I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while now but constantly kept putting it off. I just didn’t know where to start. I mean where is it you start with Body Positivity? The biggest buzz word of our generation. A word that has so many definitions to different people. I’m writing this, to understand what the media, what we as a people, and what the world around us, perceive body positivity to be.
The term “body positivity” was actually created out of treatment for anorexia recovery in 1996, when a psychotherapist and a woman who had personal experience with an eating disorder founded thebodypositive.org. The methodology and messaging behind her lectures, workshops, are all centered on creating a message to other suffers about reducing the focus on changing body weight through disordered eating and exercise. That, I find very interesting because it’s exactly that, what I think it means. I think, “body positivity” is all about body acceptance. Accepting that not everyone is the same, and you are who you are, you are enough. What ya’ momma’ gave you and all that jazz!
Body positivity is all about demolishing the idea that only certain bodies are worth acceptance and encouragement, and instead, recognizing that every body is equally valuable. It’s deciding what feels right and healthy for you personally, being in tune with your body is so important and it’s not judging other people on what they do with their health. It’s working toward a world where no one’s body is the target of such bias.
I massively think the world is influenced by ideologies designed within the media. The media plays such a HUGE part in what is beautiful, in what is perfect, and what it socially accepted. I use the word designed because it’s always people who are ‘visually pleasing’ on the front of magazines, who have the most followers, who get the most attention and I ask you this, why is it? And what is visually pleasing exactly? Why isn’t there a real woman on there? Realistic women on our screens? What I perceive as beautiful and visually pleasing is probably different to the next person, so why is there this type of body that we should all have?
The question I put to myself, while I was pondering this subject is, am I body positive? Do I love myself? Well, I don’t hate myself, but I often abuse myself by doing too much exercise or putting myself down when I have a slice of cake or I don’t eat enough when I’m dieting. And that’s not good, and why do I do it? I do it to look good. It’s a very vain thing to say that, I know when really I should be doing it for my health, to feel good about myself inside, mentally. And that’s something I’m working towards, and I’m improving that within myself.
What spurred this post, was reading about Channel Mcleary, who was recently on Big Brother. A woman who I found very interesting to watch, she’s bubbly, confident, beautiful but when unmasked, she showed the public a very small part of her insecurities. She mentioned she’d been bullied as a child, heavily bullied in fact and then most recently she revealed to her fans via social media about her battle with body dysmorphic disorder and I couldn’t believe it! I was so shocked, she has come so far since her past and I really admire that, and her happiness with her weight. She’s talked about her struggles in hope that she inspires other young girls to forget media pressures through her influence online. How amazing is that? Personally, I think she’s a real, honest and genuine person who isn’t wrapped up in superficial celebrity stardom. However, some will argue that she has had surgery and liposuctions to alter her figure and it isn’t real, but then that goes back to my point about who are we to judge?
I do feel like the term body positivity is the easiest way for brands these days to sell stuff to women. Let’s talk about the latest ‘Real Beauty’ Dove campaign that didn’t end well with the body shape bottles, I mean bless the person who thought of this idea, probably thought it would be light hearted but oh no, it went down like a sack of sh*t! It’s almost as if brands believe that mentioning body positive makes it good and above criticism because, hey, at least they tried. Erm, no.
So I ask you this, are you body confident, do you feel pressure? What is your perception of body positivity?
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