The body positivity movement has been circulating in the media for some time now. It has become a major hit among social media influencers and it grew to be one of the most significant social movements of the century.
How it all started
The movement has its origins in the late 1960s when women started to fight against fat discrimination and body-shaming. However, the term “body positive” didn’t appear until 1996 and it was coined by Connie Sobczak, who had suffered from an eating disorder most of her teenage years, and Elizabeth Scott, a psychotherapist. Together they created a non-governmental organization called Body Positive with the purpose to help people who have been struggling with body acceptance by offering them various programs through which they promote healthy diets, sustainable lifestyles, and most importantly, a positive body image.
The current body positivity movement has its roots in early 2012. It began as a powerhouse that started out by severely bashing the idealistic beauty standards and encouraging acceptance of ALL body types: fat, thin, short, tall, curvy, round, disabled, you name it. Nevertheless, as the movement continued to grow, it seems like the true purpose of the movement has been taken out of context.
How inclusive it is
The original purpose of the movement promoted several ideas among which accepting your flaws, learning to love your body with all of those imperfections, and most importantly, gaining your confidence back. However, it feels like things kind of spiraled out of control. It turned out that body positivity is not intended for all bodies. Some of the activists believed that since thin and athletic bodies for instance have already been accepted by society, they don’t quite fit the norm.
I got the impression that the movement wanted to change direction and focus only on those bodies who were heavily criticized by society which is fine by me. But don’t all bodies have insecurities? Thinner people are indeed praised more often but it doesn’t mean that they don’t experience body shaming. The pivotal role of the movement was to offer protection to everyBODY. Instead, it turned its back on the “accepted bodies” by telling them they are “too normal” to be part of it.
I am still a big supporter of the body positivity movement. It most certainly taught people how to improve their relationships with their bodies and helped them deal with trolls. However, the more the movement evolves the more it departs from its initial target. As stated before, all bodies are worthy of body positivity, regardless if they fit society’s ignorant standards or not.