There's a lot of talk these days about body acceptance, but sometimes I wonder if it's actually getting us anywhere. For all the pep talks about embracing our curves and celebrating our figure "flaws" and blah blah blah, how many of us are truly any more accepting of our bodies than we were before "real" was all the rage? We mean well, but we're obviously missing an important piece of the positive body image puzzle.
Or we were missing an important piece. According to a recent study, the problem isn't that we're talking about our bodies -- that part is a good thing. The problem is that we're talking about our bodies in the wrong way.
Researchers found that too much "body talk" -- even "positive," accepting body talk -- made women more insecure, probably because when we focus on how our bodies look we can't help but compare and criticize our shapes. However, talking about exercise made women feel better about themselves, probably because focusing on what our bodies can do rather than how they look is empowering and inspiring.
Makes a lot of sense, right? Personally, I think these findings could make a huge difference in the way we approach self-esteem and body image issues. Celebrating and exploring what our bodies are capable of doing feels so much more proactive than merely trying to make everybody feel better about cellulite. Which, don't get me wrong, I still think we should try to make everybody feel better about cellulite. But maybe we don't need to talk about cellulite ALL the time. Maybe we need to talk about that awesome morning jog we took or a new yoga class instead.
Do you think talking about exercise could boost your body image?
Image via Mike Baird/Flickr