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Grammy award winning singer Lizzo has openly shared her journey with body image and the body positivity movement. You can find videos all over her social media focusing on self love and acceptance. And in an Instagram video posted earlier this month, Lizzo stands in her bra and panties facing the mirror and she speaks loving words directly to her belly. It’s the real life example of self love we all need and we should all follow Lizzo’s example and love on our own bodies more.
The video starts with Lizzo rubbing her body while taking a deep breath. She gives it a loving jiggle as she says, “I love you so much. I love you so much. Thank you so much for keeping me happy, for keeping me alive. Thank you.” She blows several air kisses towards her belly before continuing, “May I continue to listen to you. You deserve all the space in the world to breathe; to expand and contract and give me life. I love you.” And then she transfers a kiss from her lips to her belly, gives it one last loving jiggle and ends the video with one final shimmy towards the camera.
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The number of people that felt the need to negatively comment and inform Lizzo that she had no right to celebrate her “unhealthy” body is astounding. And as you have probably already guessed, most of those comments came from men. But guess what — no one has the right to tell anyone how they can or cannot celebrate their body. So allow me a moment to break down why this mantra of self love is something you should adopt into your daily routine.
How often do you stand in a mirror and tell yourself, “I love you”? Probably not that often. Society conditions women to believe that loving the skin you are in makes you too conceited or vain. But it is somehow okay to stand in a mirror and berate yourself for not meeting the standard of beauty that society celebrates.
Just think about how often you have looked in the mirror and grabbed a body part and called yourself disgusting. Or how many times have you avoided a mirror so you don’t even have to see yourself. Probably more times than you would like to admit. Because for some reason it’s normal to point out all the “wrongs” with your body. But is it so crazy to believe that you should be spending much more time looking at yourself with love rather than disgust?
When was the last time you appreciated what your body does as opposed to how it looks? It doesn’t matter what size you are. Being alive is a reason to be grateful and celebrate your own existence. As a society, we have become so wrapped up in what bodies should and shouldn’t look like that it’s easy to forget the more important thing is that you simply exist.
Lizzo’s line, “May I continue to listen to you” is so important. Your body is designed to communicate its needs with you. It signals you to let you know you are dehydrated, hungry, sleepy, stressed or in danger. When you shut those cues out and deprive your body, it becomes harder and harder to “listen” to your body. Eventually you become so detached from your body that you are no longer capable of identifying your own needs. Not only does that not benefit you, but it is also harmful to your overall well being.
Moreover, allowing yourself space in life to expand and contract both figuratively and literally is so very necessary. Your body is not meant to remain stagnant. It has expanded and contracted throughout your entire life as you grew from a child to an adult, experienced the ups and downs of life, perhaps gave birth to children. Your mind, heart and soul have done the same. And you deserve the space to allow that growth and change to happen.
You deserve to be treated with love, and the most important person that love should come from is you. It won’t necessarily come easily because you are probably also the person that is hardest on yourself. And you are not alone. Even Lizzo admits to struggling with this.
In the caption of the video Lizzo states, “I started talking to my belly this year. Blowing her kisses and showering her with praises. I used to want to cut my stomach off I hated it so much. But it’s literally ME. I am learning to radically love every part of myself. Even if it means talking to myself every morning. This is your sign to love on yourself today!”
So take this as permission to take the time to look yourself in the mirror and love on yourself. Come up with your own mantra and say it to yourself each and every day.