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HEALTH | Body Positivity: Treat Yo Self!

“Treat Yo Self”

The last week has been filled with unfortunate Supreme Court decisions and a host of other tragedies both domestic and foreign. In the midst of all of this, it is difficult to stay positive and not feel sad, afraid, angry, etc. Many of us are feeling guilty for not being able to help or ‘fix’ these numerous problems — I know I am.

Living in a world like this with so many injustices and huge discrepancies between the quality of life, even within our immediate community, is tough and unsettling. To be receiving an education or just knowing you have a bed to sleep in is a very special privilege that should not be taken for granted.

But at the same time, many of us take on a tremendous amount of guilt: what are we doing here and why are we not helping people elsewhere who are suffering from oppression and famine?

While these feelings are valid, and while it is very important to focus on promoting social justice within one’s own community, the greater society, and even the world, we will not be successful in our efforts until we ourselves are happy.

Some may say we have food, water, and shelter — what else do we need? Our basic needs are being met, so we are therefore thriving.

This could be true but having one’s basic needs met is simply not enough. Humans thrive once they experience pleasure.

Pleasure can take many forms, and there is no one way to define it. Pleasure can be so many different things for so many different people: solitude, enjoying a favorite food, sleeping, taking a bath, watching a movie, reading a book, intimate relations, sexual activities, spending time with friends, and so much more. Each and every one of these activities is perfectly acceptable, wonderful, and okay to participate in and enjoy. Why is there so much guilt associated with things that most humans have as an intrinsic need for?

Like trying to Photoshop every imperfection and blemish out of photos of celebrities and models, we shame and discourage things that give many of us pleasure. In doing this, we are creating a society where all the things that make us human are stripped away.

But we don’t have to let this happen. Following the words of wisdom from the hit NBC show, Parks and Recreation, we should all “Treat Yo Self!”

A box of Treat Yo Self cupcakes from the episode of Parks and Recreation, "Pawnee Rangers," in season four. (NBC)
A box of Treat Yo Self cupcakes from the episode of Parks and Recreation, “Pawnee Rangers,” in season four. (NBC)

Treating yo self is taking the time to give yourself love and to do something that makes you happy. You can accomplish so many more things when you are in a positive mental state. You can still care deeply about a cause and work hard to make changes in the world as long as you are taking care of yourself. In fact, you will probably be even more productive and successful in your efforts when you are feeling happy and satisfied.

Watch this Parks and Recreation video on “treating yo self”:

Read Kendall Anderson’s earlier blog post: HEALTH | Bridging the “Thigh Gap”.

The Mills Body Positivity Group meets on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 12:20 p.m. Check out the Facebook group:

Or email for more information.