Posts tagged with "body positivity"

Body positivity — a balancing act

By Janna Breslin

Body positivity is a phrase we hear more and more often, lately. It’s a push to alert people—especially impressionable children and teens—that there are many harmful media representations out there, especially for women.

Just as people once wrung their hands over Barbie’s unnatural shape, the Kardashians and other airbrushed social media influencers make certain “desirable” body shapes seem naturally attainable. We’re all guilty of it to a certain extent. Who doesn’t use strategic selfie angles to mask our “imperfections?”

The body positivity movement is aimed at normalizing all body types, rather than focusing on and celebrating only super-ripped Abercrombie and surgically-enhanced Victoria’s Secret models. Realistically, no matter how much we diet and exercise, the majority of humans can’t achieve those standards. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t wear the clothes we enjoy or avoid photos with friends.

But acceptance is a balancing act. We should all recognize that our bodies are constantly changing, and to hold ourselves to impossible ideals is detrimental to our mental health. On the other hand, body positivity isn’t a substitute for physical wellness. Luckily, physical health also comes in a number of different packages.

The push to normalize all body types

Your body image is how you feel about the way you look and feel, when you look in the mirror or at photos of yourself. Healthy body image is not merely not hating the way your body looks, but actively accepting it without trying to change yourself to fit arbitrary standards. For example, if you tell yourself, “I’ll look better once I lose fifteen pounds,” that’s not a healthy body image—even if you actually need to lose that weight to be healthy. In fact, it can actually promote unhealthy behaviors.

Body positivity initially started as a plus-size movement, and has grown more inclusive over time. The movement includes people of any shape, size, gender, race and physical ability (or disability). The point is to challenge the way society presents the physical “ideal” in pop culture, media, and more. That ranges from putting plus (or even average)-size models in ads to workout videos hosted by plus-size yogis.

How acceptance can help you stay healthy

For some people, the idea that you can be healthy and physically active, even if you’re plus-sized, is nothing short of revolutionary. Of course, there’s plenty of blowback—detractors accuse body positivity advocates of “glorifying obesity.” Since the movement is diverse, you may come across conflicting options from different sources. The key is that weight stigma hurts your mental health—and when you’re struggling emotionally, it’s that much harder to get fit and enjoy life.

Judith Matz, a clinical social worker cautions people not to put off activities until they reach a certain weight or fitness goal. The key to body acceptance (and staying or getting fit) is to continue to practice healthy behaviors regardless of your current size. When you consistently get the message that you’re not worthy of taking a barre class while you’re thirty pounds overweight, or you can’t wear a crop top until you’re perfectly toned, you’re more likely to give up.

That’s how body positivity can help: it reminds us that we all have the right to exist in and enjoy our bodies just as they are, right now. That includes engaging in healthy exercise and enjoying balanced nutrition.

Body positivity is no substitute for physical wellness

With that said, body positivity isn’t a substitute for physical health. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be a physically fit person at a higher weight. As long as you and your doctor are happy with your fitness and body size, healthy bodies really do come in all shapes and sizes.

The key is to balance the mental health benefits of body acceptance with physical fitness. You don’t have to be the “perfect” BMI (and in fact, research suggests that is an outdated metric) with ripped abs and biceps to be healthy or to love your body. However, if you struggle to get off the couch and get any physical activity at all, chances are you could stand to get back into fighting shape. You wouldn’t be alone, either. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are struggling now than ever—which feeds right back into negative body image.

The goal for everyone should be to accept ourselves as we are—works in progress—and prioritize our physical fitness over whether we fit into arbitrary aesthetic standards. When we do that, we make healthier decisions.

Janna Breslin is a well-known fitness model, certified personal trainer, health coach, and
nutrition expert. With Evan DeMarco, she co-founded Complete Human, the new
multi-media platform that takes a deep dive into the areas of mind, body, soul, and planet while
exploring what makes us who we are and what will make us better. Their flagship podcast can be found on all major streaming podcast players including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play, and their namesake streaming video channel is online at YouTube.

Instagram | Facebook | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Youtube

ALMA Releases New Single & Music Video for “When I Die”

Finnish pop powerhouse ALMA releases new single and music video for “When I Die” via Casablanca Records / Universal / Warner / Virgin EMI & PME today.  Listen HERE.  Watch HERE.

Produced and written by ALMA, Justin Tranter, and Mike Sabbath “When I Die” is the second installment from her highly anticipated debut album Have You Seen Her? set for release on the 5th of April 2019. It also marks the start of a period of continuous activity, which will see fans receive a new track with accompanying visual episodically into its release.

Shot in her native Finland and directed by celebrated Finish director Miikka Lommi, the video for “When I Die”depicts a gothic last supper scene and ALMA digging her own grave. “This song was born from a big conversation about when and how we leave the world is so out of our control. We spend so much time worrying about things out of our control, we’re always trying to be better, richer, more successful. We rarely appreciate the moments in front of us. Go to the party, blow your money (even if you have work tomorrow) you will survive!” says ALMA. “I wanted the video to look like our last party, what might the night look like if we knew this was it.” 

“When I Die” highlights ALMA’s unique voice as a writer; honest, brave and fresh. As she says, “I’ve spent a lot of my life being told who to be, what to say or how to behave by the world. There’s constant pressure on us all to fit in and my music is about exactly the opposite. I want my fans to feel like they can be whoever, say whatever and look however when they listen to my music. Here you are accepted no matter what.”

ALMA – a 23-year-old with neon green hair, a magnetic punk attitude and a voice that could demolish buildings is part of a new wave of female powerhouses that have something say. Engaged and opinionated on issues from women’s rights to body positivity and sexuality ALMA is forward thinking and making a change.

Following her critically acclaimed EP “Dye My Hair” with platinum single “Chasing Highs”, smash track “Phases” FT French Montana (including an exclusive Charli XCX directed video) and her 2018 mixtape Heavy Rules;  ALMA has garnered over 350 million combined Spotify plays and topped iTunes charts around the world.

ALMA’s worked extensively with her friends Charli XCX, Tove Lo, Zara Larsson, Dua Lipa, Halsey, and Miley Cyrus but to name a few, both live and in the studio and garnered support the world over.

Wrapping up 2018 on the road with long term collaborator and friend  this year’s headline dates promise an entirely new show, new music and some very special surprises along the way.

Remember ft. Jacob Banks

Today sees Seinabo Sey release the video for Remember ft. Jacob Banks LINK HERE.

The video was directed by Sheila Johansson and NewLand and premiered on Dazed. Speaking to Dazed about the song, Seinabo explains, It’s about wanting to be remembered for all of the good things, and hoping that you can walk out of a relationship whether it be with myself in time, or with a person feeling a sense of freedom. After writing the song herself, Seinabo teamed up with friend and fellow artist Jacob Banks, who transformed the track into a love song.

Seinabo recently announced her new single, I Owe You Nothing and accompanying b-side Remember ft. Jacob Banks. Both are now available to buy and stream on all platforms via Virgin Records. This announcement marked Seinabo’s first new music in over two years since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Pretend in 2015.

Listen to/Share I Owe You Nothing and Remember HERE

The new music sees Seinabo crafting songs revolving around the issues about which she has been vocal on social media and in her enchanting live performances: womanhood and feminism, identity, body positivity and an adherence to loving yourself.

Pushing her art to the next level, Seinabo has taken much of the creative direction for the new record into her own hands, spending the past few months in Gambia (her father’s home country) to film music videos and shoot a plethora of breathtaking new images which encompass her new direction. In the I Owe You Nothing video, Seinabo blends the rich, bright colours of local fabrics with confidence that is evident throughout, she explains I figured it’s time I stand up for myself and this is my best way of doing that.

Seinabo rose to critical acclaim in 2015 following the release of two EPs and her debut album Pretend, which TIME magazine called One of the Year’s Best Debut Albums and SPIN named one of the Best Albums of 2015. Certified Gold in Sweden, Pretend earned her a 2015 Swedish Grammy Award for Best Newcomer and Best Pop award the following year.

The boundary-blurring artist has topped the Hype Machine chart five times and racked up more than 400 million  global Spotify streams to date, including at least 250 million for the album’s lead single, Younger. Kygo’s remix of Younger climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Play chart. Seinabo spent three years touring the globe in support of the album, stunning audiences with her expressive, soulful voice. She has played festivals such as Way Out West, Glastonbury and Roskilde. Her television performances include Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Later with Jools Holland.

Seinabo will be releasing more music this year and will perform at Stockholm’s 12,000-capacity Globe Arena on Friday, October 5.