For anyone struggling with body image, especially on the cusp of bikini season, sometimes just remembering that we're all in this together and we all have our own insecurities can make a huge difference. I recently sat down with Grammy-nominated country singer Cam to talk about body positivity and how much power there is in loving and accepting ourselves, perceived flaws and all. What she said was a breath of fresh air in our selfie-obsessed culture.
Cam addresses image obsession with humor in her song "Country Ain't Never Been Pretty" with lyrics like "it's alright to look kind of sh*tty" and "if your head's on straight, your hair will be fine." The 32-year-old singer also uses her Instagram account to share positive messages on body acceptance. In fact, she has a great tip for starting your day feeling good about yourself using social media, something we all know can be used for comparing ourselves in negative ways.
She said, "Every morning, every girl I know spends at least five minutes looking into the mirror saying, 'I hate how I look. I hate myself. I'm not good enough. If I was only five pounds lighter this could be different, I could be happy.'" Her suggestion is simple:
"If you need a good pick-me-up in the morning, instead of first opening up the news, open up Instagram and go to the #bodypositivity hashtag."
Spending your morning reading through inspiring stories of body acceptance, reading uplifting quotes, and exposing yourself to bodies of all shapes and sizes might just be the empowering boost you need to feel good about yourself throughout the day.
"How often are you like, 'I really want a sexy girl to listen to right now?' No!"
She also points out how women's worth is often put into our looks, something that's sold to us through our makeup, hair products, and clothes, when in reality, your looks are just a small part of who you are. Putting things in perspective, she said: "Newsflash, nobody really cares what you look like; once you know someone past the first two seconds, they know you. I'm sure you know people who are the weirdest-looking people and they're charming as all get out and they get laid and they have a great life. There are people who are really good-looking, my sister is one of those people. She's gorgeous, and I totally forget that she's gorgeous. I never see that anymore, I just see my friend and my sister."
For women, it's not just about accepting our bodies, it's about the full package — including our hair. Cam is vocal about proudly rocking her naturally curly hair. She said, "Own your hair. If you want to straighten your hair, go for it. If you want to rock your curls, to me, that's power. I remember when I was starting out, and they were like, 'Straighten your hair and do the extensions and long barrel curls,' and I'm like, 'No.'"
Cam added that in the music industry, there's a lot of pressure for women to be sexualized, that there's this assumption that the sexier you are, the better chance you have of being successful. "How often are you like, 'I really want a sexy girl to listen to right now?' No! If you're Beyoncé and you're owning it and you're fierce, yeah that's cool, but it's not because she's sexual," she said. "It's so important for women to remember to be different, be yourself. It's going to be a lifetime of owning it and understanding all that stuff. Just start on it now. You are going to find out all this cool sh*t about yourself."