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Friday, 9 September 2016

Body Positivity- Have we lost the plot?

To say that the relatively new body positive trend is a sensitive topic would be an understatement! From what I gather the premise of body positivity involves loving and accepting your body at any size; slim, overweight, thick, chunky, whatever you want to call it. The hash tag #bodyPosi is everywhere and some people are of the opinion that this is a promotion of obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

We are all aware that there is a cookie cutter standard of what main stream media considers beautiful and this definitely has to change. One man’s or woman’s meat is another man’s poison. We all can’t see ‘beauty’ in the same way and we don’t. Being body positive to me means loving your type of beauty and loving your size no matter what that looks like and no matter the size.

Now health and being slim are not synonymous. Health does come in many forms and does look like many different body types.  Overweight and obese people do not have to be shamed in society; they are not disgusting, not vile and not an embarrassment. Yes, the world is in the throes of an epidemic which is killing us, our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and our kids. We definitely have a responsibility to help each other, but where does help turn into hate and ridicule and where does body positivity turn into complacency and what some may consider turning a blind eye to a serious issue.

Very often when overweight or obese (usually) women post pictures on social media to talk about being body positive they are met with ridicule and quite harsh criticism about promoting obesity and disease. I often wonder if these people really care or in fact it is any of our business.

Are they concerned because they believe obesity is draining their country’s resources on funding conditions and health issues that are avoidable (I doubt that) or are they concerned that ‘being fat’ is the new thing and that it shouldn’t be. I don’t always believe that people really actually care. I feel like there’s usually some underlying feeling of being ‘better’ …. that feeling of ‘look I have self-control and you don’t’. That human desire to feel better about yourself by putting someone else down.

As outrageous as people like Nicole Arbour (Dear Fat People video) can be in their views on ‘Fat people’, I believe this mirrors exactly what society is thinking and feeling. I don’t think condescending advice does anything for body positivity, I think it’s quite uplifting that people don’t want to embrace media standards of beauty any longer and are more comfortable and confident in their own skin but I also think it’s important to not forget that although healthy looks different on everyone

Ultimately I call bullshit on anti-body positive protesters screaming ‘Ewww’ at the new wave of body confident individuals who have taken to the internet to spread fat acceptance. There is so much more to being a human being than a number on a scale and what you look like. If we spent more time unravelling the many layers of being human we will find that there’s so much more going on, so many other things to be ‘out raged’ about. For me being body positive means embracing my body in its entirety and reminding myself that I am worthy, beautiful and important. Being body positive for me includes treating my body with respect, the measure for which is my PERSONAL decision and mine alone.

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