So what are a few things I can do to be body positive? Well, for starters...
1) Reject mainstream culture.
Question and critically analyze everything you see rather than passively accepting it. Why are white, thin, young woman over-represented in the media when most of the world isn't white, thin, or young? Question why women and men are expected to be obsessed with their bodies at the determent of everything else in their life. Might it be to keep us confused, hungry and not focused on more important matters? Might it be to sell us more and more "miracle" products that promise to shave off the pounds, lighten your skin and find you a husband?
2) Support alternative fashion and culture.
Get out there and take a look around at the alternative fashion websites, the plus-size Tumblr feeds, the independent media, the alternative magazines, blogs... all of it. One thing about living in a world heavily connected by the internet, there is a ton of independent user content being created for you to view that is really flying in the face of mainstream advertising, movies and culture. You just gotta look for it and you can find some awesome inspiring stuff on the internet.
3) Use your pocketbook to get your point across.
Don't buy from companies that support bad ideas or stereotypes. Don't shop at stores that only carry up to a size 6. Don't support businesses that back right wing religious groups or anti-abortion groups. Money is the great equalizer and you can use it to get a point across.
4) Avoid judgement statements.
Get away from judging others on their choices and body appearance. Don't judge people on weight- people are more than the sum of their parts. Don't say things like... "O she shouldn't be wearing that! or She's too skinny! or He's too fat!" Moving away from judgement on others helps you to stop judging yourself so harshly.
5) Realize that other people's health is none of your damn business.
Whether someone is unhealthy or healthy is only the concern of that person and their medical professionals. You have no right to make judgements based on your limited knowledge of a person's life and choices. Even if someone is unhealthy, it's none of your concern. It's personal and private unless the individual wants to discuss it on their own terms.
Shut your mouth and listen to what members of the stigmatized community are saying. Listen to the members of that group and do not force your opinions on them. If you are not a member of the group, listen instead of trying to interject your two cents. People who live the experience know best and may have something to teach you if you'd only listen.
7) Cut yourself some slack.
Throw out your scale, dump the diet books and stop scrutinizing the image in the mirror. We are our own worst critics and we are often tearing ourselves down. This is detrimental to your self-esteem and can be the first step to self-destructive behaviour. Stop judging others, but also stop judging yourself. Focus on the positive, strive to have a healthy mind and body and realize that looks different for each individual.