Should schools introduce a positivity syllabus? | Plus praise for Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

Thursday 15 March 2018

Model: Megan Jayne Crabbe | Photography: Becky Long
Megan Jayne Crabbe, best known as @bodyposipanda on social media, is a body positive advocate and all round warrior! Her debut book 'Body Positive Power' is a beacon of light to all. While reading this marvellous book, it dawned on me that had I have read this when I was younger, my relationship with my body would have been vastly different...

Megan Jayne Crabbe, best known as @bodyposipanda on social media, is a body positive advocate and all round warrior! Having built up almost one million followers on Instagram, Megan promotes body positivity and self love on a regular basis to her flourishing following.

Last summer Megan released her debut book, Body Positive Power and has since received an even greater response in regards to her body positive advocacy. Having read her book through multiple times, it touched my heart and made me realise that if I had had this when I was younger, life would have been so much different. This got me thinking: what if schools taught positivity and acceptance in all forms!? Body, mental health, religion, gender, sexuality etc… Surely it can only be a good thing?

Megan’s book is a triumph, here’s a little bit more about Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe.
“IF YOU’RE TIRED OF BEING AT WAR WITH YOUR BODY, THEN THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU. We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but this is not true. It’s how we’ve been taught to see our bodies that’s the problem… It’s time for us all to stop believing the lies we’ve been fed about what it means to be beautiful, and take our power back. Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. But then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are. With her inimitable flair, whip-smart wit and kickass attitude, Megan argues for a new way of seeing ourselves, and a world where every body is celebrated. Where there is no such thing as a `bikini body diet’ and 97% of women don’t hate the way they look. A powerful call to arms as much as it is inspirational and practical, this book is the life-changing answer you’ve been looking for.”
Perspectives. I actually never posted the first picture. I took one look at it and decided that after months of dangerous crash dieting I still wasn't thin enough. I'd failed. I hadn't punished myself hard enough to wear that bikini and in my mind, that meant I didn't deserve to be out in the world at all. That's how every summer went, year by year. Missing out on all the days that should have been spent making memories in the light to shut myself indoors and focus everything on shrinking my body smaller. And every single year by the end of the summer, I'd take one look at myself and decide that it wasn't enough. It was never ever enough. I wish I could get that time back now, spend it on letting myself grow in a million beautiful ways instead of forcing myself to be small, smaller, smallest. I can't do that, but instead I can tell you what I wish I had been told back then: this is not your only option. You do not have to spend your life chasing weight loss. You do not have to punish yourself smaller. You do not have to put your life on hold until you can look in the mirror and see a body that you believe is worthy of being out in the world. You have ALWAYS been worthy of that. And you always will be, whether you're smaller, larger, or exactly as you are. So for anyone who needs it, this is for you: stop hiding your body away from the light. Go let yourself grow in all of your beautiful ways. I'll be making up for lost time and growing right beside you, and accepting my body unconditionally throughout it all. πŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ’šπŸŒˆπŸŒž
A post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe 🐼 (@bodyposipanda) on
As soon as you begin reading this book, you can sense your life changing, evolving and becoming brighter. You can feel the years of self loathing slipping away, ever so slightly, but definitely surely. Megan awakens your mind to realise that you and your body is not the problem, but instead society is. I never knew that 288 pages could alter your mind so much and change your perception of both yourself and society too.
From reading the first chapter, it dawned on me that had I have read this book when I was just a thirteen year old schoolgirl, my mindset and views towards my body image would have been completely different. This then led me think about the society in which we live in today, and how damaging social media can be towards young boys and girls. The constant influx of photoshopped images and the unrealistic beauty expectations that fill the screens of our phones    are damaging the minds of young people, therefore causing deeper mental health and body image issues. I believe that if schools introduced a new syllabus, possibly one that concentrates on positivity and acceptance in all of its forms, the future generations will have healthier mindsets and attitudes towards all body types.
We asked you for your opinion as to whether or not schools should introduce a syllabus that concentrates on the above issues, we had a great response turn out on social media, and here’s what you had to say:
As you can see, the response is incredibly in favour of introducing a syllabus that tackles issues surrounding the above topics such as body image, mental health and sexuality. Even though some people think that issues such as sexuality and gender should not be discussed until the age of eighteen, the number of people that are for these issues to be discussed before this age greatly outweighs the few that don’t.
I truly believe that if people had been taught that all body shapes and sizes are normal from a younger age, then 1) people wouldn’t judge others for not adhering to the beauty ideal, and 2) people wouldn’t feel as though they need to adhere to a beauty ideal. The beauty ideal that floods our newsfeeds and magazines, is something that a large majority of us will never be. Providing you know what you’re doing to your body, you’re healthy, happy and true to yourself; that’s all that really matters at the end of the day.
Megan’s debut book ‘Body Positive Power’ is a beacon of light on a dark day, and somehting that I believe everybody should read at least once in their lives. Megan’s social media is also full of positive content that inspires you on a daily basis.
I know, I know, easier said than done. How do you go out into the sunlight when you've spent so long thinking that you're not deserving of it? To start with, we need to stop believing that our bodies exist in the world just to be looked at by other people. Our bodies are not lifeless objects, we're not inanimate pieces of art hanging in a museum for people to gaze at and critique. Our bodies are for doing. How they look on the outside isn't the purpose of the design. When we go to the beach and bare our skin we're not there to be visually appealing to others. We're there to make memories. The dimples on our thighs or whether another beach go-er disapproves of our size is irrelevant. It's not why we're there. Being aesthetically pleasing is not the purpose of our existence. The lesson we learned so long ago, that how we look is the most important thing about us, is wrong. We are not a number on a scale or the texture of our skin. We are not a list of disposable body parts that need to be changed. We are not the judgements that other people make about our outer shells. We are more. Always were, always will be. We've just been made to forget it. Let me tell you something that I wish I'd heard years ago: however your body looks, you are so, so deserving of the sunlight. πŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ’šπŸŒˆπŸŒž This caption is a quote from my book, Body Positive Power 🌸 if you liked it, go check the link in my bio to get your copy! 🌻 #BodyPositivePower
A post shared by Megan Jayne Crabbe 🐼 (@bodyposipanda) on
Megan Jayne Crabbe’s book Body Positive Power is available to purchase from Waterstones for £12.99. Be sure to keep up to-date with Megan’s daily positive posts on Instagram by following her page @bodyposipanda.
First published on, read the original article by Mollie Quirk, here.

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