Body Positivity 101: Everything You Absolutely Need To Know
Whispers of this movement have been rife for quite some time. Whether you’ve read about it on an in-depth level, just dabbled in body positive quotes, or know nothing at all, you’re likely curious about what it all means. With that in mind, welcome to class. This is Body Positivity 101 and we’re oh-so-glad to have you here with us. Take a seat, get really comfortable, because we’re about to begin. Here’s a short introduction to the body positive movement and what it could mean to you on a personal level.
So, what is Body Positivity?
You may have heard about the #BoPo movement (on Instagram and realms further afield) but what is it all about? Well, it’s about reprogramming the way we view body types. Since the moment we’re born, we’re given a whole load of harmful information about what constitutes the so-called ‘perfect body’ shape. That means that we all grow up seeing some shapes and sizes as ‘right’ and others as ‘wrong’. We’re told that to be happy and successful, we need to look a certain way and, more accurately, be a certain dress size.
It’s that very mentality that has to change now rather than later. The body positive movement is all about changing the way we see people. It’s about giving everyone the same level of respect regardless of their size and ensuring that no one gets treated differently because of this fact. In short, it’s a journey we’re all on. No, it’s not going to happen overnight, but with a little education, things are certain to change for the better over time. So, let’s start moving forward together.
It’s a cry out against body shaming
Body shaming is a horrible trend, which can be seen across all social circles. Loving your own body and being part of the body positivity movement means fighting against body shaming. The key takeaway here is that you should never need to lash out at someone else’s body to validate your own. It works both ways. It’s time to finally get rid of the idea that we need comment on people’s bodies or, even, that we have any right to do so.
While not everyone may realize it, body shaming has dire consequences. Often those thoughtless and hurtful words can reverberate through someone’s life making them feel like less than they really are — making them feel worthless and undeserving. It’s just that kind of toxic effect that the body positive movement is trying to combat. The idea is that we’re all on our own path and we have no right to get in someone else’s way. There’s no good reason on this planet that we would need to blurt out negative things about someone’s appearance.
It’s not just about us women either
One of the most common misconceptions about #BoPo is the notion that it’s only for women. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the movement is for anyone who wants to be a part of it. Despite what many people seem to think, men face the same issues that women do when it comes to their personal body image. And it’s not only women body shaming women and men body shaming other men. There are a lot of men out there who body shame women and vice versa, too.
Needless to say, one of the major flaws of associating the body positive movement with just women is that it neglects a huge proportion of people it affects. So, instead of trying to create a divide between groups of people, let’s all try to support one another in the best way that we can. Remember, this is not a competition; it’s a campaign for us all to have a better relationship with our bodies. Nothing more. Nothing less.
It’s about equality and respect for all!
Make no mistakes here, this is an issue of equality. Whether we try to sweep it under the rug or otherwise, the fact of the matter is that people without stereotypical ‘ideal’ bodies are treated differently. Whether that means those with disabilities, those will fuller shapes, or those who somehow differ from what society looks at as normal, it affects all of us. So, a huge part of the body positive movement is about breaking down these barriers and exposing them for what they are — just plain wrong.
It’s also about recognizing that there is a real problem with the way society works and how some people are treated as opposed to others. After all, it’s 2017 and, by now, we should live in a world where we are treated with respect, trust, and equality.
Regardless of our differences in gender orientation, sexual orientation, disability, race, age, and size, we’re all in this together. It’s not about pitting people against each other. Body positivity is all about coming together and accepting who we are and learning to love and appreciate our bodies as they are.