10/13/2015

Is The Body Positivity Movement Really Positive?

 (updated 08/29/16)




Is the body positive movement as positive as we are making it out to be?

Before I get any further into this I want to state that what I am about to say is in no way intended to hurt or demean anyone.


The whole body positivity movement has started to really blow up. Women are standing up and saying that their size 12 bodies are just as beautiful as any model out there, and I would have to say I totally agree. More plus size women are getting the opportunity to be featured with major clothing brands and even on the runway! This is huge but is this really a push in the right direction? Are we going about this in the way we should?

There are pop artists out there who have made it a point and written songs to empower bigger women like Megan Trainor with her song "All about that bass" or Nicki Minaj and the list goes on and on, but for example when Megan referred to skinnier people as skinny bitches the song instantly loses its meaning to me. You are no longer being pro body positivity, you are shaming women who aren't like you. Isn't that what we were trying to minimize with the body positivity movement in the first place?


I am a skinny girl, I can eat like a 200 pound bodybuilder but my weight fluctuates little to none. This is something I have no control over, I had troubles all throughout my life meeting a healthy weight because I was so tall and simply would not gain weight. This was followed by low self esteem for lack of curvature and just feeling like a giant freak. I have been made fun of and ridiculed for being underweight throughout my life far too many times, but that's okay right? You couldn't possibly be hurting my feelings if you are calling me too skinny?

To this day I still get comments about how I should eat more and how I look like a stick.
Why is it okay to tell skinny people to go gain a few pounds when I would never turn to a woman of bigger size and tell her to lose some?


There has been instances after another where I have felt publicly downright humiliated for my size and build. There was a time when I had just started working at a new vintage store that had opened up, I was so excited to start working there (I live for vintage!) On our first day we had a little get together with my coworkers and managers so that we could share some quick facts about ourselves and tell each other why we are excited to work there. When it was my managers turn to put her two cents in, she decided to blurt out " I am happy to work here because we provide clothes that fit actual women" and then she turned to me and said "sorry Amy." As if to basically deciding to call me out in front of my new coworkers and insinuate that I am not a real woman because I don't meet a certain weight criteria in her eyes.
I have never been so mortified in my life.


This is just a example of situations all kinds of people have been put into by women claiming to embrace all kinds of women.


Body positivity is a huge movement and a great one at that, but we need to make sure that we are moving in the right direction with it. We cannot just empower certain kinds of women and put down others. When did it become righteous and moral to insinuate anyone is not beautiful. We should all be considered equally beautiful and womanly as the next person. You are beautiful whether you are thin, short, tall, have freckles, black, white, Latino, or you are heavyset. No one should have the right to put you down.  

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