Need Some Help Loving the Skin You're In? The Body Posi App Was Designed for Just That
Here at Sweety High, we believe it's important to love yourself no matter what body you're in.
Of course, like many things, that can be easier said than done. Against unrealistic standards, it can be easy to doubt whether you're pretty, or thin, or curvy, or toned enough. Embracing body positivity is all about practicing self-love no matter what you look like, and it can take work.
Body Posi is an upcoming app, launching this month, that aims to help us all along that journey. It's inspired by tarot, giving self-affirming daily messages to inspire us as it teaches us how to accept and love ourselves. We spoke with Lauren Clinnick, CEO of Body Posi studio Lumi Interactive, to find out how the app works and why its message is so critical and close to her heart.
Sweety High. Tell us about the Body Posi app and how it works.
Laura Clinnick: Body Posi is a playful app for developing body positivity skills, currently in beta [early access] on Android and Apple devices. Players can flip a daily card for inspiration and guidance, as well as suggested bite-sized tasks to build body acceptance and compassion skills. It's designed to be beautiful, accessible, soothing and measurably helpful for body acceptance journeys.
(Body Posi via Lumi Interactive)
SH: How did the idea of an app about building positive self-image come about?
LC: We're creating Body Posi because as an all-women team, we've all experienced harm from diet culture. I've shared some of my experiences with significant body image issues as a teenager, and why it was important to create Body Posi, as it's something I wish I had when I was younger. While we're seeing a lot of great apps available for meditation, mindfulness and broader self-care skills, the app stores lack anything meaningful, specifically for body positivity and acceptance skills—so we were compelled to create it!
SH: Why did the team see something like tarot as the perfect way to explore that idea?
LC: Our team enjoys the beautiful art and symbolism of tarot, as well as the versatile approach in lesser-known oracle decks. As tools for reflection, they're associated with a feminine history that we really respond to. We've drawn on these systems to inspire curiosity and inspiration, and to encourage the reflection and self-connection that helps when developing body acceptance skills.
(Body Posi via Lumi Interactive)
SH: Why is it so important for you to create games that promote self-care?
LC: We're in a time of global insecurity and stress, and women especially are turning to the digital world to develop skills to better take care of themselves. We're all realizing that body acceptance comes from within, not from losing those last 10 pounds—and that it's always the right choice to invest in yourself. Games and apps are an amazing medium that blends the cutting edge of both technology and art, and with the rise of mobile to want to get these kinds of experiences to as many people as possible.
SH: What messages have you wished you could receive from games you played and other media in the past? How does your app deliver on those ideas?
LC: I sincerely wish that I'd seen women's bodies that looked like mine (soft, curvy) depicted as happy, loved people. Games and media from my youth, and even the majority now shows only a very narrow example of body type as being desirable and worthy of happiness. I was also exposed to (and absorbed) far too many messages that made me fixate on attractiveness as being the most important trait for a woman to have—not her kindness, skills or intellect, but just if men wanted her. Super messed up!
To combat this, with Body Posi we include messages and in-app activities around appreciating yourself outside of how others may view or treat you. It includes a lot of gratitude for body functionality and acts of self-care, as well as developing a diverse mindset of beauty beyond narrow mainstream media depictions—games included!
(Photo courtesy of Lauren Clinnick)
SH: How can games reshape our behaviors and self-views in a positive way?
LC: Games, like all media, have a role in shaping possibilities in how we might see ourselves, perspectives and stories. The edge that games and apps have is that they're interactive, and engage us on a level that involves us, which makes it really powerful for influencing behavior.
Body Posi invites the player to try something new, with support from the app, with a view to changing how they view themselves for the better. It's also important to remember that people play with apps and games like Body Posi in different ways, and that's great! Some will play it once and have a conversation with a friend about it. Others will open it daily, and mostly just enjoy the messages and imagery. Another group will engage deeply with it, doing all the extra activities, committing to change in their lives, because they were already eager for this kind of assistance in body positivity.
We wanted to make something that could help people, whether they were at the beginning of their self-love journey, or a seasoned body-positive practitioner. Making a game this way actively invites consent and collaboration from the person playing it, and that's special in itself when we're communicating with our communities.
SH: Is there any question you wish someone would ask you more often about your games or your mission?
LC: I'd love people to ask us about some of the theory and research behind our design principles, and the details of our games. We put so much work into consulting with experts, engaging with community and participant interviews, and reading books, studies and more. It's important to us that we don't just guess at things, or assume that because we're women with histories of body issues that we know what will work for everyone.
Reaching out to experts in different areas, doing our own research and testing, working our butts off to get things right and improve them along the way; that's what takes us from a good idea to a great experience.
Want to playtest Body Posi before it officially releases? Click HERE to find out how.
For more on treating yourself kindly, click HERE to discover the perfect self-care activity for you, based on your zodiac sign.