The Body Positive Movement: Still Not the Right Message?
I know, I know. The world doesn’t need another article about the Body Positive Movement, right? Tired of #bigandbeautiful or #skinnyandstunning like I am? But I am sick of it for an atypical reason; I think it is the wrong message altogether. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for positivity, but I don’t need a movement to love myself and “accept” my body (what the F*&$ does that mean, accept?).
Here’s the deets, peeps:
The Body Positive Movement is a feminist movement that encourages people, women specifically, to practice an affirming and forgiving attitude towards their bodies. It is about health and wellness. Taking the focus off a stereotype of size and type and focusing instead on being positive and becoming fit rather than an ideal created by the media and society at large (or little as the case may be). It seems like a love fest of incredible femme power, yes?
Here’s the thing, I think it does more harm than good and here’s why:
I do not need to “accept” my body, nor do I need to forgive it; I love my body. I am constantly amazed by all it does despite the ‘ish I put it through. Whoo-hoo body! NEWSFLASH: Self-love cannot be gained by hundreds of thousands of people telling you that you should love yourself. If that strategy worked, I would have given up meat and my unrelenting love for a past paramour a decade ago because people told me to and I timidly nodded my head and said, “You’re right” as I ate ribs in private whilst writing haikus about my former flame. Until you realize that societally-dictated ideas are ridiculous and are not organically grown in your gorgeous mind, you can hashtag self-acceptance all day and not believe it. Loving my body as a plus-sized woman took a really long time. I used to hate the wobbly bits, but once I embraced them as my “sexy thick” I smiled, exhaled, and said “YAAAAASSSS Queen” and that was it; no need to talk about it because I knew it to my bones. Then I focused on grown-up health things like my blood pressure and being as healthy as I can. After all, heart disease is responsible for one in every three women’s deaths per year, and that is something I would rather focus on than posting yet another selfie for the movement. #perspective if you must hashtag something.
While it’s a positive movement, it still centers around classification and comparison. Take the Lane Bryant #NoAngel campaign. I am pretty sure everyone knows that like, three percent of the women in the world have bodies like Victoria Secret Angels (Brazil accounts for 67% of that three percent I think). I don’t feel the need to compare myself to them. We do different stuff, and we do some similar stuff. I am a writer/professor/Twister champion, and they are models. They get paid for walking around in their underwear, and I do it around my apartment for free. Let’s focus on ways women can uplift each other rather than live in this constant comparison cycle that we anxiously throw ourselves into.
Most of all, all this talking doesn’t fix the problem. It’s a bunch of words that will go away in 2017, and we as women will have been distracted by the words and hashtags the last few years instead of focusing on the problem: women are still judged by their looks.
Let’s focus on other things instead like real self-confidence, intelligence, creativity, ingenuity, passion, compassion, and nurturing and loving our whole selves rather than one part.