The Ugly Side of Body Positivity
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Body image has always been a stressful and sensitive topic for most women. We are bombarded daily with ridiculously unrealistic ideals about how we should look, act, be, smell… like lliza Schlesinger says on any given evening there are only 4 minutes when a woman's brain isn't telling her to adjust something: her skirt, her hair, her bra, her makeup. Our obsession with appearance, or more specifically how the world perceives us, runs so deep it's completely automatic and subconscious.
As with anything that gets pushed too far and eventually breaks, women are fighting back and we are telling the world what’s up.
I totally agree individuals of all shapes and sizes should be equally and fairly represented in media and marketed to without shaming, there is, what I believe to be, an ugly side to this well-intentioned movement.
For me, body positivity is both an inside and outside job. We must accept both ourselves and others for the physical state we are currently in. Everyone's life has seasons, ebbs and flows. Sometimes health takes a backseat to other priorities and that's OK. We must be careful not to let ourselves become victim to the notion that our worth in this world has an inverse relationship with our weight. We are not a better person for being thin or in shape. All our problems will not magically melt away when the scale hits a certain number. Most importantly being in shape does not make one more deserving of love and acceptance.
We all deserve love exactly as we are.
The ugly part of this movement is that I think some people have taken their love of exactly the way they are as an excuse to not exercise and eat food that is not nutritious. I totally respect someone who isn't interested in changing their weight as long as they are taking care of themselves.
Movement for movement's sake and consumption of healthy food are actions of self love. Movement and diet without the desire to modify an un-ideal body is an act of radical self love in a world that is constantly telling us to be someone else's definition of perfection.
It seems to me that an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle only supports this ugly notion that there is only one way to be. Instead, honoring yourself and your body by treating it in a loving way in spite of the so-called rules it breaks is the most effective way to dismantle these conventions.
I love myself as I am and I show my body love by taking care of it and respecting it. I am Strong. I am resilient. I am unapologetic.