Winona Dimeo-Ediger
June 14, 2016 8:40 am
Vatican Pool/Getty

When you think about sources of positive body image inspiration, you probably don’t immediately think “Pope Francis.” But that might change after you read his recent comments about respect, acceptance, and “perfect bodies.”

After dedicating Mass on Sunday to people with disabilities and their caregivers, Pope Francis used the topic as a jumping off point to talk about modern society’s obsession with our bodies — and how we tend to marginalize anyone who doesn’t meet our superficial standards.

It is thought that sick or disabled persons cannot be happy, since they cannot live the lifestyle held up by the culture of pleasure and entertainment,” Francis told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, according to the New York Daily News. “In an age when care for one’s body has become an obsession and a big business, anything that is imperfect has to be hidden away, since it threatens the happiness and serenity of the privileged few and endangers the dominant model.

Preach, Pope Francis! Like, literally. Keep preaching this because it’s an extremely important message.

The pope went on to say, “The world does not become better because only apparently ‘perfect’ — not to mention ‘made-over’ — people live there, but when solidarity and mutual acceptance and respect increase.

Imagine how much more compassionate the world would be if we stopped spending so much time and energy fixating on our physical “flaws,” and instead focused on building respect and acceptance.

Looking for a simple way to put the pope’s words into action? The next time you look in the mirror and find yourself tempted to criticize your own reflection, conjure up some self-love instead. No one is perfect, and that’s the beautiful truth.

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