Raymond | Male, White, He/Him/His

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?

For me, body positivity is about being confident and happy with who you are, and also encouraging others to think in the same mind frame. My perception of my own body image has changed over time, although I can say that I am at a point where I am happy with who I am. Body image has a major impact on my daily life and is the motivation behind staying on top of exercise, eating clean and practicing healthy social habits.

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

There have been times where I have been very hard on myself when it comes to my own body image, which has taken a toll both mentally and emotionally. Some days are easier than others to be confident and comfortable in my own skin. For me, the biggest support I can provide myself when I get frustrated is to remember that good habits and changes don’t happen overnight. It isn’t about perfection, it’s about improvement.

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?

When it comes to discussing our body image with loved ones, I believe it’s important to set the groundwork for why you want to talk about it. Whether you are working toward a goal, or just wanting to practice self-appreciation, having your loved ones on the same page will ensure that you have the support you need, when you need it.

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

The message that I would like to send to those that view this project would be to take risks and try new things that are otherwise not a part of your routine. One of my favorite quotes to live by is, “There are no challenges, just opportunities.” Embrace the opportunities to explore new ways to express creativity and you’ll learn to love yourself all over again.