I recently read an article on Odyssey titled “I'm Not A Fan Of The Body Positivity Movement”. The author discusses her personal troubles and tribulations with her own love towards her own body.
She then said something dangerous:
“Body positivity is about loving your body, but if you don't love your body because you're too fat, too skinny, too stout, or not pretty enough, then instead of teaching yourself not to say anything bad, why don't you change it?”
For starters, there are countless reasons people are overweight: depression (chronic and postpartum), beginning birth control, hypothyroidism, bipolar disorder, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and many different types of cancer. Saying that someone who is too fat should just do something about it is not your place to say. You have no idea what people are going through, and you have no idea what they have gone through to get to the position they are in today. The body positivity movement encourages people to be the best person they can be, which is the person they already are. The body positivity movement allows people to have higher self-esteem, a better mood, and the ability to just feel good about themselves. How can you say that feeling happy with their bodies and minds is a terrible thing?
To continue on, there are also countless reasons people are underweight. It’s time to talk about eating disorders. Eating disorders, in general, have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness; with 20% of these deaths is a result of suicide. Those who have to live with eating disorders have to battle with their inner demon every single day of their lives. Today’s society is a direct cause of the steady increase of eating disorders in the recent decades. This statement in the "I'm Not A Fan Of The Body Positivity Movement" is a direct example of society and how it has made women afraid to be who they are. How dare you tell people to just change themselves. Their mental disorder is already telling them that they need to change themselves, but the body positivity movement has given men and women alike the ability to see past their inner demon.
You say that if people aren't pretty enough they should just change themselves. How do you expect this to happen? Expensive plastic surgery? Spending an excessive amount of money and time on makeup? Many people don't have the resources to be able to do this nor want to do this. Not pretty enough? Really? People are beautiful. Stop telling people that they aren’t beautiful enough for society’s liking. There enough people telling them that they are ugly and aren’t pretty enough, you don’t have to be another one. We don’t need someone to tell us what beautiful is and isn’t: we need to learn to love different types of beauty. There is not one set standard of beauty. We, as a society, have to learn to be more accepting of people and how they are.
The Body Positivity Movement teaches women and men alike how to love themselves. We are taught from a very young age that men must have completely muscular, godlike bodies and women must be petite and fragile, with little to no body fat. Here’s a reality check: the average American man and woman do not look like this. The average woman's jean size is between a 14/16, however, many companies don’t sell jeans above a size 12 – and if they do, the selection is very limited. The average American male weighs 195.5 pounds. We need to stop focusing on the select few models on the covers of magazines and we need to take a look at our neighbors around us, the large majority of America. Companies have started to listen to The Body Positivity Movement, however, we have so much farther to go to be a happier, more open, and more forgiving country.
The Body Positivity Movement is a movement for all: we need to stick together. We need to be more forgiving of ourselves, and we need to not be so hard on each other. We need to stand up for each other, and stop making fun of other people. The Movement encourages people to be more forgiving towards their bodies. Want to love your curves? Do it. Want to love your size 0 waist? Do it. Want to wear a full glammed out makeup style daily? Do it. Don't want to wear makeup? Don't. Do whatever you want with your body.
Life is hard enough as it is. We don't need to make each other's lives harder than they have to be. We, as a society, need to be more encouraging one another. People make mistakes. They screw up. They eat a pint of ice cream in one setting. We don’t have to hate ourselves for it. We aren’t our mistakes. We aren’t our screw-ups. We are more than that. I am tired of hiding my body in fear of what others will think of me. I am tired of "fasting" for the sake of losing a couple of extra pounds before a big event. I am tired of people saying "if you're over x pounds, stop wearing crop tops/bikinis/shorts/rompers/etc".
I'm tired of my self-worth being defined by the way I look and the way people see me. I am more than that. We are all more than that.