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How I used existentialism to become body positive

I'm a body positive activist and plus-size model, and people ask me daily for advice on how to become comfortable with themselves. My approach to body positivity is a perspective that I've never really seen talked about in-depth in body positive circles. And it all stems unexpectedly from existential nihilism.

So, you want to love yourself? Here's how I used existentialism to become body positive…

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How to respond to teens who think their bodies are "gross"

I am a nurse educator for a non-profit that provides free childbirth education classes and case management for pregnant teenagers and their partners. My classes are almost always riddled with at least one or two teens (moms or dads) who think that any/all body parts are super "gross."

This is how I'm teaching teens about bodies…

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A tragedy survivor's 9 keys to happiness

I've survived a lot: a tragic house fire, multiple severe car accidents, abuse as a child, multiple suicide attempts, my biological mother abandoned me, etc. I have a learning disability and other mental illnesses, as well as a very rare, incurable bone disease.

Given all I've been through, you'd think I'd be miserable. Quite the opposite, however. My keys to happiness are simple…

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Mama, why are you fat?: Teaching kids about different bodies

Growing up, I was teased all the time about my weight, and it affected me profoundly. I was almost 30 before I reached a place where I could just inhabit my body without seeing it as a problem. I decided that I didn't want to view my own skin as an enemy. And I certainly don't want my children growing up thinking that everyone should look like people in magazines, or that we should all just be miserable with our physical bodies because they aren't "perfect."

We all fight this fight, and we probably all want a better world for our children to have bodies in. How do we make that happen?