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More To Love teaches plus size women how to learn body-acceptance and end dieting for good. 

How I use Instagram to feel amazing about my curvy body

Rachel Estapa

*SNAP SNAP* Put your lovely photo up on Instagram and tag #MoreToLoveSelfie and share your best-selfie! <3 

For the past year, I’ve taken a self-image nearly every day. Sometimes I share them, some I keep just for me. Through this practice I’ve discovered an amazingly simple and fun way to bolster self-confidence. That is, if your attitude about “selfies” is balanced.

Images of yourself can be used for good or for bad. They can empower or make you feel desperate for attention. One fair criticism of our digital age is the narcissism prevalent in our sharing-heavy culture. EVERYTHING goes online. But not all of it’s bad.

In fact, the spread of the body-positive movement has this trend to thank for why so many more men and women are choosing to feel better about their bodies.

My selfie practice is a pillar in my own expression of body-love. I wanted to share with you why I believe it’s something you can easily adopt to increase confidence and love of your body and life. I also share some simple ideas to get you started. 

I take selfies because I enjoy the idea of having an image capturing moments of my life, whether it’s an outfit or great hair day, or time with people I love. Selfies become an opportunity to both savor and share what goes on in your life.

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Most of my images are of my body, celebrating its beauty and authenticity. At first, I felt self-conscious taking photos of myself because I thought it was narcissistic of me, but really, that was my insecurity telling me I had nothing of value to be seen. Working through this by sharing more and more as I felt I could helped to push away feelings of shame and self-consciousness.

Self-portraits can become an act of self-care if you use them to show you all that is real, honest and pure about your body. My More To Love Class incorporates self-images as tools to heal and empower body-acceptance. It’s amazing to see women who felt ashamed of even just a head-shot share proudly full-body shots in just a couple weeks.

When used lovingly, self-images are valuable tools in your body-love vault.

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When I take a selfie I don’t have an outcome in mind of how I want the image to be. I instead choose to capture was is true for me, even if sometimes it’s not “flattering.” I want my photos to be a reflection of my personality, values, energy and also my realness; I am not trying to filter my life to look like something it’s not.

Through capturing and sharing my life, I’ve learned to appreciate all the moments it contains. Similar to keeping a gratitude journal, daily selfies encourage an act of self-love and validation of what is true and meaningful to you.

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I believe the more you share, the more you inspire and the community of other plus-size women celebrating their lives is one of the crown jewels of the body-positive movement. There is a wide proliferation of sharing your beauty within the movement which encourages anyone to post and receive affirmation from others. It’s beautiful and I think this is why body-positive movement has grown so strong.

You can be a part of this movement too. No one owns the message. We all, in our way, offer up how we are learning to love ourselves and along the way, inspire others to.

So if you’re curious about how to begin your own selfie for self-love, there are a few great places to start.

  1. Join Instagram and follow body-positive people, like me! Some great hashtags to get you started would be #plussizefashion, #bodylove, #effyourbeautystandards, #beyourownbeloved and #honormycurves
  2. Take a course with Vivienne McMaster and devote a month to the art of self-portraits for self-love. I took her signature course Be Your Own Beloved and it really enhanced how I was thinking about self-images beyond just what I was wearing/eating/doing.
  3. Share small photo-details of your life and build upon the momentum - it really makes a difference! 

I’d love to hear your experience with selfies and how it's impacted your body-acceptance.