20 Things That Real People Do To Feel Good About Their Bodies
"I write love letters to the parts of my body that I normally don't like."
1. Defy fashion "rules":
I love trying on clothes that society claims won’t look good on someone with my body type. It feels like I’ve been gifted some kind of superpower.
2. Write love letters to yourself:
I write thank you notes and love letters to the parts of my body that I normally don’t like. For example, I love that the stretch marks on my legs represent all the great food I've eaten and the good times I've experienced.
3. Find out what makes you feel whole:
I was assigned female at birth, and it’s taken a while to figure this out, but I’m actually non-binary and trans-masculine. I don’t strongly identify as either male or female, but taking testosterone makes me feel affirmed and good in my body.
4. Get tattooed:
I get tattoos. I never used to show my shoulders, but after I got them inked I can't stop showing them off! Honestly, the fact that I'm covering my body in beautiful art makes me want to show the world!
5. Do things you love:
I go to the gym when I'm feeling crappy about my body. I'm not going there as punishment or to overdo it, but rather to remind myself that I am blessed with a capable, strong body. Lifting, running, and swimming remind me how lucky I am to have a body that can keep up with the sports I love and carry me through life.
6. Take advantage of your incredible makeup skills:
Taking the time to do a full face of makeup really helps boost my self-confidence.
7. Listen to an empowering song:
When I'm getting ready for the day, I turn on Rihanna's "Needed Me." Then, I look in the mirror and tell myself, "There is only one me and damn, I look good." After that, I lip-synch the song like I'm some huge pop star.
8. Listen to your body's needs:
Honestly, it depends on the day. Sometimes, I need to go for a run and listen to upbeat music, but other times I just need to put on my comfy clothes and watch TV shows with strong, diverse female characters. Ultimately, I try to tell myself that my body is just that — a body — it's the only one I'll ever have, and at the end of the day, it's a bunch of recycled stardust. I can spend my entire life obsessing over it, or I can treat it kindly, enjoy it, and do something meaningful with my mind.
9. Spend time with your kids (if you have them!):
I look at my daughter and see how perfect she is. Then, I remind myself 50% of who she is comes from me.
10. Listen to the all-mighty Lizzo:
When I feel shitty, I go straight to my Lizzo playlist. Instant self-confidence.
11. Unfollow social media accounts that undermine your confidence:
I unfollowed all those thirst accounts. Seeing perfectly airbrushed, posed, and photoshopped people every time I opened Instagram kept me from seeing the strength, progress, and beauty I should've been able to see in myself.
12. Delete social media altogether:
I deleted all forms of social media. For me, following other people's lives on social media was unhealthy. I keep in touch with all my friends through texting or phone calls.
13. Go on a run:
I go on runs! Running always makes me feel strong, and I love watching my progress by finding out I can run more and more everyday. Exercise really boosts me up and makes me feel like my best self.
14. Pamper yourself:
It’s a small thing, but whenever I want to feel good about myself, I go and get my nails done. There’s nothing like a gel manicure to make me feel like I’ve got my shit together. Works every time!
15. Grow out your body hair:
Finally throwing away my razor was truly the turning point that led me to loving my body. I stopped shaving my body hair four years ago and I’ve never felt sexier or more confident!
16. Dress up in clothes you LOVE:
I like to either go lingerie shopping or put on some of my favorite clothes and wear them around the house. Putting on clothes that I know look incredible on me tends to kick the negativity.
17. Get in touch with your spirituality:
I know this might not be for everyone, but I read the Bible and reassure myself that God has a bigger plan for me. I feel so good afterward because I know my life has more meaning and good things are coming my way.
18. Remind yourself of how incredible your body actually is:
Any time I feel bad about my body, I just remind myself of all the things it can do. My thick thighs help me run and help me dance. My feet help me stay balanced and keep me moving. My belly protects my insides, and has carried life. At the end of the day, I am very lucky to have a body that works the way it does.
19. Do pin-up:
I participate in pin-up events. As a bigger woman, pin-up gives me the chance to show off my curves and meet all kinds of amazing people — of all shapes and sizes — that find joy and confidence in the same thing. Putting on a poofy '50s dress and getting all dolled up makes me feel good about myself, and that silhouette does wonders to accentuate the good and hide the lumps and bumps I don't like so much.
20. And last, but certainly not least, just smile:
I just look at myself in the mirror and just smile. Even if I don’t feel good about something or I'm upset, I look at myself and smile. Sometimes even just the act of smiling makes me feel better and I see the more positive side of things.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.