As a trainer, I coach “body positivity” nearly as often as I do proper form because, well, society has created an environment that can be devastating for people’s confidence and self-esteem and a lot of people express the desire to work with me for all the wrong reasons. While we may know and understand that these superficial standards fuel a gigantic industry, somehow it’s impossible not to succumb to the judgements and expectations the industry perpetuates every once and a while. It’s annoying, right?! The fact that we have these moments where we feel inadequate all because some company wants to sell more mascara [**eye roll**]… but damn, I love a good mascara 😉 And just like that we stay in the consumer’s cycle – exactly where they want us to be..
I stay in that cycle too. And yeah, the way we dress, do our make-up and do our hair is a fun, creative way to highlight our best qualities and express who we are. So how exactly do we separate self-expression from self-sabotage? Well, I don’t think it’s exactly the same for everybody, but I keep my mindset in check by staying true to my values. I grew up dancing, which helped me develop a deep appreciation for the capabilities of my body rather than the appearance of it. I view the ability to move – whether it’s with power, speed, agility, strength, balance, isolation, intensity or any skill – as an incredible gift that our body gives us. Your body is an intricate machine designed to move and sustain life. Your eyelashes weren’t created for mascara and movement is so much more than a way to burn calories.
Here’s the “truth bomb” I drop on my clients when they’re feeling insecure and frustrated: Beauty standards are bullshit. Flowers are far more beautiful to look at than birds, but flowers don’t have the ability to move as beautifully as birds do. Have you ever dreamt about the ability to fly? Who hasn’t?! How lucky are birds that their bodies are designed to do something fairytales are written about?! And guess what we haven’t dreamt about… being routed in the ground, even if it meant being rained on… like a poor, pretty flower. So stop being so hard on yourself, dammit!! Think of all the badass things your body can do. It may not be able to fly, but it’s impressive nonetheless! Be proud of and grateful for what you’re capable of. Dare to be a bird in a world where they want you to be a flower.