In a society that is so focused on specific body types and encouraging young women to have this unrealistic Barbie Doll physic, it is encouraging to hear women singing songs celebrating positive body image.
Positive body image is not about fitting into any extremes. It’s about accepting your body type and looking after yourself. It’s about feeling good and healthy in your own skin.
There is a misconception that positive body image means accepting yourself if you are overweight or underweight. This is not exactly true. It is about accepting yourself for who you are AND then looking after your body.
Positive body image is about FEELING GOOD!
It’s not about focusing on numbers or calories or letting yourself away with doughnuts every afternoon because ultimately at the end of the day that won’t make you feel good.
To develop a positive body image you must:
- First, accept yourself for who you are now!
- Second, do what you need to do to feel healthy, happy and sexy in your own skin!
I have long suffered from very low self-esteem when it comes to my body. My bodyweight yo-yos like no tomorrow. It wasn’t until I focused more on how I feel than how I look that I started to get control.
I can still have that delicious cake when I want to or splurge on a cocktail. But I am more aware of how I feel afterward, especially if I start to over-indulge too often.
I also notice that when I consume sugar and carbohydrates several times in a row I start getting hunger cravings frequently, my moods more fluctuating as well as the standard muffin top starting to expose itself.
When you start to look after yourself more with a healthy diet and exercise regime with a focus on the mental benefits of how you feel, you will find that the physical benefits come naturally.
How to Develop a Positive Body Image
Ok, so you’re probably thinking “Well that’s great but how do I love myself now? I’m not happy with my body because of XYZ.” The key is you have to change your mindset. The good news is you can start today!
The first step in loving your body is deciding you actually want to love your body! Developing a positive body image takes time and you have to be gentle with yourself when you slip up. Focusing on tools to get to know yourself better and build confidence will go a long way in your body image happiness quest.
Tools to help you develop a positive body image
Choose a couple of the following tools and start incorporating them into your daily or weekly routine. The trick is consistency so that they become natural habits you do every day. These tools are excellent for building a happier, healthier life. The right focus can be used for body image as well. Keep the intention of developing a positive body image at the top of your mind while you practice these.
- Repeating positive affirmations
- Forgiving your past
- Ask for help
- Focus on the positive
- Face your fears
Music and Body Image
Music has such an empowering effect on our moods. Studies have found listening to music activates areas of our brain directly involved in emotion and pleasure. All human cultures throughout history have created music in one form or another. This indicates that music is powerfully connected to helping fulfill our basic human social needs such as communication, cooperation, and attachment.
Because of this, one of the best ways to boost yourself into an empowered and ready-to-love-yourself mindset is to surround yourself with positive people, affirmations, and of course, music!
It was surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly) difficult to find these 14 songs celebrating positive body image. Please comment below if you know a good song and share it with us. ????
Music Videos and Body Image
A study back in 2007 found that teenage girls who watched three music videos featuring thin models had an elevated sense of body dissatisfaction afterward compared to girls who only listened to the same songs from the videos or learned a list of words. It only took three videos to have a statistically significant effect on how these girls felt about their bodies! Another study back in 2003 on women found viewing one video featuring thin women was enough to increase body comparison and dissatisfaction.
These numbers seem so low considering how much exposure we get every day to unrealistically thin models on billboards, TV, in magazines, the internet, and well everywhere we look. No wonder we all have body dissatisfaction issues!
Unfortunately, these studies didn’t look at if they could elevate girls’ feelings of body image with positive body imagery. But, if one can lower it so quickly to exposure of the negative, surely being exposed to the opposite will have a positive impact. Below I’ve included the YouTube videos of each one for you to watch and test it out for yourself. How do you feel after watching three of these music videos for songs celebrating positive body image? Please leave a comment below.
Now, without further adieu, here are:
14+ Songs Celebrating Positive Body Image
Also, listen on Spotify!
1. Body Love Part 1 & 2 – Mary Lambert
“But the time has come for us to
Reclaim our bodies
Our bodies deserve more than to be war-torn and collateral”
2. Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
“I am beautiful
No matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful
In every single way
Yes words can’t bring me down
So don’t you bring me down today”
Related: 10 Uplifting Songs About Life
3. Scars to Your Beautiful – Alessia Cara
“But there’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful”
4. Most Girls- Hailee Steinfeld
“Most girls are smart and strong and beautiful
Most girls, work hard, go far, we are unstoppable
Most girls, our fight to make every day
No two are the same
I wanna be like, I wanna be like, most girls”
5. My Skin – Lizzo
“Learning to love yourself and like learning to love your body is like a whole journey that I feel like every person, but more specifically, women, have to go through so I feel like doing this is a good way to kinda break through and kinda seal the last chapter of the “learning to love” and just loving..”
6. Me Too – Meghan Trainor
“Who’s that sexy thang I see over there?
That’s me, standin’ in the mirror
What’s that icy thang hangin’ ’round my neck?
That’s gold, show me some respect (oh ah)I thank God every day (uh huh)
That I woke up feelin’ this way (uh huh)
And I can’t help lovin’ myself
And I don’t need nobody else, nuh uh”
7. This Body – BAUM
“I got my tough, tough power
And I call this body my home, my home”
Related: 8 Upbeat Songs to Brighten Your Day
8. Thunder Thighs – Miss Eaves
“Thick thighs, sundress, I’m looking good”
9. Shameless – Lissie
“I stole your magazine
The one with the beauty queen on the front
I see her look at me
I swear that it is mockingly
What the fuck?
And you decide what I should like
But I don’t buy no hype
Like in the magazine
The one with the beauty queen on the front”
10. Flava – Princess Nokia
“You don’t know what it is to be me, and I don’t know what it is to be you. That is because we are made different from each other, but all girls are meant to shine. All girls are meant to be something special in this world, even if they’re told they’re not supposed to be…They might paint a pretty picture of your likeness but you are just as deserving. In fact, you deserve even more.”
11. Confident – Demi Lovato
“I used to hold my freak back
Now I’m letting go
I make my own choice
Bitch, I run this show
So leave the lights on
No, you can’t make me behave”
12. I Am Not My Hair – India Arie
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations, no (hey)
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am the soul that lives within”
13. Pretty Hurts – Beyoncé
Shine the light on whatever’s worse
Perfection is the disease of a nation
Shine the light on whatever’s worse
Tryna fix something
But you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery”
14. Try – Colbie Caillat
“You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing”
Bonus Songs Celebrating Positive Body Image
I first collected this list of songs back in 2018 when I first started writing this blog. Here are more I have managed to collect since then. As I said at the start of the post, songs genuinely celebrating a healthy positive body image weren’t easy to find, so if you have one of your own, please share it in the comments below. ????
Hunger – Florence & The Machine
Florence is an amazingly talented and stunningly beautiful woman. I am a big fan! I was lucky to see her at Skookum music festival a couple years back. One thing that made me fall in love with Florence more as she clearly wasn’t wearing any makeup on stage. She almost floated around like a fairy, barefoot in a beautiful pink dress that I would absolutely love to have.
Hunger is Florence opening up about her struggles with anorexia. It is a powerful song that so many women around the world can relate to, regardless of what type of ‘hunger’ they struggle with. I’m not sure how this song didn’t come into my radar when I first wrote this article as it came out around the same time but here it is.
“Tell me what you need, oh, baby you look so free
The way you use your body, baby, come on and work it for me
Don’t let em’ get you down, you’re the best thing I’ve ever seen
We never found the answer but we knew one thing
We all have a hunger (we all have a hunger)”
Strip by Little Mix feat. Sharaya J
This song celebrating a positive body image was suggested by one of our readers, Jordan. Again, thank you for sharing Jordan. The lyrics of the song are a great message to women everywhere. However, I do wish the singers in the video weren’t wearing makeup. Their “no-makeup” looks still obviously have makeup on. While I have no problem with wearing makeup to feel beautiful, it would be nice considering the premise of the song to see them without it.
“Take off all my make-up ’cause I love what’s under it
Rub off all your words, don’t give a, “uh”, I’m over it
Jiggle all this weight, yeah, you know I love all of this
Finally love me naked, sexiest when I’m confident”
Flap Flap by Magdalena Grace
This positive body image song is so much fun. It was shared by one of our readers. I really enjoyed watching the video. It looks like they had so much fun making it. It’s bouncy and fun. Thank you for sharing this Jennifer ????.
“People pay attention to girls booties, it’s my flaps that make me a cuttie they may droop as time flies, so will my butt and so will my thighs. But when we hate our bodies inside us dies, so be your own flag, wave with pride, Flapping in the wind how free can you be?
Fly with me.
Cause I’m like a bird I got wings, I rock a fannypack and let my arms sing, they go FLAP FLAP, FLAP FLAP”
I Love My Body by Poppy Rose
This is a really sweet song. Very blissful. Full of gratitude for what our bodies do for us.
“And I’m so sorry that sometimes I forget you’re the reason I’m alive.“
My Body by Beautiful Chorus
If you’re not yet familiar with Beautiful Chorus then you’re in for a treat. Honestly, their name says it all. They are such a harmonious group of women singing uplifting songs.
“My body is fly, my body is beautiful, my body is bold, my body is mine.“
I Love My Body from Big Mouth Soundtrack
I’ve never watched the show, but I did stumble upon this song. This is quite a funky wee track that will make you want to sing along. Disclaimer: At the end of the video there are a couple swear words, not part of the song but the video.
“I love my body I love it all
Every wrinkle, pimple, dimple
Big or small
My booty is a beauty
My boobs a work of art my love handles, my bat wings
I love every single part”
The Body Positivity Song by Holly & Georgia
This is such a sweet little india numbe by pals Holly and Georgia from York. They ssay they “want you to love your body a little bit more.” They first wrote this song during the 2019 Mental Health Awareness Week and posted it on Facebook. The video ended up going viral and got over 60,000 views in a week. I think they deserve it.
“I like my eyes, they’re my windows to the world.
I like my calves because they’re chunky.
I like my collar bones, my freckles and my smile.“
Additional Body Positive Resources
Looking for more help with developing a positive body image? It’s not an easy road but it is achievable with the right mindset no matter what your personal body image struggle is. Read these additional blog posts on Your Happiness Quest for more help celebrating your body.
- Body Positivity in Yoga with Journal Prompts
- 7 Body Positivity TED Talks with Journal Prompts
- How to Love Your Body More in 7 Days
- Body Positivity Weeks 1 & 2 Coach Programs (by Me!) on the Journey App
Bonus Positive Body Image Resource:
The team over at Freederm UK have been busy putting together a comprehensive guide for parents to help their teenagers develop a positive body image. This guide includes practical tips on how to talk to teens about body image, understanding warning signs, and advice for developing a positive body image. If you have teenage or near teenage children this is a great resource to read through.