You must have a positive body image before you can work on your body.
You need to feel good about your present self first.
Some conservatives are upset about body plus positivity and “too many awards” for kids as if it’s “forced self-esteem”. People are all of a sudden preachings to accept brutal “reality.” But that doesn’t make you do anything, including the people talking this way. Accepting brutal “reality” makes you give up.
We naturally love to watch others that are as silly as us, or even sillier, like Homer Simpsons from the Simpsons or Morty from Rick and Morty. That’s what many comedy shows are based on: Making us feel better about ourselves.
But how can we do that without comparing ourselves to others? We must see the good things inside ourselves first, as small as they are, and value them. That’s the only way to create the motivation to become better.
So when we tell ourselves that being alive is actually a bonus to begin with we think twice about suicide.
We don’t have to compare ourselves to other people that are doing poorer than us (it’s actually unrealistic). We get better because we believe we deserve to get better just because we’re alive. Self-esteem is important to start with.
If you are lucky in the first streaks of your life, you are lucky forever. That’s the hard fact of nature. If you grow up in a bad family, trauma will make you an underachiever, you will fail in relationships, and your children will inherit your trauma unless you become better.
But, our whole reason for being is to challenge what nature intends. It’s miserable to us if any family member dies, yet nature wants to kill people all the time. Our fundamental being as human beings is to challenge nature. So, we challenge the “Streaks” rule of life.
Naturally, since “we can’t let loser people like me die”. Let’s make their lives bearable so they are productive for society.
We can’t just give up on them and tell them to forget about self-esteem and that they’re lost causes. Or that they must somehow come to terms with the “reality” that they are worthless, because they’re going to feel worthless and won’t do anything about it because they are not worth investing in.
The streaks rule says they can’t become better if they feel worthless.
We need to give them an initial push so they don’t kill themselves (and hurt us), and be bitter to the world. So we pump up self-esteem, and see the beauty in cultural flaws.
And it works. For example, if, as a teenager, my mother points out that I have a nice and fit body, even if I’m not The Rock, and I am actually a bit chubby, I feel good about myself. I’m like: “Hey yeah, not too bad, actually.” What do I do next? Naturally, I start cutting down on cookies to protect my body. Or cut down on smoking. Because with simple cost-profit calculations, I need to protect this value that I now find. Even more, I start to work out to make it even better.
“Life is a zero-sum game. Worthlessness is the default condition. What but willful blindness could possibly shelter people from such withering criticism? It is for such reasons that a whole generation of social psychologists recommended “positive illusions” as the only reliable route to mental health. Their credo? Let a lie be your umbrella. A more dismal, wretched, pessimistic philosophy can hardly be imagined: things are so terrible that only delusion can save you.” — Jordan Peterson, 12 Rules for life, 2018
But that’s simply not true at all.
Life is not a zero-sum game, life is about compound interest.
It is much easier to compound things from 1 or 2 to greatness, rather than 0.
Zero actually stays zero, forever.
So, let’s pump each other up, as fluffy and fake as it seems. Let’s talk about the inherent beauty of plus size. Let’s forgive social anxiety. let’s give participation awards for trying. Let’s stop the inequality coming from “Streaks,” they are based on chance.
More importantly, let’s reward people for being human beings, even if they have a missing limb, or they failed at their career. The only way they don’t commit suicide or hurt others is if they see the inherent value in them, which is very real, and it can be used for good and evil, for themselves and for others.