Uh. This is truly a difficult topic. But really, body-positivity is not what it should be anymore. It is such a nice and perfect term, it could stand for a wonderful revolution of body images for women (and men).
Yet, it might have moved into the right direction for a while, but unfortunately it has started down the completely wrong path now.
What are the indicators of False Friends Body-positivity?
- Health is not an issue – hey, I am one of the first to suggest that everyone should live in a body that makes her happy. But as soon as we step over the line of weight, it is either clearly too little or clearly too much, it will be a problem. What good will it do our daughters, if we preach that “Fat is Fine” and then they die of a high cholesterol at the age of 50? Yes, I know that we have a serious problem in the other direction. Too many young girls suffer from anorexia, bulimia or severe depression, because of their body images, and we have to fight and set that straight. But the answer cannot be that every weight and body fat index, however harmful for the health of the person, is fine. It is not. Cellulite, stretch marks – those and many other things must lose their stigmata of being bad and regain their perfect normality. But being drastically overweight isn’t perfectly normal and it should not be advocated as such.
- It only moves in one direction – “Real men play with women, only dogs play with bones” This, and many similar phrases, are often heard around “body-positive” people. But wait a minute. So, right, it is not fair to shame and insult curvy or overweight women, but it is okay to do it with thin ones? This is unacceptable. If you claim to be body-positive, well, then you fucking should be positive towards the body. The body itself. Not the fat or the structure. If not, how about you call yourself overweight-positive?
- You’ll meet a lot of hate – it is incredible for me that at a place, where positivity and love for the person and the body should be encouraged, there is often found so much hate. But not from men, or people who are against that movement (for whatever their reason is), no no no, but from those women themselves who claim to be oh-so-body-positive. You don’t believe me? Try being of a different opinion of one of those fanatic body-positive-women one time! Or even try to post, ask, or state something, if you happen to not be curvy. The wave of hate that you will encounter will speak for itself.
Why should you not follow it?
Because they are not here to help. As I said already before, body-positivity for sure once was a great movement, but too many women take this opportunity to shame and belittle thinner women. Their excuse? “Oh, but we were shamed all our lives”. Yes, that was wrong, and yes, that shouldn’t have happened, and yes, we ought to do something against it, but how in the world can one believe that the right way to react to this is by putting even more hate out there.
Often times, body-positivity accounts, on Instagram for example, aren’t body-positive at all. They cherish people who are too overweight and if you have a body, you have worked for in the gym and nourished with healthy foods you know what? Somehow it seems you have no right to be body positive anymore!
Let us not kid ourselves. It’s an easy excuse. “Yeah, I know that I weigh too much and my knees suffer, but this is who I am and I am a warrior for body-positivity”. “Yep, my doctor said that my blood sugar levels are too high and that I need to exercise more, but you know what, she is just a skinny bitch who tries to shame me, screw her, I’m body-positive!”. “Yes, well, I can’t breath properly anymore after walking 2 minutes, but I am very proud of that, because I’m body-positive!”
What are healthier alternatives?
There are, luckily, sites and blogs that are committed to a body-positive-image – in the right way! One of the sites you’d want to check out, if you want to find encouragement on a healthy, happy, fulfilled lifestyle is Nia Shank’s page (https://www.niashanks.com/start/) . True, she posts a lot on fitness as well, but many of her articles are also concerned with the self and positive lifestyle approaches.
An Instagram account that I love to follow is Molly Galbraith’s. She is one of the founders of Girls Gone Strong, the site, I have recommended in last week’s post (on False Friends Fitness Sites). She has gone through a lot of hardship, as she explains in various of her articles, and her page is full of love for her body. She dedicates a lot of time and care to encourage women to find that love for their bodies in their heart as well.
I wish body-positivity would have risen to its potential – encouraging women to be healthy, to be self-secure, to be satisfied with their bodies, to be happy, to live a fulfilling live. Instead, too many just took it as the easy way out of all the responsibility of staying healthy and caring for one’s body. I am body-positive. I am not for body-positivity.