The Power of Positive Body Advocacy

Tropical Leaves
Elise Riannen - Body Positivity Timeline. Founder of Here's to Strength and The Self Love Mission

Body Positivity

The body positive movement has been the answer to body shaming, and has also been the key to setting so many people free, of all genders, ages, colours, and walks of life.


The point is, your body is exactly that - yours

It doesn't belong to your partner, your mother-in law, your friend or the stranger that looks at you up and down in the shops.  It belongs to you. 

It's about owning your body, loving your body and actively choosing kindness everyday towards your body even if it feels like it is completely failing you.


You see, I had to learn the hard way to love my body. So many people had taken power away from my body that by the age of 24 I was ready to end it all. 


I have been 60kgs and I have been 160kgs. But it's funny, although I was aware of my "flaws" I was never truly bothered as I think I knew the only way I would survive this world was if I found something within me to love first. It took me a long time to figure out why I was still happy being a big woman. I even asked my psychologist why I struggled to see anything wrong with my body like society made me feel I should?

THAT my friends... is the truth behind positive body advocacy. It's the ADVOCATION - because if we don’t advocate for our bodies than who will? - and honestly that is just wayyy too sad of a scenario to think about. Positive body advocacy is just the act of choosing to have some fucking compassion for myself and what I was surviving. I knew deep down, that my body would always look on the outside how it felt on the inside. 

It's interesting though to see how in my timeline, after I was repeatedly raped and made to feel like I was not enough, my reaction was then to cut all of my hair, dose my physical and mental pain with pills, wine and food and find some sort of protection.


Now that I look back - it's pretty obvious I was just trying to escape the identity that gave me attention and avoid any further pain. You know when you're an empath and everyone takes what they need from you? Yeah, it was kind of like I reached my limit and I had nothing else to give back.

You see, we don't realise, but our beautiful bodies go through so much every single day! Whether we admit it or not, we are so hard on them physically, mentally and spiritually. No wonder as a society we have absolutely no self esteem. Remember though, our bodies are only temporary. Depending on your cultural beliefs, I feel they are here only to carry us in this life. My mum reminded me of that when she passed away and said don’t worry about my ashes too much, it’s just a body. I’ll still be here.

So when it feels like your body is doing nothing but letting you down, do me a favour and stop to pay appreciation for everything he/she/they have already survived. For you it might be chronic pain/illness (mental health struggles included), maybe it’s narcissistic abuse, maybe it’s unprocessed childhood trauma from 30 years ago? It's all keeping you from loving what you have!


Whatever it is that you have survived, if your body is struggling, try your best to have some compassion for him/her/them. You only have control over what is happening right now and this - is - it!

So instead of forever wasting your energy hoping for "one day", love and embrace yourself today!

When I learnt this same lesson, I realised that joy was in front of me the entire time! 

For more on my personal journey read my Blog: Join the Conversation. 

If you feel you are in crisis, please click here for global support resources.


For our Female/Trans and Non-Binary community, we offer general group support in a safe and non judgmental space. Click here to join our Chronic Pain Support Community - Here's to my Strength.