Chelsea Pudding | Nonbinary, Chinese, They/Them/Theirs

What does “body positivity” mean to you? How has your body image changed over time? How does your body image play a role in your identity or even in your daily life?

“Body positivity” to me means not letting the aesthetics of my body determine my self-worth, and it means recognizing that my body has a purpose beyond how it looks. My body image shapes my self-expression and the way I interact with clothing and food.

How has body image affected your mental and emotional health? What’s something that helps you feel comfortable in your own skin?

Body image used to be a major contributing factor to my depressive self-isolation, but now I take prescription psychiatric medication and it helps a lot.

OPTIONAL: How can we talk about our body image with our loved ones in a way that is supportive and helpful? How has the media influenced your body image?

I think in the past I’ve needed to accept that some of my loved ones weren’t ready to discuss body image in a healthy or productive manner, and to just stop pursuing this subject with those specific people. Disengaging in those situations is the most supportive and helpful thing you can do for yourself. I don’t think there’s anything unique I can say about the media’s influence on my body image.

Is there a specific message that you’d like to convey by participating in this project?

I want to show other people with ordinary bodies that they’re not alone.