In Convo With Charlotte Price: Why Toxic Positivity Can Destroy Your Self Worth

“I felt a lot of pressure to love my body 24/7 but obviously it’s such an unrealistic expectation to love yourself all the time.”

A worrying trend that caught our eye at Femme HQ was the growing momentum of toxic positivity online. Toxic positivity is the assumption, either by yourself or others, that throughout someone’s emotional pain or difficult situation, they should maintain a positive mindset or ‘positive vibes.’

This can be problematic for a number of reasons but not allowing someone to acknowledge and process their feelings is really the biggest issue. 

Charlotte Price, influencer and one-quarter of the From the Drafts podcast, has a following of nearly 82,000 on Instagram and promotes body positivity and self love to her audience.

Recently, she opened up on her feed about the dangers of toxic positivity, and the narrative that we should “LOVE OURSELVES ALL THE TIME 24/7 BABY.” She instead suggested that we should work towards body acceptance and body neutrality.

Toxic positivity has certainly grown since we were put into lockdown last March. “I think the intention of putting out content with the messaging of ‘good vibes,’ ‘be positive’ came from a good place,” Charlotte explains. 

“In the first lockdown I was posting similar things to cheer people up and make my audience feel good, but in turn, over time that has made people feel somewhat worse – as though they need to be positive all the time or love themselves all the time.

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“I think the reason it grew such momentum stemmed from people wanting to pick others up during the pandemic, but in the long term it hasn’t worked which is obviously very frustrating.”

Charlotte herself has felt the effects of this mindset and so knows firsthand how it can create problems: “Last summer I was putting so much content out about loving myself and feeling myself because I was at the time. But when I started to feel a bit rubbish, I felt a lot of pressure to still uphold the same content despite having down days.

“I felt a lot of pressure to love my body 24/7 but obviously it’s such an unrealistic expectation to love yourself all the time.

“It put me in a bad relationship with loving myself at first but now that I’ve acknowledged the toxic positivity thing it’s allowed me to feel all my emotions and accept that.”

Charlotte now practices and promotes to her audience body acceptance and body neutrality, instead of positivity, as she feels it is a much healthier environment to create. 

“I think these two phrases are for sure what people need to focus on more. It is completely unrelastic to completely love yourself when your body is constantly changing and adapting.

“I think its embedded in society now that you have to look a certain way to be happy which is obviously not the case. And that is why I post the content I do on the online world.

“These two phrases ease that pressure and allow people to feel a lot better about themselves.

“For me I want to focus more on these phrases and push more towards accepting your body and not feeling like you have to love every part of your body; you just accept that it’s there and it does what it needs to do to keep you alive and keep you going every single day.”

Accepting and acknowledging your flaws can be scary but vulnerability is so important in the journey to body acceptance, Charlotte reassures us: “You can’t just back away and not be vulnerable when it comes to parts of your body that you may have put shame on, or not felt great about. I think it is just important to break those barriers down within themselves.”

As for putting this advice into practical steps, Charlotte encourages us to write down the things that perhaps we are too afraid to say out loud. 

“I know it really helps me. I enjoy journalling and writing down my thoughts and feelings and breaking it down that way. Looking at what’s important and accepting my body for what it is and what it does and not focusing too much on what it looks like externally to other people.”

Charlottes leaves us all with one piece of advice to hold on to: “My mantra is and always has been ‘treat your body like you treat others. Speak to your body like you speak to others.’

“I think that speaks volumes to me because I would never go into my lounge and say to my mum, ‘oh your stretch marks are showing today’ or ‘oh you look a bit fat’ to your best friend. You would never say that to others so why are you saying it to yourself?

“You’ve got yourself at the end of the day over anyone you should be nurturing and saying all the good stuff to yourself so that’s something that always sticks with me.”

Though lockdown, we’ve seen a surge in home workouts, but the two don’t go hand in hand. We found some inspirational women who show that there’s no pressure in lockdown.

Tags: body image

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