While many of us might feel tired of the pressure to look a certain way or weigh a certain number just to feel validated, what are we actually doing about it?
Still, conversations continue about ‘I was good’ when we abstain or ‘I was bad’ if we indulge, before punishing ourselves with self-loathing in the days and weeks that follow.
Yet Megan Richards is on a crusade to put an end to this once and for all, by smashing stereotypes and challenging our narrow ideals of beauty in her blog, The Authentic Girl.
Megan is not anti-beauty, far from it, her female empowerment platform is dedicated to all things food and fashion; she simply believes there is a need for body positivity within it.
The self-love activist – who promotes the message that ‘all bodies are good bodies’ – wants to show women that diversity matters and there is no right or wrong way to have a body.
Speaking about her mission to change the conversation, Megan said she believes that fashion and body positivity are strongly related, and by showing women of all shapes and sizes that their bodies are worthy of being celebrated, they can start to rebuild self-esteem.
The South African native also talks passionately about toxic diet culture, reminding people that they are not meant to be at a weight that they can maintain only through restriction.
Megan said: “Ditching diet culture comes with a new level of freedom and happiness. Diets are not sustainable for the long-run nor do they have any long-term benefits.
“You don’t have to justify weight gain or loss. It’s your body, you control the narrative.”
Her top tips for ditching diets include doing regular social media audits to unfollow or mute any accounts that don’t make you feel good about your body; moving your body in a way that you enjoy, in particular to shift from the idea that exercise is a punishment; and to ban all dieting and start listening to your body by eating whenever you’re hungry or thirsty.
In addition to these, Megan also advises people to throw away the scales, become aware of your internal dialogue and silence that inner critic, all while enjoying the body you’re in.
Megan added: “It’s a toxic system of beliefs that is harmful, especially to those who occupy fat, trans, disabled and black bodies.
“This multibillion-dollar industry profits from our insecurities. Body positivity co-exists with anti-diet culture, teaching yourself how to nourish your body, ditch diets and move joyfully.”
It might sound ‘easier said than done’ but if hating your body only makes you miserable, perhaps it’s time to try embracing it and see where that gets you instead.
To keep up with Megan’s tips, click here: The Authentic Girl.