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Embracing Body Positivity: A Message for African American Women

As African American women, we have experienced a unique and often complicated relationship with our bodies. Our society has placed a great deal of emphasis on specific beauty standards, leading to a range of body image issues for women of color. However, the body positivity movement has provided a platform for us to reject unrealistic and harmful standards, and embrace our bodies as they are.


One particular phrase that has been trendy in the African American community in 2023 is "I need to unbig my back". This phrase, fraught with negative expectations and stereotypes, is often used to describe a desire to lose weight and reduce the size of the "lower back" area. This phrase carries a heavy weight of shame and self-doubt, and we should work to change the conversation.


First and foremost, we must recognize that our bodies are not a problem to be solved. We should celebrate our body's diversity and beauty, rather than focus on an unattainable ideal. The body positivity movement is about accepting ourselves as we are, and striving to cultivate a healthy relationship with our bodies.





However, this is not a simple task, given the systemic issues that continue to permeate our society. Our society associates a certain body type and size with attractiveness and success, and it can be difficult to truly embrace our bodies when we are inundated with images that do not reflect our own experiences. It is important for us to uplift and support each other in our journeys towards body positivity, and challenge the harmful narratives that suggest that some bodies are more worthy than others.


Ultimately, the goal of the body positivity movement is to create a world where all bodies are celebrated and valued. We can start by rejecting harmful phrases like "I need to unbig my back", and instead embracing the unique beauty of our bodies. Our journeys towards self-acceptance will not always be easy, but by working together, we can create a more inclusive, loving, and supportive community.


Steps to Improve Confidence

While embracing body positivity may be easier said than done, there are steps we can take to improve our confidence and cultivate a healthier relationship with our physical appearance. Here are some suggestions:


1. Practice Self-Love and Self-Care

Take time to prioritize self-love and self-care. Engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself, whether it be reading a book, practicing yoga, or taking a long bath. Surround yourself with positive influences and affirmations that promote self-acceptance.


2. Challenge Negative Thoughts and Beliefs

We often have internalized negative thoughts and beliefs about our bodies due to societal conditioning. Challenge these beliefs by actively questioning them. Focus on your strengths and unique qualities, rather than fixating on perceived flaws. Remind yourself daily that you are beautiful just the way you are.


3. Surround Yourself with a Supportive Community

Building a supportive community is crucial for our journeys towards body positivity. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who uplift and empower you. Engage in positive body image discussions and share experiences with others who understand and can relate to your struggles.


4. Seek Professional Support

If negative body image and low self-esteem persist, consider seeking professional help. A therapist or counselor who specializes in body image issues can provide guidance and support tailored to your needs. Remember, there is no shame in reaching out for help.


5. Educate and Advocate

Take the opportunity to educate others about body positivity and challenge the negative connotations associated with phrases like "I need to unbig my back." Share your experiences and viewpoints through social media, personal conversations, or even writing a blog post like this one. By advocating for a more inclusive and accepting society, we can bring about positive change.


Remember, embracing body positivity is a journey, and each step forward is an achievement. By practicing self-love, challenging negative beliefs, surrounding ourselves with a supportive community, seeking professional help when needed, and advocating for change, we can foster a culture where all African American women can embrace their bodies with confidence and love. Together, we can empower each other and create a more inclusive and body-positive world.


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