Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

Megan Jayne Crabbe, best known as @bodyposipanda on social media, is a body positive advocate and all round warrior! Having built up almost one million followers on Instagram, Megan promotes body positivity and self love on a regular basis to her flourishing following.

Photography by Becky Long

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last summer Megan released her debut book, Body Positive Power and has since received an even greater response in regards to her body positive advocacy. Having read her book through multiple times, it touched my heart and made me realise that if I had had this when I was younger, life would have been so much different. This got me thinking: what if schools taught positivity and acceptance in all forms!? Body, mental health, religion, gender, sexuality etc… Surely it can only be a good thing?

Megan’s book is a triumph, here’s a little bit more about Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe.

β€œIF YOU’RE TIRED OF BEING AT WAR WITH YOUR BODY, THEN THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but this is not true. It’s how we’ve been taught to see our bodies that’s the problem… It’s time for us all to stop believing the lies we’ve been fed about what it means to be beautiful, and take our power back. Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. But then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are. With her inimitable flair, whip-smart wit and kickass attitude, Megan argues for a new way of seeing ourselves, and a world where every body is celebrated. Where there is no such thing as a `bikini body diet’ and 97% of women don’t hate the way they look. A powerful call to arms as much as it is inspirational and practical, this book is the life-changing answer you’ve been looking for.”

Let's talk tagged photos. How many times has seeing a picture of yourself that someone else took thrown you down the body hate rabbit hole? I remember a time when seeing 'your friend has tagged you in a new photo' would make my stomach hit the floor. I would drop everything and rush to untag it. The only version of myself I wanted people to see was the carefully selected, highly edited, what I believed to be the most 'flattering' (read: thin) version. I was so convinced THAT was the only version of my reflection worth seeing, and what other people thought of it, was everything. These pictures are both me. On the same day. In the same clothes. Neither one represents me more or less than the other. Neither one is better or worse. But I know that's hard to believe about yourself. I know that when you see a photo of yourself the first thing you do is zoom in on all the parts you believe aren't good enough. That's why we struggle with pictures taken of us while we're just living – we weren't able to minimize those parts in advance. But the next time, before you zoom in, I want you to try something. Zoom out. To the whole picture. I want you to remember what that photo was for. It wasn't for the cover of a magazine. You weren't expected to look like an airbrushed supermodel. It was taken to capture a moment. That's it. How your hair looked or the size of your body doesn't matter. Remember how you felt. Remember that sight, that smell, that feeling, that joy. Remember the living. Zoom out (swipe…) and you'll see that the whole picture tells a much more important story than how you looked. And that every version of you is worthy of being seen. πŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ’šπŸŒˆπŸŒž

A post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe 🐼 (@bodyposipanda) on

As soon as you begin reading this book, you can sense your life changing, evolving and becoming brighter. You can feel the years of self loathing slipping away, ever so slightly, but definitely surely. Megan awakens your mind to realise that you and your body is not the problem, but instead society is. I never knew that 288 pages could alter your mind so much and change your perception of both yourself and society too.

Photography by Becky Long

From reading the first chapter, it dawned on me that had I have read this book when I was just a thirteen year old schoolgirl, my mindset and views towards my body image would have been completely different. This then led me think about the society in which we live in today, and how damaging social media can be towards young boys and girls. The constant influx of photoshopped images and the unrealistic beauty expectations that fill the screens of our phonesΒ Β Β  are damaging the minds of young people, therefore causing deeper mental health and body image issues. I believe that if schools introduced a new syllabus, possibly one that concentrates on positivity and acceptance in all of its forms, the future generations will have healthier mindsets and attitudes towards all body types.

We asked you for your opinion as to whether or not schools should introduce a syllabus that concentrates on the above issues, we had a great response turn out on social media, and here’s what you had to say:

 

 

As you can see, the response is incredibly in favour of introducing a syllabus that tackles issues surrounding the above topics such as body image, mental health and sexuality. Even though some people think that issues such as sexuality and gender should not be discussed until the age of eighteen, the number of people that are for these issues to be discussed before this age greatly outweighs the few that don’t.

I truly believe that if people had been taught that all body shapes and sizes are normal from a younger age, then 1) people wouldn’t judge others for not adhering to the beauty ideal, and 2) people wouldn’t feel as though they need to adhere to a beauty ideal. The beauty ideal that floods our newsfeeds and magazines, is something that a large majority of us will never be. Providing you know what you’re doing to your body, you’re healthy, happy and true to yourself; that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.

Megan’s debut book ‘Body Positive Power’ is a beacon of light on a dark day, and somehting that I believe everybody should read at least once in their lives. Megan’s social media is also full of positive content that inspires you on a daily basis.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbNSqOSl08j/?hl=en&taken-by=bodyposipanda

Megan Jayne Crabbe’s book Body Positive Power is available to purchase from Waterstones for Β£12.99. Be sure to keep up to-date with Megan’s daily positive posts on Instagram by following her page @bodyposipanda.

Join the discussion by getting in touch with Overtime’s official twitter page:

Written by Mollie Quirk, sub-edited by Lucy Stoyles

Read more from Mollie Quirk on her blog, and here on her Overtime page.

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