A community of Australian mums.

Why The Status Quo Body Positive Movement Sucks.

The whole body positive movement has been done. Relentlessly.

Although I see it at face value, and I understand what it is trying to do, I feel it is truly lacking. What I’d really like to do is start a discussion about what being body positive actually means, or should mean, rather.

It’s the before and after photos of influential skinny fit girls taken five minutes apart on Instagram. The whole believe it or not, it’s all about angles, lighting, love yourself with hidden agenda’s. These photos are just another form of click bait. A way to cash in on the insecurities of women searching for evidence of their validity. Although who sets the standard of what’s normal? Apparently the people who use the movement for their own agenda.

The body positivity movement should be used for so much more than this kind of self deprecating need for validation.

Body positivity is not innovative or novel, although I feel it is truly missing the mark. It should be portrayed that it’s about nourishing your body properly. Loving yourself enough to take proper care of yourself beyond reasons that feed the ego. Body positivity should be portrayed that it’s about overall health, body mind and soul inclusive of mental health. Especially about mental health!

How can we adopt more positive affirmations about ourselves and our bodies if we fail ourselves with a negative mind.

I feel that the body positive movement is off to a good start, but it needs to broaden it’s portrayal of what it can truly encompass.

We can all say we are proud of our “post baby bodies” until we are blue in the face, because that’s the trendy thing being fed to us at the moment on social media. It makes us almost feel guilty if we don’t comply and love our stretch marks. Although when all is said and done, and it’s just us and our saggy bellies hunched over on the toilet seat, are we proud of them really?

Or is this movement something to hide behind because it’s easier to jump on board a bandwagon rather than face our true insecurities. These insecurities don’t actually go away just because you hit “like” on a photo in your news feed. Or because someone tells you that you should love yourself. I know mine certainly didn’t.

We women need to dig deeper. Go beyond the surface of the skin so we can truly be at peace with ourselves and what makes us uncomfortable or “different”. We need to go through our own version of metamorphosis and peel off the layers of self doubt in order to do whatever it takes to turn us into a butterfly.

Once we are at peace with ourselves, we in turn become a more peaceful and tolerant society. This is when positive change happens.

Body positivity  should be about self love beyond face value. It’s about getting a mental health plan if you feel it is all too much. It’s about losing the stigma associated with it. Body positivity is about being comfortable and nourished in your own skin, but it’s not just exclusively about skin. Your body consists of more than your saggy belly, your boobs, or your bone structure.

It consists of your brain, your soul, your health, your abilities or disabilities. It’s about loving yourself enough to truly take care of your needs both emotionally and physically. It consists of making informed choices about what you place in your body. It’s also about making positive choices about drugs and alcohol. It’s about not being sexually promiscuous in order to feel validated. About information and education and feeling strong and worthy enough to keep choosing the more empowering options without apology.

It’s about our well being.

Body positivity is a sense of self that doesn’t go away if we put a bit of weight on, although it’s not about giving up altogether either. Body positivity is something that shouldn’t go away if we lose a limb or our illnesses flare. It’s not about needing validation from strangers on the internet when we are feeling insecure.

It’s not about fitting into a popular body type, whatever that may be. Skinny, muscular, curvy, able bodied. It’s not about getting that latino booty or that white girl thigh gap because it’s on trend at the time. It is not about chasing the ever changing standards of inclusion.

It’s about being honest with our true selves and reaching a point in our lives where we love ourselves enough to understand we are enough and to nurture our own wants and needs with the same urgency as we would a child’s. It is also about celebrating ourselves which ever way we choose, whether it be competing in a swimsuit competition or embracing and loving our curves. About wearing a wig when our Alopecia plays up, or choosing not to and being comfortable with both choices.

Body positive ideals should be about inclusion. It’s not about privileged exclusivity. It’s not just about first world skinny jean problems it’s about intersectional feminism.

Intersectional Feminism:

“The main thing ‘intersectionality’ is trying to do, I would say, is to point out that feminism which is overly white, middle class, cis-gendered and able-bodied represents just one type of view – and doesn’t reflect on the experiences of all the multi-layered facets in life that women of all backgrounds face. That is, feminism that is overwhelmingly white, middle class, cis-gendered and able bodied. When voices within a movement are marginalised to the point where they don’t even think that it is for them, the only result of this is that the movement is weakened becoming less effective.”

We need to kick the doors of inclusion wide open to incorporate all women so we as a gender on the whole feel a part of this movement. I’d like to see us broaden the margins of “normality” so we aren’t all striving for ideals that are poorly represented. I’d love to see the promotion of ideals that are currently not represented at all, or only represented in small minority groups. Both on a cultural level and in the disability sector.

Being body positive is not just about self serving ideals. It’s about being apart of something that is bigger than you. Then putting your hand up as a catalyst for change.

Being body positive is reaching a point where you love yourself enough to make a stand. So that in the future, being body positive isn’t just a movement, it’s a way of life.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This