The Body Positive Movement represents a revolution, especially in the light of what we have seen of it in the most recent years. It is something of a disruption, a rebuttal of what the society considers "the ideal." More and more people are seemingly trooping to the movement for the solace it offers.
What is the body positive movement about? And what is the right way to approach it? Does body positivity necessarily take health into consideration? Continue reading to learn more.
The origin of the body positive movement is traced back to 1996. Connie Sobczak and Deb Burgard get the credit for the first public use of the term. The founders are said to have connections with the eating disorder community.
So what's the movement all about? It is one that encourages people to love their bodies, regardless of what others think. It challenges everything that can make this impossible or hard, including media opinions and restrictive diet recommendations. The movement preaches listening to one's body and doing what makes it feel good.
From the description, the body positive movement might sound all-inclusive. But that is not the case in reality. It has a bias towards women and size. It is more of an attempt to make plus-size women more confident about their body despite hurtful things people might say. It rubbishes the cultural bias for being certain way to be appealing.
The movement provides a breath of fresh air for women who often find themselves trying to no avail to have the so-called “bikini body.” It provides an escape for those ones whose confidence has been badly dented by others body shaming them.
Body positivity is gaining so much ground that more and more people are starting to feel that being plus-size should not be a reason to be ashamed. And that’s a good thing.
With high popularity of social media these days, we are beginning to see a more radical face of the body positive movement. All sorts of hashtags keep making their appearance promoting body positivity as the real thing. Plus-size models, such as Ashley Graham, are gaining greater acceptance as well.
This movement is really challenging the usual definition of beauty. Many are now doing away with the pressure to be very slim to appear attractive. The new way of thinking is that you can also look good as a fat person. From the look of things, it almost appears as if the voices of those in the fat-shaming community are now being drowned.
But sadly, the body positive movement isn’t one about addressing inequality or empowering women per se. It is more about feeling good about your body. Body positivity these days is mainly a matter of sexuality, how the female body is portrayed. It’s about plus-size women feeling sexy in their skin and wearing whatever they feel.
More worrisome is that some members of the positive body movement are taking things to the extreme. A good example of these is Tess Holliday, the lady who popularized the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards.
The American plus-size model qualifies for what medical professionals would call morbidly obese. She reportedly once posted that she was more concerned about self-love than health. That’s definitely not a good thing. It has the potential to make some think that obesity is not a problem. It is worrisome when one realizes Holliday has more than one million online followers, mostly young people.
Self-love is good and should be encouraged. But caution is also important to prevent the issues that come with being overweight or obese. America is having serious obesity problem right now, especially among women. Some estimate has it that up to 2 in every 3 women in the country are overweight or obese.
Excessive body fat makes people more vulnerable to certain scary health conditions. This doesn’t mean you won’t have these issues if you are skinny or slim. But the risk of disorder is significantly reduced in those who have lower body weight.
Some of the medical conditions that obesity increases your risk of having include:
It is important not to overlook these potential issues in the name of body positivity. You cannot wish the problems away but must be proactive
As we have already noted, body positive movement is a great thing seeing how it aims to help liberate people from being held down by society bias. The main downside is that some people use it as an excuse to be lazy and not maintain a healthy lifestyle.
You can actually leverage on body positivity to promote good outcomes – more than just feeling good about yourself. Any reasonable person will agree that it is better to be healthy than to be sexy.
So, how can you use body positivity to promote health goals?
Many overweight and obese people fail to lose weight and promote healthy outcomes because of wrong approach to training and diet. They feel they have a problem that must be fixed, mainly because of body shaming. But they soon get frustrated when things appear not to be going to plan.
By the way, those who body-shame others are clueless. Unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise aren’t always responsible for people being overweight. Genetics play a role. Besides, body-shaming doesn’t solve any problem.
Being positive about your body – accepting yourself – can make it easier for you to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. It takes away that feeling of having a weight problem that you need to fix to avoid being shamed. Such feeling can cause you to feel discouraged if results are slow in coming.
Instead, you could find another goal that you wish to achieve by these changes. Feeling more energetic, livelier, stronger, and healthier are better examples of some to pursue. These are easier to achieve than losing weight and can enhance your quality of life. You will also find it less difficult to continue with the changes made because of the improvements you are seeing.
You may be surprised to find that you are losing body fat in the long run. In fact, this is a clever way to shed pounds, even though that is not the main focus for the body positive.
What No One Is Saying About the Body Positivity Movement | Greatist (https://greatist.com/live/no-one-saying-body-positivity)
Body-Positive Movement: How to Love Your Body Even While Losing Weight | Shape Magazine (https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/can-you-love-your-body-and-still-want-change-it)
Body Positivity Is Great And All But Not When It's Ignoring Health Concerns (https://www.theodysseyonline.com/body-confidence-is-skipping-out-on-health)
Body Positivity is Killing Women - Areo (https://areomagazine.com/2017/04/20/body-positivity-is-killing-women/)
Body Positive Movement - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_Positive_Movement)
Obesity and Diseases: Weighing Your Risks (https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/obesity-health-risks)
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