Madeline R. | Female, White, She/Her/Hers

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?

To me, body positivity is the everyday work of making sure my self-talk is kind and objective. It’s about wearing heels even though I might be insecure about feeling too tall. It’s about REALLY listening to my body’s cues and taking care of her needs rather than ignoring her. It’s about constantly and actively ensuring my internal voice does not judge myself or others for how they look.

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

When I was younger, I was very insecure about my height and it really affected my self-esteem, but as I’ve gotten older, I’m more and more comfortable embracing my height. I always hear people say they wish they were tall; I remember so desperately wanting to be shorter and still deal with those feelings. Lots of people want what they don’t have, but it’s reassuring to know that we all experience these feelings and that the things we have a hard time accepting about ourselves are things that other people love.

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

Loving your body is every day, and positivity self-talk goes a long way.