Ashley Graham models in underwear on a plane.

Ashley Graham | Health

We all need a little reminding that we’re worthwhile human beings. Our value is not determined by our weight or the size of our jeans, though it so often feels otherwise. In my jaunting about the internet today, I stumbled across a list of tips for loving yourself from plus-size model and all around excellent human Ashley Graham. An advocate of body-acceptance and a business force to be reckoned with herself, Ashley’s words are worth remembering.

Stay active.

“I believe you can be healthy at any size as long as you’re getting off the couch and moving your body,” Ashley says. The key to feeling healthy is to keep moving, always, regardless of your size. Staying active is ticket one to happyland. And she’s right: research strongly indicates that regular exercise is a necessary component in finding happiness.

If need be, cut labels off your clothes.

Clothes sizing varies so widely that a size 10 in one place is a size 6 or a size 20 in another. But what’s worse: wearing clothes that are comfortable and flattering, or going up a size? Ashley says, “Who cares about the number that’s inside your jeans? If clothes are making you feel bad about your body, go ahead and buy a bigger size.” And if that upsets you, physically cut the number out of your pants. Doing that “really does help your confidence because you don’t even have to think about it. You just think, ‘Wow, these jeans look really good on me!’”

Try to be less critical of other women.

In a society like ours, it’s easy to get caught up in comparative relationships: she’s thinner, her hair is longer, she makes more money than I do, she looks better in that skirt than I would. But not only is that hard on you, it’s hard on the other women you interact with. Break this cycle by thinking kind thoughts about others and, as hard as it can be, think them about yourself. To deal with criticism, Ashley asks herself if she is happy. “If the answer is yes, then who cares what these people are saying? At the end of the day, if you’re happy, that’s all that matters.”

Thanks for the reminders, Ashley! Even I, Mary, queen of the world, need to be reminded of my value sometimes.

About 

Mary Summers is a recent college grad and freelance writer residing in the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing about trending topics, health and beauty advice, music, film, and television.