The goal of the zero-waste movement is right in its name: to create zero-waste, or as little waste as possible. Environmental advocates outside of this niche group oftentimes talk about how they want to lower their carbon footprint.
This mindset, however, can be troublesome. The easiest way to minimize your waste or to minimize your carbon footprint is to simply not exist at all. Sometimes it may seem like Earth would be better off without you, because if you didn’t exist, then you would be able to completely minimize your negative ecological impact towards the earth. Many advocates preach about how it is us humans who are destroying the planet. (These are also the type of thoughts an environmentalist who chooses not to have any children might have.)
Some people may consider this mindset to be dangerous and cynical, while others may think this mindset is realistic and responsible. Throughout different stages of my life, I have leaned towards both perspectives respectively. Currently, I am at a point in my life where I seek a positive outlook. By this logic, I urge us to try not only to make choices towards a sustainable future, but to make choices towards a regenerative future.
Let’s not only put our energy into minimizing humans’ negative ecological impact (in which not existing is the “best” option). Let’s put our energy into cultivating a positive ecological impact. By living a life based on permaculture principles and by inspiring others to live a more ethical and eco-conscious lifestyle, you can have a positive impact on our planet. (Can that positive impact outweigh the inherent negative one that comes with our human existence? I don’t have lab results to prove that’s the case, but I do think that there is a way for humans to live in harmony with nature. We just have to figure out how to get there.)
“…the biggest impact that any of us can have is by prioritizing how we vote, agitate, lobby, invest, protest and innovate for changes that move beyond our own individual impacts to a shift in our collective and societal norms.” – Sami Grover
We’ve heard it before. We’ve experienced it ourselves. Social media opens up doors for comparison. Whether we compare ourselves to our friends and family, celebrities, or that girl you used to go to school with and for whatever reason still happen to follow.
Oftentimes these comparisons can be harmful to our emotional selves. Especially when it comes to our self esteem and body image. Growing up, I know I would have benefited from having more diversity in the media that I consumed. It would have given me someone to relate to, someone to tell me that it was okay to look how I did. It was impossible for me to look like the beautiful and stunning models that I was bombarded by. It was possible for me to look like myself and be beautiful and stunning, but I did not know that at the time. Which is why body positive influencers are so important. If I could have been surrounded by people who told me it was not only okay, but it was completely healthy and normal to look how I did, then I could have been saved from years’ worth of damage.
So, I’ve decided to start a blog post series in which I highlight my favorite body positive instagrammers. First up, is Kenzie.
Kenzie posts a mix of texts-based images and physical body-based images. Her account is marketed on a personal level, as opposed to being branded as a bigger body-positive company and media publication. She is extremely open about her own struggles and consistently writes powerful and motivating captions.
I remember when I first heard the phrase "you are more than just a body." I heard it from my beautiful friend @bodyposipanda 🐼🦄🌷 I didn't get it. I was frustrated with the sentiment because I didn't understand how you could be more than a body. My whole belief system, my whole identity wrapped itself around my body. My self worth, inner and outside validation all inherently depended on whether or not my body was "good or bad" that day. 👉 "You are more than a body" echoed in my brain, lost in a fumble for meaning. How? How could I be more than the sum of my parts? How could I be more than my body if that's the only thing I am consumed by? "Does this make me look good or bad?" "Will this affect how I look?" "Do they think I look good or bad?" "Am I going to look good or bad?" Over and over and over in mind, 1000's of times a day. I am a child of trauma, consumerism, rom com movies and lower to middle class syndrome. I am one of millions of girls who think that they are no more than their bodies. It wasn't until 6 months heavily involved in this community where I realized that I am not just my body. I am: 🌷 perseverance 🌷 laughter 🌷 a friend 🌷 art enthusiast 🌷 a lover 🌷 gentle 🌷 sarcastic 🌷 trauma survivor 🌷 a daughter 🌷 wannabe world traveller 🌷 science advocate 🌷 a philosopher 🌷 a grower/a seeker/a mover \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ And NONE of those had to do with whether or not my body was valued. It has taken a while to grasp that I am more than my body, I've had to reshape my identity as not being the "girl with secret disorders." I came clean, I spoke out, I learned, I practiced and I seek value through eternal objects such as: ⚡️ human connection ⚡️ education ⚡️ the feeling of love ⚡️ being mindful. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ You are more than the body that takes up space in the world. As scary and as confusing as that might be, you are so much more than that and then some. #loveyou #morethanenough #stardust
Thank you, Kenzie, for your work.