4 Ways to love & embrace your body even if you're not a curvy Latina
While the growing body positivity movement that's been happening these past few years has been wonderful, there's a few concerns that aren't being addressed and one of them is the curvy Latina stereotype. There's this misconception that all Latinas are built like Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lopez. You know, tiny waist, big butt, big breasts, and wide hips. But the truth is we come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and these stereotypes actually do more harm than good, especially for the many women out there who don't feel like they measure up to these beauty ideals.
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"This stereotype has been consistently celebrated in the media with images from movies, TV, print, and music," says clinical psychologist, Dr. Cristy Lopez. She adds:"It has been shaped and evolved by Hollywood, and it intellectually downplays women and leaves the body for consumption by all."
Latina celebs that fit the stereotype of all Latinas having hourglass figures include Carmen Miranda, Charro, Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, and Salma Hayek. And while it's wonderful for us to embrace curves, it's also important for all body types to be fully accepted and embraced.
"Latina women, like women, in general, are diverse," says Lopez. "Accepting and embracing that not all Latinas are curvy is how we can break the hold of the stereotype and its possible negative ramifications. Plus, it would be helpful to accept and embrace the diversity." Lopez breaks down how all Latinas --regardless of bodytype--can love and embrace their bodies.
Understand where your self-loathing for your body came from: "This can come from your parents, your peers, a romantic partner, or even the media. Try reframing your thoughts," says Lopez. "For example, this feeling of sadness, disgust, and hate for my body is really my schema about not being good enough, loveable enough or worthy. It came from people telling me that I am ugly, fat, skinny. Tell yourself: Even though I have believed that in the past, the reality is that I am beautiful, strong, loveable and worthy."
Do mindful exercises: The key to loving and embracing your body is doing the mind work first. "Do a body scan and really concentrate on the miracle of your body," says Lopez. "Focus on how your muscles help hold you up and allow you to love, how your heart beats, or even how your reproductive organs allow you to conceive, etc."
Practice gratitude for your body: "Write your body a thank you letter expressing gratitude for what it does for you 24/7 day in and day out," suggests Lopez.
Send your body love, care, and compassion: "Visualize and breath love, care, compassion, gratitude, and respect in your body," says Lopez. "Circulate the loving energy throughout your body. As you do this, say to yourself: Even though I am feeling fat, ugly, thin, or flat, I completely and deeply love and accept myself."
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