7 Must-Watch TED Talks On Body Positivity
Did you know that more than 90 percent of girls, especially between 15 to 17 years of age, want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest? And every 7 in 10 girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in some way including their looks, performance in school and relationships. This alarming statistics highlight one of the growing concerns of the modern society which is the issue of negative body image and lack of self-confidence amongst women.
Body image is closely linked to our self esteem. Many a times when we feel insecure about our looks, we find our confidence dipping. I would admit, I am no different. As much I try to be care-free about how I dress or how I look, I do get affected. I am short in height and a bit in a chubbier side and if some one ever passes a comment on my height and weight, I do take get emotionally affected. And at that time, nothing works better to uplift my spirit than a few empowering words from some really inspiring people.
I have watched a lot of TED Talks by some influential women on body positivity and everytime I hear them I not just feel motivated but find myself perceiving the world and myself in a much more positive way.
Sharing with you some body positive TED Talks that you must watch to seek some inspiration.
1.Stripping Away Negative Body Image by Lillian Bustle
I loved the way how Bustle, a burlesque performer and a steadfast body image activist, begins her talk. She acknowledges herself as ‘fat’ and soon clarifies that she doesn’t use this term for self criticism. On the contrary she breaks down the societal obsession with the term ‘fat’ as an insult and simply calls it as a ‘self-descriptor’.
“Society has turned the word ‘fat’ into a synonym for ‘ugly,’ but that’s not what fat means. Fat just means fat.”
In simple words Bustle explains that all women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful. She also talks about the need for a more diverse range of body-positive media portrayals of women. Aren’t we are all done with those fairness creams ads that claim to change a woman’s life forever?
Watch the entire talk here
- My Story Is Painted On My Body by Chantelle Brown-Young
Chantelle, in the talk, charts her childhood struggle of playground bully and familial alienation. She shares her story of stigmatisation and isolation at a tender age and how she battled different prejudices. Suffering from vitiligo, she not just accepts but also celebrates her rare skin condition and so encourages every female to redefine her personal notion of beauty. She defines the entire idea of beauty very systematically –
“… it takes one person to realize that there is beauty in everything…..Know for yourself what beauty is rather than looking to a magazine or to even me for what beauty is. Know it in your heart, and make your own mold for what beauty is.”
Watch it here
3. Plus Size? More Like My Size! by Ashley Graham
In her poignant TED talk, Graham begins her speech not by addressing the crowd but by complimenting herself in front of a full-length mirror. She tells herself-
“You are bold, you are brilliant and you are beautiful. There is no other woman like you. You are capable.’
Graham is renowned model and body activist who is acclaimed for being the first plus size model to appear in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, and with this she also became a role model to many adolescent girls throughout America. Her entire speech stresses the importance of loving oneself and being one’s own role model. Self-love for the win, here!
Watch it now!
4. An Epidemic Of Beauty Sickness by Renee Engeln
Renee Engeln, a psychologist and body image researcher at Northwestern University, touts women’s fixation with beauty as ‘beauty sickness’. In her inspiring talk, she offers some practical solution to avoid this epidemic of beauty sickness among young women and reaffirms that young girls should be complimented for characteristics that go beyond looks, like being smart hardworking, generous etc.
She remarks- “There are a lot of problems in the world. We need women to be involved in helping to solve those problems. The more obsessed we are with our own appearance, the less energy, the fewer resources, we have for solving problems.”
5. Your Body Language Shapes Who You are by Amy Cuddy
This one is my absolute favourite! Amy Cuddy, who is a social psychologist, discusses the power of body language in shaping one’s confidence. By practicing ‘power posing’ one can feel more powerful about one’s self and can also change the perception of the world.
She adds: “Don’t slouch or make yourself small, and be as big as you can comfortably be. But don’t use alpha cowboy moves, like sitting with legs apart and your arm draped over the back of the chair next to you. That can directly undermine the trust you need to build.”
Have you ever noticed your body language? If not you will after watching this TED talk and would learn how to be confident through your body language.
Watch it, right away!
6. Lady Stripped Bare by Tracey Spicer
Journalist Tracey, in this thought provoking talk, urges women to reassess the amount of time they spend on their outward appearance and instead use it for better things. In her attempt to deconstruct the fixed notions of patriarchy, she removes her makeup on stage and whips off her cobalt-blue dress, only to prove that by stripping back their daily beauty routines, women can relax their mind, renew their self-confidence and reclaim their wasted time. She adds,
“.. I hope that everyone in this room goes home today and at least has a think about this time spent and its affect on productivity, and reassesses that mathematical equation. Because if we do this, I assure you: We will be happier, we will be healthier, and we will be more productive.”
7. Why Thinking You’re Ugly is Bad for You by Meaghan Ramsey
In her 12 minutes speech, Ramsey highlights that having a negative self-esteem can negatively impact our health. Urging to end the image-obsessed culture that today’s youth lives in, she talks about creating a world where kids can be free to be the best version of themselves.
She says, “we need to work together as communities, as governments and as businesses to really change this culture of ours so that our kids grow up valuing their whole selves, valuing individuality, diversity, inclusion.”
This particular TED talk touched a chord with the mother-in-me and impacted at an emotional level.
Watch it here!
So if you really want to learn, understand and practice Body Positivity, then watch some of these TED Talks by the most inspiring and influential ladies. They will surely help you feel more empowered and confident about your own body and soul.