Let's Put Body Politics Back Into The Body Positive Movement Because Harmful-Isms Cause Fatphobia

Let's Put Body Politics Back Into The Body Positive Movement Because Harmful-Isms Cause Fatphobia

Fatphobia is racist, sexist, and ableist — and it's something that we must eradicate.

203
views

When we talk about body positivity, we sometimes tend to think of a few things: parts of our bodies we feel confident about — which are usually small or toned — as well as appreciating what our body can do. We may tend to think of small, white, young, conventionally attractive women. We may tend to think of these images because this is what we're fed, whether that be in movies or on Instagram.

But body positivity is and always has been inherently body politics. It's intersectional feminism. It's including marginalized identities, fat people, conventionally unattractive people, men, people who are gender non-binary and more.

Body positivity and body politics also center around how we address our body. It can be found in fashion, in enjoyable workouts, in hiking trips, in singing, and in late-night ice cream runs. It's our self-talk and how safe we do or do not feel and how what we look like impacts our everyday lives and interactions with others of different identities. It's far from always looking safe and happy.

The fear of fatphobia and the tendency to leave it out of the body positive world is ableist. It's why doctors misdiagnose fat people all of the time, worsening their real medical issue. It ignores the fact that diabetes can be caused by genetics, poverty, and violence and that high blood pressure can come from the anxiety of fatphobia surrounding your body, not your body itself. It discriminates against people who aren't able-bodied.

Fatphobia is also sexist. It says that a person's worth — and especially that of a girl or woman — is found in her body — or more accurately, a lack of it. It's opening a woman's body up to scrutiny as property that can be owned and controlled. It decides what a woman "can" and "should" wear and how much weight she needs to lose and what she can eat without judgment. It discriminates against and limits women.

Fatphobia is also racist. With black women, being fat is correlated with the Enlightenment era belief that fatness was evidence of savagery and racial inferiority. Black women are not included in the idea of what body positivity looks like. Actress Rebel Wilson didn't see previous black actresses as being the real first plus-size women in romantic comedies because "blackness" is inaccurately and unfortunately equated with largeness and fear.

Fatphobia is an understandable feeling in today's diet culture-filled society, but it's something we must eradicate. We have to keep in mind what fatphobia really comes down to — all of the -isms — and use that to fight back, especially as it never leads to anything positive and can even lead to life-threatening eating disorders.

Popular Right Now

“Wow, Your Butt Has Been Getting Bigger…What Have You Been Up To?”

A Letter To Those Who Enjoy Asking Dumb Questions
72448
views

Thank God I rarely get this question, being slim and all, but I feel for the girls that do. It is a notion that is prevalent among the Black population, and we know I don’t have to explain why. I am so sick and tired of people coming up with the dumbest ideas and this is one of them, especially when we have such amazing inventions like Google in this day and age. This question is not only embarrassing and an invasion of privacy of the askee (one of my newest words; please bear with me), but it is scientifically and biologically unsound. And as a Biochemistry major, I take pride in research and the distribution of reliable information. So I naturally get irritated whenever I’m being asked this rude question or hear someone saying it to someone else.

This notion is degrading to women everywhere and yet I know people who are ready to swear on their grandmother’s false dentures that it is the truth, and that they’ve seen it happen to their sister or daughter or niece.

“Noo…my cousin Tay-Tay had a flat booty last year! She started doing that guy down the street and now she has hips and a big butt!”

Well the truth is, I don’t care what you think happened to your Cousin Tay-Tay. And apparently, neither does biology.

First of all, before disproving this annoying notion, I am going to state said notion so we know exactly what is implied.

SAID NO TION: This theory states that once a(n) teenage/adult female starts to show signs of hip and gluteus maximus enlargement, she is automatically assumed to be sexually active. Period. End of story. No questions asked. Her misdemeanors are instantaneously concluded and her fate sealed. She is going to hell.

Now that we know the notion, let me give some reasons why people may have this idea, although it’s obviously wrong

  • Some studies say that women do gain weight on their hips and breasts the minute they start making love. According to some researchers, this may be due to the hormone prolactin which stimulates fatherly love and milk production. Especially when orgasm is reached after sex, there is an increase in the blood levels of the hormone. And with the inclusion of humans who suffer hyperprolactinemia (a condition where one has chronically high levels of prolactin), increased blood level of prolactin has been associated with weight gain in some species.
  • A more popular thought is that women get fat after being sexually active for a while because their body parts, for example the hips, butt and breasts, become “disfigured” and loosen up. This is biologically illogical (excuse the alliteration), because having sex involves physical exercise and actually aids in burning off calories, not adding calories.

The publisher went on to disprove this by saying:

"The thing with this research is that the level of prolactin in the blood or prolactin release after sex is a short-term surge and cannot be used o compare a medical condition such as hyperprolactinemia."

So basically speaking, the hormone prolactin that is released during sexual intercourse has only a short-term lifespan and does not account for weight gain in human females.

Scientists argue that due to the fact that during sex, some calories are burned, sex may even tip to favor weight loss by minimal amounts (as already covered) and not weight gain. They also argue that there are no possible means for ejaculated semen to be digested and assimilated into the bloodstream during normal sex and that if it even happened, the number of calories contained in the average ejaculation, which is two to three ml, is 15 calories which in itself is not enough.

So there are the possible reasons as to why some people would still hang on to "Said Notion" and answers disproving them. Now it is a noticeable thing that girls and women who are sexually active and do have sex frequently generally may start to actually put on weight all around. Having cleared the fact that it is as a result of the sex itself, I will give possible reasons why it occurs.

  • First of all, it is good to note that the fact that many people do gain weight after marriage is true both for men and women. This weight gain has nothing to do with sex for men or women but a lot to do with the associated sense of security and the comfort of being in a relationship. Some studies have shown that single people are less likely to eat more than people in a relationship.
  • Another good reason may be that when a woman moves in with a man, since men often require more calories per day and therefore, often eat more, when they eat meals together, she may end up eating the same things with the man in comparable quantities. Together with the security of being in a happy relationship may come a bigger appetite that she may not notice, so you may be eating more than she normally does. This will of course cause her to gain some weight.1
  • A reason for some women to consider may be that they are adding weight because of the birth control pills they are taking. This sure is not for every woman to consider, just those who may be on these pills. Some of the common side effects of these birth control pills are headache, nausea and breast tenderness. But for a few women, the side effect of the pill may include weight gain as a result of fluid retention. This is usually not in significant amounts though and as stated already, not for the majority of women.1 (I thought about this possibility before I looked this up and it is plausible because taking pills and digesting them involves chemical processes which do affect the hormonal balance in a woman’s body. However, effects are said to last only a few months)
  • Some people argue that some certain sex positions can influence the growth of hips and gluts, such as the girl being on top of the guy because she would imitate doing the squat exercise. But think about it. This is, once again, an exercise, hello? It does not increase the size of the fatty cells and tissues in your backside, rather it tones your hips and gluts, making them muscular, not fatter. And for it to even show to the point of being noticeable, the girl would have to be on top for a very long period of time and rather frequently. This all boils down to just using common sense.

There you have it, folks. A complete rundown on why Said Notion should stop being a notion. It is no one’s business what someone else does in their spare time and to have to be openly questioned about it, even as a joke, is pathetic. Boys see younger girls with natural large hips as loose or wayward and feel it’s okay to harass them because they think she’s used to it. I got all this information from Google. If you don’t ow how to use Google, please ask someone to teach you. It isn’t rocket science.

Cover Image Credit: kennethkuykendall

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Complicated Love-Hate Relationship I Have With My Body

We all have times where we look in the mirror and either love or hate what we see.

123
views

People are always saying how you should love yourself just the way you are. You should embrace yourself and feel beautiful in your own skin. There are times that I do. Times where I step up and say this is me, this is who I am. However, there are also times where I look at myself and say, this is not me, this is not who I want to be.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my body. I go days where I feel good about myself and love who I am no matter what. Then I go days where I hate everything I see and want to hide away from everyone. I just can't seem to find a middle ground.

Sure you can make plans to change yourself, but even then, I feel like you'll always see a flaw. My body has changed from time to time, but no matter what, I always find something to hate. I just can't seem to find the confidence in myself to accept who I am. I wish that I could.

I wish I was someone who could love who they are.

I try my hardest to respect my body. I've told myself that I'll work hard to keep it healthy. I made a promise that once my current spine injury has healed that I'll work harder to get where I want to be. To work hard towards loving myself more often than hating myself.

It's a dangerous mindset to have, the hate sometimes consuming you. I also struggle with bipolar disorder, so when I'm in a depressive phase and hating my body things get dark. I feel disgusting and I just wish I could tear pieces of my body away.

You turn away from mirrors, you try to wear clothes that hide the things you don't like, sometimes when you catch an angle of yourself that's particularly bad you just stand there staring, hating it all.

Then you walk with your shoulders back and your head held high. You wear clothes that make you feel cute and you don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You love yourself and decide to be happy.

This constant yo-yo of a relationship is exhausting.

The hardest for me is looking at pictures growing up. Looking back on the way my body changed and trying to pinpoint where things went wrong. Seeing a picture and thinking, 'look how good I look there.' It doesn't even matter if it's a happy memory. If my picture captured a really good moment. All I can focus on is what I look like.

My fear is that these thoughts will never change. I can learn new tricks to help me stay positive. Learn new ways to love myself. Even if I change things, that there truly will always be something I don't like. It hurts to look at yourself in a mirror and only see something gross staring back at you.

To not see yourself, to only see everything you don't like. It makes you want to crawl into your skin. You don't want anyone to see you in fear that they might see the same thing.

When the confidence comes I savor everything moment I have of it. I take pictures, I like to go out, I live my life as a happy me. I try to hold on to that love I have. To remind myself that I am OK. That I can love myself, but that it's also OK to not like some things. I don't have to find every piece of me perfect because no one is perfect. We all have flaws, it's just about learning to accept those flaws as a piece of who we are.

I know that this love-hate relationship will always be there, but I will always be there to try and fight it. I will work hard towards finding that confidence inside myself and let it shine. We all deserve to see the beauty we have, that no matter how bad seems, there are parts of us that are beautiful.

Related Content

Facebook Comments