I want to discuss my thoughts on body positivity and how the movement is growing and developing . I want to discuss how some recent developments make me feel uncomfortable and I question motivations and how positive it always is .
A touchy subject to breach but bear with me on this. I will explain my thoughts .
Body positivity is a very important issue. I believe that everyone should love and value who they are inside and out. As someone who has struggled with body image issues in the past I embrace the fundemental movement and its ideals . I believe we should lead with kindness in life and show respect to others. We have no right to judge or criticize anyone of different shapes, sizes, beliefs. The beauty of this world of ours is how we are all unique . Our bodies are amazing in what they can do and our minds are limitless. We should not define ourselves or others by unrealistic beauty standards , we are so much more that a certain look and beauty is subjective varied and open to interpretation.
We all have different goals and priorities , we all find contentment and peace in different ways . Lets respect that , not compare and criticize the differences . All of this is what I love about body positivity . I love the freedom and confidence it can bring to regain control and feel strong and unified .
I appreciate and applaud a lot of the body positive movement and the sentiment behind it. However as with all things particularly that which we see online and in the media it can move towards extreme. It can start to be warped and the message become somewhat skewed and adapted to suit the priorities of individuals with their own agenda. We see this with health and fitness all the time. Consider the dawn of the fitspo. Something that started with positive intent and complementing a woman or man who you admire for their strength , drive and achievements as an inspiration and motivation . People wanted to share their achievements then share their ab shots and fat loss and so on . This grew and warped to suddenly becoming another way for people to feel inadequate with beauty or physique standards that were unattainable . It was targeted as the cause of body image issues online due to comparison and unattainable goals . Airbrushed models on magazines made way for filtered internet fitspos online pushing a constant feed of perceived perfection. Different image same end result . The internet mentality is take an idea and run it into the ground! The double edged sword of social media and popular ideas.
Now the body positive movement is progressing which should ultimately be a hugely progressive new dawn of empowerment and acceptance . However some of what I see emerging has undertones that are somewhat negative and critical. What started as embracing health in a broader more realistic sense that promoted self love , respect and care now at times seems to be used for passive aggressive attacks on those who are into health and fitness in a more “extreme” manner ( people defining and deciding whats right or wrong for others yet again) . Passing judgement on those who enjoy a different lifestyle or look . Shaming and judging is not ok , no matter who it’s aimed at , that includes Fitspos or fitfams! We all have a right to our opinion that doesnt always mean your opinion of someone is right , fair or coming from a good place.
Another side of this that concerns me is people coining the term body positive in lieu of health. When I speak of health I speak of it as a broad spectrum of sizes, shapes, age, level of fitness, lifestyles. It encompasses body and mind. Allowing you to live a long , happy , healthy active life. I am a believer that body positivity should lead you to treat your body in a positive kind manner and prioritize your health. Find a balance that works for you mentally and physically.
There is no 1 image of health and yes you should love yourself no matter your size or shape but if your health is being compromised it is not a positive action or a positive message. Being excessively under or overweight is ultimately detrimental to your health and lifestyle. Neither of these are a positive ideal to promote . Neither of these are body positive.
I became a nutrition coach to help people become healthier , to find a sustainable route to this . To help people get active , learn to treat their body with kindness and love appreicating it for how awesome it is! To help people learn to eat to fuel their body correctly witout fearing food . To find balance . Love themselves enough to make their health a priority!
I think my closing point on this is that extremes in any direction can lead to an unhealthy outcome, striving for a healthy happy balance that works for you is what’s important. Your health and wellness are key. Love yourself enough to treat yourself in a positive way …show yourself and others kindness. Live a positive life , if you have to be negative about others to promote positivity then something is out of balance …and balance is so fucking important .