How To Practice Period and Body Positivity

How To Practice Period and Body Positivity
By: Haley Guerin

        Body positivity. It’s a word that has received a lot of clout in the last few years. However, period positivity is a much less popular term, but it is equally important in breaking taboos and standards about how a womxn’s body should exist in a physical and conceptual space. In fact, these two terms are blood sisters––we can’t truly have one without the other. In order to give our bodies the love and appreciation they deserve as womxn, we need to see the beauty in menstruation as a natural function and gift to our bodies.

        First things first. What is body positivity? This is the idea that all people are invited to appreciate their body in whatever way it exists in the world. All shapes, sizes, and identities are not only welcomed, but are celebrated for being exactly the way they are. There are no imperfections, only unique markings that make us who we are. Everybody is equal and a womxn’s worth cannot be reduced to the confines of a numerical value or to the glossy pages of a magazine. You, yes you reading this blog, are made beautifully and there is nothing that could make your body worth more or less than exactly how it exists today. 

        Body positivity not only about celebrating your body in its current state, but also it is about continually loving it as it goes through changes. Those skinny jeans from high school collecting dust in your closet may fit a little different than they did ten years ago. And you know what? That is ok. That is beautiful. Our bodies should be celebrated for the change they undergo as we get older because they act as physical capsules for all the experiences and memories we create. They get to show all of the amazing life we have lived and that’s pretty freaking cool. Gray hair? Gorgeous. Stretch marks? Love it! Love handles? Sexy! 

        So what does all of this have to do with period positivity? As menstruators, the way in which we view menstruation has a really big effect on our relationship with our bodies. Why? Menstruation is a natural process our body performs, such as breathing, and if we feel ashamed of this natural process or see it as gross, this will cause us to problematize our bodies as the agents of this natural process. Period positivity is the idea that periods are not dirty, they are not gender specific, having knowledge about your health is empowering, and that period silence must be broken. When we start to see menstruation as the incredibly amazing and complex process that it is, we gain a new and empowered relationship with our body that allows us to see it as the amazing gift it is.

        You can practice period and body positivity by starting with your relationship with yourself. How do you view your own body? Yoga and meditation are great insights into strengthening the mind-body relationship. When a negative thought about your body or period arises, trade it in for three positive thoughts because you are worth it. Trust me, we get it, having a great relationship with your period and your body isn’t easy and it’s a continual work in progress. But taking a step in the right direction is something you should be incredibly proud of. So here’s to showing radical love to our bodies and our periods! Cheers!


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