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These 10 Hacks Will Help You Love Your Body More

"Never let your mind bully your body."—June Tomaso Wood

Inspiration

If someone were to walk up to you right now and ask you to rattle off 10 things that you adore about your body, would you be able to do it? The sad reality is that, for a lot of us, it would be so much easier to talk about all of the things we either hate or wish we could change rather than brag about all of the things we are totally in love with. That's actually why I decided to write this. My hope is that, if you do struggle with body positivity in some way (as most of us do), you won't settle for that any longer. Instead, you will take the steps needed to feel really good about the body that you're in. Not if you were bigger or smaller. Not if you were lighter or darker. Not if you hard more or less breasts, a fuller or less full derriere, or anything else that you could pick apart if given the chance.

Hacks are awesome. And these are 10 that can put you on the path to loving your body—just the way it is, right now, at this very moment.

1. Focus on Your Favorite Body Parts

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If every time you look in the mirror, all you see are the things you don't like about your body, if I were you, I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. There is plenty of research out here that points to the fact that our mind is hardwired to be negative. The good thing about that is it can prevent us from being complacent in life. The bad thing is, it can lead to self-loathing. One way to not allow negative thoughts to overtake you is to put forth the concerted effort to think about what you actually love about your body.

I don't care what you look like, I promise you that you've got something—probably more than one thing—that others envy. So, do you and your self-image a favor and jot down five things that you know is bomb about your body. Then post it on the mirror that you look into the most. It's the kind of self-love hack that will help you keep things in perspective. It can help to balance the good with the "bad".

2. Dress According to Your Body Type

According to a particular study that I recently read, a whopping 80 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance and a staggering 10 million women struggle with some sort of eating disorder. Aside from constantly looking at Instagram models and comparing ourselves with others (I'll expound on that in a bit), I'd venture to say that another leading cause is a lot of us do not know what our body type is and how to dress according to that.

When I started growing out my hair, I struggled at first because I didn't know if it was high, normal or low porosity. Now that I do (it's high), I am able to provide my tresses with what they need and my hair is finally beginning to really thrive. Do you see where I am going with this?

Sometimes, we get discouraged in an outfit because it doesn't fit right. In response, we immediately start going ham on our body when the real issue is, we're putting on things that don't necessarily complement our body type. If you're not really sure what yours is, there's no time like the present to figure it out.

Articles like "The Foolproof Way to Find Out Your Real Body Type" can finally put you on the path to purchasing clothing (and accessories) that will make your body look as great as you've always wanted it to.

3. Don’t “Fear” (Body) Foundation

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Back in the day, I knew a woman who was around 5'9" and 400 pounds. To this day, she is one of the most gorgeous Godiva chocolate-jet black hair-perfect eyebrows-beautiful smile-regal women that I have ever seen. While it was always pretty obvious that she was a full-figured woman, it wasn't until we got really close that I knew her exact weight. Honestly, I would've never guessed. "Girl, you can hide a lot with the right foundation," she would tell me. "It can create a silhouette that you never even knew you had."

These days, people tend to refer to body foundation as body shapers and owning a few is nothing to be ashamed of. If you go to your favorite search engine and put the words "celebrity" and "Spanx", you might be surprised how many celebs are a fan of body foundation. Cop some. It can be a real game-changer when it comes to giving you confidence in your clothing. (By the way, if you need a little help in this department, check out "A Quick Guide To Choosing The Best Shapewear for Your Body Type".)

4. Rock Your Favorite Color(s)

Personally, I'm a big believer of color psychology. Not just because certain hues send certain messages to others, but because certain colors can also make us feel different ways about ourselves. As a Black woman, something that I adore is we can make pretty much any color pop. You might be a size 2 or a size 20, but I promise you that if you put your favorite color on, it will instantly make you feel good about yourself and radiate that feeling to those around you. So, whether it's a certain color in your outfit, your purse or your lipstick, put it on. Rock it out. Shake things up.

5. Smell Good

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If you check out the article, "I Asked 10 Men What Turned Them On. This Is What They Said.", you'll notice that the first thing to top the list has nothing to do with how a woman looks; it was all about how a woman smells. Chalk it up to pheromones, aphrodisiacs and how we like to be closer to people when they smell amazing. Listen, I don't care if it's perfume, essential oils or a scented lotion, don't you walk out of your house without some "smell good" on your body. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten complimented on my signature essential oil blend and how much I enjoy smelling my own damn self. It's a real self-confidence booster.

6. “Feel” Good

A lot of times, when we think about our bodies, it's the size and shape that comes to mind. But our skin is a part of our body too and when it is soft and smooth, it can make us feel absolutely…delicious is the word that immediately comes to mind. Articles on the site like "Everyone's Raving About The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine", "All-Natural Ways To Keep Your Skin Super Soft This Fall & Winter", "These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave", "9 All-Natural Ways To Quench Dehydrated Skin" and "The Best Black-Owned Moisturizers To Keep Your Skin Hydrated This Winter" can provide you with tips on how to make your skin feel so good that you can't help but to love your body more. Nurture your skin. It's always time well spent.

7. Put on a Pair of Heels

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Heels on a daily basis? Long-term, it's not exactly the best thing for your spine, back, knees or feet. But rocking them, in moderation, is cool. It is also a great hack for building body positivity. The reasons why include the fact that heels can make you appear taller, add some strut to your walk, provide you with a natural butt lift and cause your legs to look a mile long. So, if this is a day when you don't feel all that great about yourself, bust out a pair of pumps, girl! Watch how confident you feel, from the moment that you put them on.

8. Pamper Yourself on a Weekly Basis

Something that I make sure to do, without fail, about every 10 days or so, is I get my nails done. During one of my last appointments, I saw a woman who had some truly beautiful skin. It was like a deep coal Black. I was so mesmerized that I complimented her on it. She shrugged and said, "This ashy mess?" to which I replied, "A little sweet almond oil can fix that immediately."

Ugh, how I hate that there are so many of us who don't make time to nurture our body, let alone pamper ourselves. If you don't love your body all that much, ask yourself if you invest in it by luxuriously indulging it. If the answer is "no" or "rarely", then I'm not surprised. We don't tend to adore what we choose to neglect. #ouch and #amen

9. Always Remember How Phenomenal Your Body Is

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Have you ever just sat and pondered what makes women so…miraculous? Our bodies are able to blow men's minds with pleasure; grow, birth and then feed children and, as Black women, age with a grace that makes members of basically every other ethnicity try and imitate us on a daily basis (don't make me name names). How could you not love that about yourself? From head-to-toe, you are a masterpiece. Or, as King David once said, "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." (Psalm 139:14—NKJV) You are a woman. That automatically makes your body dope. Own it.

10. STOP. COMPARING.

There's a quote by Zen Shin that says, "A flower does not think of comparing itself to the flower next to it; it just blooms." Daisies are not lilies, lilies are not roses, roses are not tulips. Yet they all have a signature beauty about them. Same thing goes for us as women.

Not only is comparing ourselves counterproductive and a total waste of precious and valuable time, it also is an insult to our Creator, our parents and even ourselves. It's basically saying that God spent more time on someone other than ourselves. Now read that back and listen to how ridiculous that sounds.

I've got some really beautiful women in my inner circle. But you know what? Rather than wondering why I don't look like them, I choose to be like, "Birds of a feather flock together." (LOL) It's not about who looks better. It's about us all encouraging one another to be our individual best. If you master the hack of no longer comparing yourself to other women, the irony is that mastering most of these other tips will not even be necessary. You'll automatically be focused on you and doing the things required to put your best self forward. You'll love your body, simply because there is none other like it. And that level of self-love and body positivity is unmatched. It really is.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

These Are Some Natural Beauty Trends You Can Feel Good About In 2020

Quick & Easy Self-Esteem Hacks That Will Have You Feeling Yourself

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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