Its a phrase you’ll hear a lot. Body positivity. It’s quite the powerful phrase too, as being positive about our bodies is not always something we’re easily capable of doing. The phrase itself has roots in various areas, including helping the disabled or anyone who has a body that doesn’t quite fit the norm and is struggling to accept that out of social anxiety. The idea is that if you can accept your own body, then it doesn’t matter what other people think. Only have one leg? Have to live life in a wheel chair? Its okay, body positivity is there for you.
Its a method that has really helped a lot of people come to terms with their bodies and has had a lot of success helping them gain back their independence and self confidence. The definition has since stretched itself in recent years to include people who are overweight. Teaching them too to be positive about their bodies. Furthermore, its spreading further than that. Not only are people being taught to be positive about their own bodies, the idea that you must be positive about everyone’s bodies at all times is fast becoming the expectations of people; especially those in the overweight category.
On the one hand, fair enough, overweight people don’t want to be made fun of for being overweight, or have their bodies considered negative in anyway. Nobody wants their body to be looked upon negatively, that’s fairly normal. However on the other hand, its not really okay to tell people what opinions to have about being overweight. Nor is it okay to try and force respect for your life choices on people who have different opinions.
I truly get why they would want to police people’s opinion this way. To have control over the way they are viewed. It’s because they’re tired of being viewed negatively, it’s hard to live like that when people look straight at you, see one thing, and that’s all you are to them. Fat. Though an assault on free speech and everyone’s right to an opinion isn’t by any means a fair response.
Instead they should take body positivity back to its roots, remember that its about you and yourself. Being positive about yourself, regardless of what other people might say. If someone says “You’re fat” then oh well? Right? Because you’re positive about your body. You can’t expect everyone with different opinions than you to change them just because you cry that you’re being oppressed or marginalised for being overweight. But you can change yourself and the way you feel about other people judging you. If you’re truly body positive, then it doesn’t matter if other people think you’re fat.
Except no, most people using body positivity these days tend to be totally consumed by what people think of them. They don’t just want to be positive about their body, they also want other people to be positive about it too. This is literally the entire opposite of what body positivity should be about, and defeats the whole root point of it. If you’re getting upset and angry that people aren’t being body positive about you, you’re pretty much getting upset and angry that people think you’re fat.
I truly think body positivity is a great tool for helping people get back on their self confidence feet. I just think its a real shame that the terms have been co-opted by over sensitive people who are just trying change everything around them; rather than change themselves at all.