How ‘Own it babe’ Rini Frey changed my perspective towards my body.
When I looked into the mirror this morning, the first thing that came to my mind was —
I look too flabby in this outfit. I need to tuck in my tummy while posing for pictures.
Just then, I got a text from my friend Anjali.
I’d asked her to upload the pictures of us from last night’s party. But she refused to share them. When I insisted, she said her tummy might be too visible in them and she was feeling insecure.
This made me think — Why are we doing this to ourselves?
Who gets to define what is “too fat” or ‘too thin?”
Is it me? Is it Anjali? Or is the hundreds of strangers that are liking and commenting on our pictures online?
Then, the realization hit me — Social media. It all comes down to social media.
All those apps we keep on checking countless times in a day. All the influencers with their flawless skin and hair that remind me my beauty is never complete without the lipstick they are wearing, or the winged eyeliner I have to practice for hours to perfect.
We have been so conditioned to believe that there is only ONE definition of “beautiful”, that no other beauty can be beautiful enough.
But social media is not all that toxic.
There are many people doing relentless work to promote body positivity and make sure no girl ever judges herself or her body too harshly because of insane societal standards. One of them is Rini Frey, who goes on Instagram by ownitbabe.
Over the years, Rini’s posts have helped me insanely to love myself and my body. This post is a collection of the five biggest lessons I’ve learned from Rini’s Instagram.
If you’re ever started into the mirror and hated the way you look, this article is for you.
1. Embrace what your body is becoming with time
I remember a few years back when I was able to sleep less and still be able to be productive the next day. I could go on and party as hard as I wanted and still have enough energy left to complete my work.
My body and my productivity level were different back then. And today when I look at myself, I don’t feel like my younger self anymore. I’ve changed a lot, and sometimes, thinking about the past makes me feel sad about my current self. I feel this urge to go back to her and get back the same energy pack I used to carry.
But, after reading through Rini’s posts, it made me realize that it is okay to leave a version of us behind. We need to do that to make room for a newer version of ourselves.
Life is always evolving with time. We cannot make our current self better if we always tend to run back to our previous reality. My body and its capabilities were different before, and they are different now because time and environment demanded different things.
According to the famous phenomenon of “Survival of the Fittest”, we become what our environment demands of us, to be able to perform in the changing times.
Maybe I don’t need to be productive all the time because I’ve become better at things now and can do more in less time.
Maybe, I need to rest more than before because I’m doing tasks that require more mental power. Maybe not, I don’t know yet, I haven’t figured out everything.
The only thing I know is the past is in the past because there is a reason for it to cloud our future. Just try to embrace the change. Your next self is waiting for you in the queue and you should welcome it with open arms.
In Rini’s own words:
“We are constantly changing and going through things and learning and adjusting.
So why this urge to get back to our past selves? We aren’t her anymore. She’s in the past for a reason. Maybe the point is to look forward.
Maybe the point of this journey is to welcome and embrace who we are becoming instead.”
2. Appreciate your body, not for looks, but for the things it enables you to do
Most of the time we aren’t happy with how our body looks.
But you know what, most of the people out there don’t care how you look and why your body is different. People are self-centered. They have their own issues and their own lives to deal with.
Yes, some people would definitely criticize you for a few things about your body, but the vast majority just don’t care. Your body might not be the best looking, but it does enable you to do whatever you want to do in your life.
You can go on vacations, spend time with family, play your favorite sport, eat your favorite food, read books and watch movies, follow your dreams, and you can do everything because you have a healthy body.
And thus, it’s not about how to make it look good, but about how to keep it healthy and energetic so that it enables you to accomplish whatever you want in life.
This perspective change can save you a lot of comparison headaches, and give you a new sense of dealing with the irregularities in your body. Always appreciate your body when it has helped you to do things you wanted to do, and it has done its work perfectly.
In Rini’s own words:
“What is doable for me — and more empowering — is to always remind myself of what my body does for me on a daily basis. What it allows me to do. And how excited I am for what the future holds.”
3. When you stop feeling small, your life will become large
In India, I have heard many stories where if a mother feeds herself before her child, she is treated as a selfish person.
Or if a woman works on her passion and doesn’t have time to serve her family, she would be talked about in the society as to how selfish she is and that she doesn’t have any love and sense of responsibility towards her family.
But the woman has the whole responsibility of the house. If she doesn’t take care of herself, how will she be able to take care of her family?
Self-love is not conditional anymore, it is a necessity.
We need to love ourselves to be able to love someone else. We need to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of someone else.
When we stop making ourselves feel small or someone who doesn’t need any care, and stop compromising our time for others, that is when we will feel the real magic of life. Life will only happen to us when we make enough room for it.
In Rini’s own words:
“Once I stopped trying to make myself smaller, my life became so much bigger as a result. I know right now it may seem easier to focus on making yourself smaller.
But I promise, there’s a whole life out there for you to live. Once you make room for it.”
4. Don’t delay your life for the right time. Now is the right time.
You see, most of the time, we think we are not slim enough to wear a nice dress because they will make fun of us.
We try to hold onto things we love to do to wait for the right time. We keep delaying our life for a few things to get better, without realizing that the purpose of life is not to live perfectly but to live in the first place.
We will always be unsatisfied with something, and there will always be room for something to be improved and achieved, but that’s a lifetime process, not a goal that we have to achieve to start living and enjoying our life.
Treat your self-development as a journey, not an outcome, and amazing things will start happening to you.
In Rini’s own words:
“There were so many things I didn’t do for over a decade, just because I thought my body wasn’t small enough.
And all I can say is, I wish I could get all this time back! But I’m trying to make up for it now however I can”
5. Life is more important than your weight
Being a woman, it is my deep desire to look the best of what I am. I want to look pretty, slim, and confident in my own skin. And I want the world to perceive me in the same way.
But this urge of getting the perfect body and perfect skin makes me compare myself a lot to other women who have the figure I always dreamt of having. Envy had taken a lot of my mental space. The only thing I could think of was why I am not as good as her and how to get my skin brighter and my weight a little less.
Little did I know that no one cares.
No one cares about how you look and how many kilos you have put on. All that matters is you and your happiness. If you are a happy person and look at your body and skin in a positive light, the world will also see the positive side in you.
People admire people who admire themselves.
When you come from the space where you are comfortable with your weight and just want to improve upon to become better, then you will always compare yourself from your previous self rather than comparing yourself with someone else.
That would be the moment when you won’t wait for your weight to get perfect to be able to enjoy what life holds.
In Rini’s own words:
“I was continuously shifting my thoughts to realize that I have so much in my life to be grateful for. So much to take in. So much to focus on.
Gaining weight is hard for many of us to process, no matter what the reason is. But that extra softness on our body is nothing to feel shame around. It’s rather something that teaches us that our weight does not define us.”