What Is Body Positivity?
Body positivity is an expression that identifies both a social movement and behavior.
But if the question What is body positivity leaves you puzzled, you are not alone. With so much confusion around this hot topic, the definition has fuzzy edges all around it.
So, here is what you need to know to get a broader perspective.
What is body positivity really?
The Body Positivity movement started almost ten years ago. Back in 2012, body activists were going against the impact of photoshopped images on social media.
Fat visibility was the first sign of a new change in the fashion industry.
Thanks to the introduction of plus-sized models, the shift toward body acceptance and self-love began both online and offline.
If someone asked you What is body positivity at the time, the answer would have been simple.
That is, no matter the shape or size of your body, you deserve to have a positive body image. But after a while, the meaning changed.
Online, people showed signs of different behavior. Instead of being happy for somebody if they had achieved a level of physical self-acceptance, most comments go on a negative tirade these days.
Body positivity became another tool to hurt and shame people. Of course, these hurtful individuals are not content and secure in themselves. But they are parts of the mosaic that forms the whole picture.
The importance of body positivity
Having a positive body image is vital. For one thing, it affects our mental health. On the other side, promoting obesity is misleading and dangerous.
This is why most debates swirl around the visual impact of an image and the actual conduct on display.
Women are the main actors in the body positivity stage. When they tell their success story, most body activists say that people of all different sizes can move, be physically active, and love their bodies. This is a good message that has a positive effect on the listeners.
But most media cheekily filter this positive message, trying to create inflammatory conversation on purpose.
So, today, this topic stepped over other boundaries. For example, it came over the video game industry.
Here is why some communities are in an uproar after the decision of some companies to jump on the body positivity train.
The medical truths
Modern society does not always approve of changes in physical appearance. But from a medical point of view, obese people are not healthy.
Obesity researchers often share contrasting evidence that goes against the body positivity movement (also known as Health At Every Size, HAES).
For a doctor, the statement Health At Every Size is not true. Your size and weight determine how healthy you are.
Of course, health care professionals are usually anti-weight bias, anti-fat-phobia, and anti-fat stigma.
Stating scientific facts does not make them fat-shaming trolls. But the general public does not like what they have to say.
The fact that a person’s weight is above a certain cutoff puts him or her at greater risk down the line. Including heart attacks, knee pain, or hip pain.
But when even the covers of popular magazines send the wrong message, obesity becomes a problematic topic.
Does toxic body positivity exist?
You might now know what body positivity is, but this may not clear up the confusion. Why?
Mainly because all sorts of contradictory events are still happening.
TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and other online platforms show a staggering amount of negative comments related to this issue.
Most likely, some of those users are young, insecure individuals without goals or empathy. But others just try to tear down people who are struggling to achieve their dream.
Most media still want to come across as body positive. So, they promote what most people want to see and please their target demographic.
After all, 99% of people do not look like the traditional cover model.
Some companies and celebrities stir up trouble willingly. These posts always go viral. In return, they get hundreds of thousands of dollars free press to bring attention to their brand.
Body positivity is about cultivating and supporting a positive body image. But to avoid misinformation, be aware that:
- Genetic factors may limit the way you are or your physique.
- Marketing experts use body positivity as any other topic of advertising.
- Obesity is a serious condition.
- Unrealistic expectations are a social construct. People tearing down other people for being fit is just silliness.