciation,
Thank you for sharing your story! I feel like I was reading words I have said over and over again. I dealt with the same itching, skin writing, hives, (and general suffering and misery!!!) for years. Since I felt so grateful to read about someone else experiencing this same pain, I also felt I needed to reach out to you. At this point, I'm sure you have had every test doctors could think of... But it turned out I had a severe vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia. I wouldn't say the itching and skin writing have 100% gone away, but the aching, under your skin, wake up at night bleeding itch has definitely gone away. If it isn't something you have had tested before, I'd say it's worth a shot! The message of your article was beautiful and thank you again for sharing it. We will continue to love our bodies, even when they don't love us back. Good luck! - Tori
Conz Preti got amazing feedback on her post I Posed Like A Suicide Girl On Instagram And It Was Terrifying.
A reader thanked Casey Gueren for helping her to learn to love her vagina on 11 Reasons Vaginas Are Fucking Amazing
We got a general note of love from a Tumblr fan:
And Casey Rackham's article on TV And Film Moments That Helped People Love Their Bodies also brought the house down.
Here are some of the amazing responses contributor Robin Browne got to her post Here’s How Cancer Changed The Way I Think About My Body
Julia Reinstein's post on getting a boob job, Getting Half A Boob Job Helped Me Love My Whole Self, also got great responses.
Kristin Chirico's post You Deserve Love, Even If You Don’t Like Your Body was a much needed pep talk for many.
Thanks to the amaze Rachel Sanders, we had a bunch of incredible freelance essays. And they had major impact. From Beth Dreher's essay, The Year Cancer Didn't Kill Me:
And contributor Kristen Parisi's piece, 9 Things I Wish People Knew About Dating Someone In A Wheelchair, really resonated.
Sally Kaplan got this great message:
"I just wanted to tell you that this whole body positivity week that buzzfeed is doing has been doing wonders for me . I've had a lot of medical problems that cause me to look a little bit different than other women and I finally opened up about it and have been getting so much love. I'm just gonna say thank you again for being a part of what has helped me learn to love the body I was given."
Nora's piece, 12 People Talk About Their Scars, Birthmarks, Skin Conditions, And More, garnered tons of positive comments.
Rachel Miller received awesome feedback on her incredible piece, 12 Lessons I Learned After Losing 80 Pounds & Keeping It Off. Like this email:
In the past year I have lost 65lbs. Your post about maintaining your weight loss was quite a gift. Thank you. I have been working on a blog (on my third draft) about the awkwardness of how my body is now apparently an acceptable topic of conversation since it looks different. It is comforting to know I am not alone in that experience. I realize people typically mean well, but as someone who doesn't like the spotlight it is really uncomfortable. Anyway, thank you for an honest, insightful, brave article.
And these comments:
Daniela Cadena's 16 Consejos para los que tienen una relación complicada con su cuerpo got major kudos.
And Isaac Fitzgerald's essay, Confessions Of A Former Former Fat Kid, really moved people.
I just finished reading your piece about being a former fat kid and I wanted to tell you how much I loved it. We don't know each other (I'm a writer from England, and I've been following your work through Twitter for a while now) but I think it's one of the most personal things I've ever read. You wrote a real essay--not trying to reach for a broader point or make a sweeping conclusion, and your honesty rang through the piece like a bell.
When you wrote:
"When it comes to body-image issues, we are all in our own personal hells. And my hell is but a flickering Bic lighter when compared with others. But that's the thing about hells: Comparing them does not lead you to the exit door of your own. Even as I grew older, matured, found somewhat more stable relationships, even as my weight fluctuated, my sense of self never did."
I felt a bit like time had slowed down. It's so easy when you're struggling with body image issues to lose all sense of perspective, and your plea for people to be kind to themselves and to others is so palpable. It was incredibly moving. It made me feel better about trying to be kind and strong, in my own writing, and in my life.
Thank you for writing this, and for all the amazing work you do.