Body positivity is defined as accepting one's body as it is and attempting to make others feel comfortable in their own skin. However, social media has taken the movement and run with it, like many other pop-culture fads. I'm here to discuss why the majority of the "body positivity" being preached online is not healthy nor health conducive.
I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are from being bullied and taunted in relation to my weight. I was never the small, petite girl in school and always felt different because my clothes were never the same as the smaller girls in my classes. I wish body positivity was a fad when I felt isolated and attacked by the kids around me throughout grade, middle and even high school.
But it wasn't.
Bullying is the antonym of positivity. The two definitions clash and will never see eye to eye. And I suppose that's why I'm so envious of those people who can find positivity within their own physical appearance. Body positivity to me, is loving your body while simultaneously promoting a healthy lifestyle. That is what the body positivity movement fails to focus on. I see images of men and women with an abundance of health issues directly related to the fact that they are morbidly obese.
There is absolutely nothing positive about morbid obesity. There is nothing positive about the amount of health conditions and risks that come along with being unhealthily overweight.
That is not, that will NEVER be body positivity. That my friends, is fat acceptance.
We aren't doing society any favors by promoting this idea of fat acceptance. We will continue to lose men and women at too early of an age, to obesity-related healthy issues because pop-culture tells us its okay to love an unhealthy body weight. I see women larger than I ever was being praised for their bravery and beautiful body, but what's so beautiful about an abundance of health issues that are directly related to body-weight?
Maybe I'm being selfish, maybe I wished there was someone to tell me my body was beautiful when I was morbidly obese. However, there wasn't, there was never going to be someone to boast my physical beauty when I was too large to shave my own armpits, or walk up the stairs without panting like I had just run a mile. Because being in that physical state IS NOT beautiful.
For some this may be hard to comprehend, it may seem harsh, but it is the uncensored truth. As a society, how are we supposed to promote an unhealthy lifestyle just to spare feelings? I was tormented growing up, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone else in this lifetime. Yet, obesity cannot be promoted as beauty.
Since leaving high school, I have lost over 100 pounds and am still losing. I love the progress that I am making, however I still find it difficult to see anything positive about my own body. When I look in the mirror, I make it a point to find something positive to say about myself. My journey is a positive one, as it is not only promoting my own positive outlook on my physical appearance, but is proving to be so positively beneficial to my health, both physically and mentally.
Body positivity to me is understanding what a healthy diet, regular exercise and a positive outlook on life can do for a person. It isn't promoting degenerating eating habits that only continue to put a person's health in a position where they crave others' approval because they cannot find it within themselves.
We must all learn to love ourselves, and one another but for the right reasons.