The Movement of Poetry into Body Positivity

Words are a powerful tool. They have the unique ability to be sculpted into a showcase of healing. They also have the power to damage and to chisel away at a person’s self-esteem. How we choose to use our words and present them to the world matters. It matters more than we might even realize at first, which is why it is empowering to see so many poets discussing the topic of body positivity and self-love in their work.

The body positivity movement in poetry is encouraging readers to see themselves as beautiful and worthy; it is a message that cannot be stressed enough in a society that is hyperfocused on comparisons and superficial appearances. I have chosen some poems that I feel do a wonderful job of leading the way into a world of body positivity. These poems can be great reminders for our friends, our loved ones, and ourselves that we are unique and beautiful in our own right.


Nayyirah Waheed


and I said to my body. softly.  “i want to be your friend.” it took a long breath.

and replied, “i have been waiting my whole life for this.”


I was struck by the profound and immense beauty of this poem. We fight so many battles against our own bodies—the same bodies that are working day in and day out to provide a home and nourishment for our souls. What a revolutionary idea it is to create a peace treaty with the war you wage against your own skin. I love this piece and everything that it inspires in the reader.


Amanda Lovelace



Fill yourself with energy,

With sunlight.

Treat your body

To tenderness &



This poem is truly lovely. Our bodies are our homes and we should care for them as such. Provide your home with nourishment, with energy, with sunlight. Allow your body to heal its wounds. Strive for tenderness. Let the smell of lavender envelop your very soul. No matter what your self-care looks like, the message here is clear: heal. Heal your body. Respect your body. Treat your body with the kindness it deserves.


Cleo Wade


it’s all beautiful


why should I

believe in



because there is one way that we are all supposed to look?

because someone is selling me something to make me look

more like someone else?


so a company can profit off not only my money but also my



because as long as there is a standard of beauty, one type of

person can be celebrated while the rest of us are left out?


wanting, starving, shaming, and hating our beautiful bodies.


why should I

believe in



whoever created the concept

does not believe in



let us no longer “embrace our flaws”; we have none. I am me.

you are you.


it’s all beautiful.


Let that sink in for a moment: “it’s all beautiful.” When is the last time you were made to feel that way? That you are unique, different, and still beautiful? Society often doesn’t like that message because it goes against the grain. There are so many opinions on aesthetic and beauty. Often, these opinions exclude others on the simple basis that they are different. We need to take back our stories and remind ourselves and each other that we are ALL beautiful. We are all worthy. We all have a beautiful energy and vibrancy to offer the world that is so much more than skin-deep.

Believe in yourself. Believe in your unique brand of beauty and potential. Never let someone make you feel like you don’t rate simply because you don’t fit into a specific category. We all have light within us. Believe with your mind, body, and soul in the beauty around you and within you.

I hope that these poems spoke to you as much as they spoke to me. In a world where it is easy to compare and critique, offer yourself some love today. Provide your body with these gentle reminders. Remind yourself that your body is your home, your nourishment, and your own. Celebrate that.