25 body-positive and feminist New Year's resolutions

December 31 2015 | Guest post by Minerva Siegel
Fill-in-the-blank New Year's resolution hats from Etsy seller BigDotOfHappiness
Fill-in-the-blank New Year's resolution hats from Etsy seller BigDotOfHappiness

This time of year can be such a downer. Advertisers step up their body-shaming games; they want to tell us we're ugly and need to be "new and improved" with their products for the New Year. Television, radio and print media are all filled with doctored images of "before" and "after" pictures that are both bullshit and offensive. My body is perfect as-is; I'm not a "before."

So, with so many companies trying to seasonally body-shame us into buying their products, while promoting the marginalization of minorities using New Year's resolutions as a catalyst, how can we stay positive this New Year?

I've compiled a list of 25 New Year's resolutions that are either feminist, body-positive or all about essential self-care…

  1. I resolve to think at least one positive thought about my body every morning
  2. I resolve to accept other people's life decisions as valid
  3. I resolve to respect pronoun preferences
  4. I resolve to set aside time every week for self-pampering, because I deserve it
  5. I resolve to cut out negative self-talk and replace it with positivity
  6. I resolve to further explore my own place and privilege within movements I support in the interest of promoting intersectionality
  7. I resolve to not do things that I know will make me sad
  8. I resolve to not do things that make me uncomfortable as a result of peer pressure
  9. I resolve to celebrate my body in my own way
  10. I resolve to accept that some feel empowered through modesty while some feel empowered by exposure, and both are just as valid as the other
  11. I resolve to strive to be more consciously accepting of diversity
  12. I resolve to take care of my body, but not by striving for unattainable physical goals set by advertisers
  13. I resolve to promote diversity and understanding within the Body-Postive and Feminist movements
  14. I resolve to cherish and nurture my close relationships
  15. I resolve to stop seeing other people's successes as my absence of success
  16. I resolve to stop being afraid of the word 'feminist' and to realize that all it means is "promoter of equality"
  17. I resolve to stop thinking of the word 'fat' as negative, or anything more than a descriptor
  18. I resolve to compliment people more
  19. I resolve to see the beauty in diversity rather than fearing it
  20. I resolve to stand up for what I believe in, even if it makes me unpopular in some circles
  21. I resolve not to strive for unattainable universal popularity
  22. I resolve to strive for authenticity rather than perfection
  23. I resolve to not define perfection in physical terms
  24. I resolve to prune toxic people from my garden of friends and family
  25. I resolve to not feel badly about about removing toxic people from my life

It's easy to let companies and their body-policing and racially marginalizing advertisements negatively impact your self-esteem and self-image during the holiday season, but you can fight back by practicing radical self-love! Instead of the typical, boring New Year's resolutions that no one keeps anyway, strive for a few or even all of these! They're sure to lift your spirits, positively affect your life by promoting intersectional feminism, respect and diversity!

  1. Love this. I do have some "be healthier" goals on my list this year. (Drink more water, exercise more), but not out of shame, out of a desire to feel more energetic because my life has become more sedentary than I'd like.

    I really think that positive self-talk is so important. I like so many things about myself, but it's not "normal" to talk about the things you like the way it is the things you don't like. I hope that's a shift we'll continue to see in society.

  2. I would include resolving to recognize what my body can do, not just what it can't. I've been on a journey to be healthier and more physically fit (which has resulted in weight loss), but when I hit an occasional plateau, fall off the wagon or my fertility issues rear their ugly heads, I need to forgive myself and get back on track doing the things that I know make me feel better instead of beating myself up for past mistakes or things I can't change anyway. I can now deadlift 80lb barbells and run 5ks (slowly, but it still counts!). That would not have been possible a year ago. I wouldn't tolerate people verbally abusing my friends or me, so why should I accept that talk from myself?

  3. Thanks, Minerva. I was feeling pretty low today and looking through this list I realize I already do 14 of the 25 items. That's more than half so … yay me!
    Thanks for the good cheer.

  4. "I resolve to stop thinking of the word 'fat' as negative, or anything more than a descriptor"

    So I want to teach my son to think this way (he's 4). Or rather, I don't want to change the fact that this is currently how he thinks. But how do I do that while still teaching him not to say it to random people? They think it's mean or an insult, he's just commenting on something about them he noticed (or possibly even likes!).

  5. I especially love this because the first thing I noticed when I turned the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square (and them promptly muted it because I really just wanted a count down timer!) was that the event was sponsored by Planet Fitness. That made me angry. Like, it's New Year's Eve so we're going to throw it in your face that you are not good enough the way you are and need to visit Planet Fitness! I would like to get healthier this year. I'd like to start walking around and being more active but it's because I want to have more energy and feel healthier, not because I want to look any different than I do now.

  6. I love all of these, especially #20. I've already got a reputation as a little bit outspoken, but I vow to do it more, because it's so important. I started a new job in April, and completely changed my outlook about my workplace. I'm a psychologist, and anyone that works in the mental health/helping sector will probably agree with me, that for a team of people teaching people about wellness, they are often toxic and sick in the team dynamics themselves. In this new job, it's a brand new team in a brand new environment, and I vowed that no longer would I stand for "well that's just the way it is". I'm at a point in my career that I don't care what kind of reputation I get myself as a loudmouth anymore, I will fight for a healthy team and speak up when I see things I don't like. It's time to take responsibility for my own happiness.

  7. I lot of these are on the list of resolutions that I've made for this year. Mostly I'm striving to be kind to myself this year, be braver, less afraid to try new things, and nurture myself and the people (and furry people) around me.

    Thank you for your awesome guest posts. You are an inspiration and your style is killer.

    ~ Ang

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