Yes, with scars, stretch marks, skin spots and all.
Lately, the message of body positivity has been flooding the internet. Messages of love, support and the courageous tales of the journey it takes to love yourself have become a major conversation.
We often hear about the body positive movement when it includes the entire physical body. People who are the crusaders in the fight of positive body image often discuss body size and shape, and how “plus size” is completely left out of the “straight” size norm. “Left out” is a nice way to put it. Rather, bigger-bodied people have been fat shamed for years and still are today.
While the body positivity movement has given people the platform to stand up for themselves and find a way to navigate self-love regardless of what society says is “beautiful,” the conversation usually starts and ends with the acceptance of bigger bodies.
What about those have been shamed for their skin conditions?
With this question, the skin positivity movement was born! For those who have acne, eczema, psoriasis, scarring, stretch marks, birthmarks or any kind of skin condition that may make loving yourself a little bit harder, then the skin positive movement is here for you.
What is the skin positivity and body positivity movement?
The body positive movement is a social led initiative to stand up against those narrow European standards of beauty that we have all been subjected to follow. You know the ones: skinny, white, straight hair and petite features. Safe to say, everyone who doesn’t match these “beauty” characteristics has felt inadequate and far from beautiful at some point in their lives.
The body positive movement has given people the freedom to love their bodies and the fearlessness to shout it from the rooftops. Through this movement, people of larger bodies are knowing their worth and understanding that their size doesn’t mean they shouldn’t love themselves.
While body image has become the forefront of the body positive movement, the skin positivity movement takes on the shaming of acne, eczema, psoriasis and birthmarks, just to name a few.
Body positivity: acne and other skin conditions
Loving your skin with acne, scarring, bumps and spots is equally the essence of the body positive movement. Even if you have blemishes or irritation bumps on your face, shoulders, arms or back, you are still beautiful and deserve self-love. You should never feel ashamed of something so normal and so integrated in human existence.
Of course, this is far easier said than done. Loving yourself is a journey with no destination. To help with your own self-love path, here’s some of our favorite skin positivity advocates.
Body positive blogs
Since we spend so much time on social media, following accounts that share a body positive message is undeniably important. Our minds are like sponges soaking in information all around us. If you scroll and follow accounts that make you feel guilty, shameful or inadequate, then it’s time to clean up your following list and fill your feed with positivity.
Our favorite skin positive advocates are as follows and, of course, we highly recommend following their high quality positive content:
If anybody says acne can’t be art, then show them Peter Devito’s page as proof that acne, facial hair and birthmarks are not only completely normal, but undeniably beautiful.
Self proclaimed “the acne girl,” Kadeeja honestly shares her skin care journey and what exists behind makeup.
Erin Ford is a skin positivity advocate who posts untouched and unedited photos, showing us that there’s plenty of normal blemishes before Photoshop takes over.
Practicing body positivity
So, you understand the skin and body positivity movement and follow some positive social media accounts. That’s great, but how do you actually live body and skin positively?
Start a journal
The words circling in your head tell a story and cradle a narrative. Is that mental chatter positive or negative? What does it say about yourself? To get it all out of your noggin’, start a journal and write everything down. Once you know where you are coming from, you can implement positive intention setting journalling to combat the years of negative internal chatter.
Develop a morning routine
A morning routine sets aside time solely for you. Not for work, not for your friends, not for any obligations, but just for you. Your morning routine can include yoga, meditation, reading a book, listening to a podcast, drawing or intention setting. Intention setting can include writing an intention every morning as simple as “I will love myself today.” Take baby steps and don’t overload yourself with self-care obligations. Morning routines are suppose to be a stress-free moment to care for yourself.
Step out of your comfort zone
Do you avoid talking to people because of your acne? Or, do you wear conservative clothes to hide scarring? Whatever you do to accommodate the opinions of others, stop. Try liberating yourself from your mental shackles that have developed because of the judgemental opinions of others. Go talk to that random person or wear short sleeves. Chances are, the outcome won’t nearly be as bad as you expect, empowering you to take more chances and live further outside of your comfort zone.
Establish a support system
At the end of the day, loving yourself requires being around a positive environment. Evaluate your friends and the spaces you occupy. Do you feel safe, empowered and supported with these people and in these spaces? If the answer is no, then change is the only way to improve your circumstances.
Do something about it, or don’t
No matter how you decide to love yourself, know that this journey is all internal. Dive into your own inner connection, find out who you are and live unapologetically as that person. Trust us, there’s more than enough space for you.