Body positivity and diversity are hot-button topics that are currently a strong part of the conversation in our society. As curvier models and people who look a bit different are gaining more visibility, it's inspiring more and more of us to embrace the body we're in and truly love it. One person who has long been an advocate for diversity and positivity in all their forms is actress Taraji P. Henson.
"Body diversity, it's very important, because that's where shame comes in. That's where you feel like, 'Well, I don't fit because I look a certain way,'" she told me when I sat down with her at an event with Special K. "Well, you look a certain way because God made you and you're perfect," she continued. Henson went on to say that, in her opinion, our society is moving in the right direction toward acceptance, and she hopes it sticks. "People are all different shapes and sizes. It should be representative of every body type to give someone else hope or inspire someone else who has that body type," she said.
Henson herself said she recently got herself to a place where she loves her body and wants to treat it right, too, because body positivity is more than just loving yourself. It's about loving yourself enough to be good to yourself. Henson, who recently experienced some health problems due to what she calls poor food choices, said that her work and lack of knowledge on what will make your stomach happy (like bone broth!) came crashing down on her and resulted in her having to make an entire lifestyle change.
"I'm now that person who carries a lunch box with my food in it because I'm on a special diet. I take snacks with me everywhere I go because I like living; I like life," she said. And it was this health scare — which she totally kicked in the face — that made her want to do more to empower women to make the right choices, not just with food but with themselves. She and Special K, who did a study and found that more than half of women surveyed spend more time thinking about what to eat than what to wear, are encouraging women to make more positive food choices.
"I think it's great to have choices," she said, not just about food but about everything in life. She said it's important to be confident in what you choose to eat and how you live and to keep loving yourself along the way, because you'll not only feel empowered within yourself, but you'll inspire others to do the same.