The body positivity movement has gained some serious momentum over the past decade. According to a recent report, women and men started to become increasingly discontent with their physical image in the early 2000s. Body positivity has started to rise with the arrival of social media, but some of its central beliefs evolved out of the fat-positive objectives of second wave feminism in the 1970s. The body positive movement is inspiring women to redefine femininity on their own terms, and the media as well as the beauty and fashion industries are being compelled to conform in order to remain relevant.
So what exactly is body positivity?
There has been some controversy around the fact that body positivity can be traced back to the Fat Acceptance Movement, which supports the liberation of fat bodies and fights against the stigma surrounding them. But the common meaning of body positivity nowadays has been broadened to include bodies that haven’t traditionally been the target of hate groups. Which leads to the fact that body positivity is in no way promoting obesity, but in reality the advancement of self-acceptance across the board for all individuals.
Body positivity can be defined as the unlearning of the idea that only certain bodies are worth acceptance and accolade, and instead recognises that ALL bodies are equally attractive and valuable. It’s understanding that you deserve to be happy with the skin you are in without acquiring prejudice from others. Body positivity is deciding what feels good and healthy for you as an individual, and letting others do the same for themselves.
Accepting and loving your body doesn’t mean that you now value your outside over what’s on the inside, adopting body-positive ideals can actually help unlock your mind. Allowing you to embrace who you are, open up more to others and further learn what you truly want out of life, rather than obsessing about the size of your waist. Embracing your appearance is not where the road ends, because true body positivity still means working toward the empowerment (physically, emotionally, economically, politically etc.) of others.
It is also crucial to note that loving and acknowledging your own body doesn’t make you arrogant or selfish. We are all human and we’ve all been affected by the world around us. The best that you can do is try to be kind to yourself and to others. Because in all truth, living a body-positive life means embracing principles of acceptance regardless of size – that goes for your own body, and everyone else’s too.