What is body positivity ?

What is body positivity and why does it matter?


As women, society believe some features makes us beautiful and qualify as complete woman. We are categorized as attractive based on our facial appearance, body weight, body shape, dentition, skin tone, hair color, mode of dressing, and absence of any physical disability or dent. 

As a result of falling short of this perfect body standard, a lot of women have lost their confidence and self-esteem. The majority go through rigorous exercises, extreme dieting, and dangerous plastic surgeries to meet up the standard. This has led many to depression, eating disorders, and permanent body damage.  

Body positivity is a movement that seeks to shatter these baseless societal standards and encourage appreciation of all bodies as they are. Its message prioritizes health and body functionality over physical appearance. It encourages self-acceptance and self-appreciation.

Is that all? There is more to it.

What is exactly is body positivity all about? 

 Body positivity campaign dates back to the 90s. It started with the Fat Acceptance Movement of 1969.  The movement was led by National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA). The goal of this movement was to eliminate any form of discrimination that is based on body weight and size. The movement supported and mentally equipped fat people to accept their bodies. They sought equal rights for fat people and campaigned against body shaming them. The movement gradually spread across the United state and beyond. People begin to extend the philosophy of the movement towards seeking acceptance of all body types regardless of size, color, sexuality, and shape.

Body positivity has now become a buzzword in the media and advertising spaces. Social media, the home of body shaming, and false beauty glorification have also become a tool for self-love and body positivity. More people are constantly using hashtags such as self-love, body positivity, and body acceptance to embrace and celebrate their body imperfections.

The body positivity campaign asserts that all bodies are good and should be accepted regardless of the social and cultural standards of beauty and body images. The goal of body positivity is to shatter all standards of beauty and body appearance. It seeks to promote the acceptance of everyone's body regardless of their shape, color, sexuality, and disabilities. It gives people the confidence to love and accept their bodies regardless of their imperfections.

Body positivity is not just about women, some men are also not comfortable with their body weight and build.  However, women are more affected by social body standards than men because it is believed that women are meant to be attractive.

“ You should be thin and curvy, although not excessively skinny.  Your breast should be full and round. Your butt should be perky while your waist should remain tiny. Your tummy should be flat. Spotless skin is the standard. No stretch marks, bumps, acne, or excess hair. Hyperpigmentation is seen as an eyesore. Your skin tone should be even and shiny!”

Is that even possible? ?? 

Body positivity says you do not have to possess all the features listed above. 

You are good and okay the way you are. You don't have to please anyone. Those features don't define beauty. It doesn't define your capability and abilities. Spotty skin is normal, stretch marks are normal, your body weight and size are normal. None is your fault. It's all-natural.

What body positivity promotes is positive body image. Accepting your body the way it is and leading a healthy lifestyle. 

Why does body positivity matter? 

Body positivity is crucial because it encourages positive body image and discourages negativity.  It encourages equal treatment regardless of physical appearance and discourages body shaming and marginalization.

It promotes positive body image and discourages negativity  

Have you ever stood before a full image mirror just to view how you look from head to toe? What can you see? How do you feel?

Body image refers to your perception of your appearance and how you conduct your life based on this perception. It encompasses how you feel about your weight, size, color, shape, and other physical features.  You can either be pleased or displeased with it. 

Positive body image means when you look into that mirror, you embrace all you see as yours. You appreciate the woman staring back at you from head to toe. You do not believe any part of your body is inadequate or imperfect. You feel good and confident about yourself. You do not compare yourself to anybody. This is exactly what body positivity preaches.

Negative body image on the other hand means when you look into the mirror, you feel terrible and sorry for yourself. You believe your body is not good enough. You question why you did not look like your friend. Why your skin isn't spotless as that of the model you saw on TV. 

Having a negative body image is not a crime but what is wrong is the fact that you are not willing to change such self-perception. Negative body image can lead to low self-esteem and lack of confidence. You believe others are better than you because of their appearance. To meet up with the societal standards of body weight, you begin to undereat and eventually develop an eating disorder. Experts have found a link between negative body image and eating disorders.

You can even decide to go under the blade to correct your nose and chin.  In the end, if you are not able to achieve your goal you may become depressed. A poll by The Guardian UK confirmed that 1 in 8 UK adults have suicidal thoughts because of their body image. Body positivity preaches not hurting yourself over things outside of your control. Your size, your height, your shape, your hormonal responses, and your pregnant body are not your fault. You cant change that, you can try to alter it and end up hurting yourself in the process.

It discourages body shaming and discrimination 

Body positivity campaign also preaches treating everyone equally regardless of their physical appearance.   This concept stemmed from seeking justice and equality for people with more body fat.  If you feel positive about your own body, why would your body shame another person? Accepting yourself just the way you are means you are ready to embrace and accept others the way they are. 

Body shaming involves bullying and making fun of people based on their physical appearance. The hardest hit is fatty people. Some people believe making jest of them will force them to lose weight. Whereas the reverse is the case, it often drives them to eating disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts. 

 If we truly practice body positivity, there shouldn't be any room for body shaming and cyberbullying. 

How to practice body positivity 

Prioritize your health and comfort

 Body positivity doesn't mean you should neglect your body. Rather it encourages doing what makes you look good and feel good. You should be more concerned about your health rather than your physical appearance. Practice a healthy diet not because you want to lose or gain weight but because it's crucial to your health. 

Obesity can also lead to early death. Aside from that, exercising aids proper body functioning. Just keep it at a normal level do not overdo it because you want to alter your body to meet some certain standard. Find a cure to body disabilities that are curable not because of anyone but because it's related to your health and comfort.

Pamper and spoil yourself

Yes! That's body acceptance. Appreciate your entire body and treat it like royalty. Taking good care of your body is very important. Eat well, sleep well, fix that spa appointment, purchase that glowing cream. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin. Unapologetically purchase a nice bikini and hit the beach in your glorious body. You Only Leave Once! 

Focus on your unique abilities and capabilities 

See yourself beyond physical appearance. You are much more than that. Make a list of things that are unique about you. Emphasize them and be proud of your abilities. This boosts your self esteem and confidence. 

Filter what you see on Social Media 

 Social Media is the greatest promoter of body negativity and shaming. With several photo editing apps, it is very easy for people to edit and mask their body imperfections. These unrealistic images often affect our perception of body image. 

Even if those images are true,  who cares? 

Unfollow people or brands who project body negativity and make you feel less about yourself. Refuse to be socially pressurized.

Surround yourself with positivity

Surround yourself with positive people and also be an agent of positivity. Friends who constantly point at your imperfections and make you want to change yourself are not worth being around you. Likewise, don't body shame anyone. Constantly appreciate yourself and other people. 

Final Words 

Body positivity is deeply rooted in self-love, self-acceptance, and appreciating other people. Don't think attaining a certain body standard is a must. Instead, love your body and seek improvement because you want to, not because you were body-shamed into it.  Accepting your imperfection doesn't mean you shouldn't take steps towards self-care and a healthier lifestyle. 





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