The Body Positivity Movement and Why I’m Not Sure I Like it

Lifestyle / Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

You’ve probably noticed over the past few months, that the internet has been taken over by the body positivity movement. It’s all about the girls and the guys, almost bearing all to let the world know that they’re happy with what they see in the mirror. Whether it’s big, small. round, plump, smooth or bumpy. They want everyone and their mother to know that’s who they are and if you don’t like it, well you can jolly well lump it. For the most part I think this is great. I am after all a mother of two girls, who isn’t quite as sleek as she once was. There’s something that unnerves me about this huge emphasis on body positivity though and I’m not sure I like it.

Body positivity and health –

I don’t mind telling you that I’ve always been conscious about the way I look. Being incredibly thin was a big thing for me for a very long time. Since having children my mindset has changed immeasurably and these days I am more body positive, even though I’m not the thinnest person in the room. I’ve made my peace with this and my confidence has soared since doing so, but just because I don’t strive to be stick thin doesn’t mean I don’t strive to be healthy. Therein lies the problem for me when we’re declaring ‘body positivity’ every five minutes. Those advocates for bearing all with a smile might be happy with what they see, but are they healthy?

As much as I think people should share their confidence with others, to encourage them to believe more in themselves. I can’t help but think that there is a fine line between being confident and happy, and allowing impressionable people to believe that overindulging too often because ‘life’s too short’ is OK. It appears that the tables have turned  so much, that we’ve stopped showing stick thin models and have replaced them with larger than life ones. There doesn’t seem to be a healthy middle ground, the average person. Frankly, this worries me.

Educating the next generation –

The hardest thing about writing this post has been trying not to offend anyone, because I honestly believe it’s what’s on the inside that counts. I don’t want people to think I’m ‘fat shaming’ anyone, or ‘skinny shaming’ them for that matter. I just want my girls to grow up in a world that doesn’t revolve around what people look like. I want them to see past all that and to appreciate people for who they are and what they have to offer. People are so much more than skin and bone, people are intricate creatures with a hell of a lot to give.

I think it’s so important to educate the next generation on how to be healthy, rather than how to achieve a certain look. It’s not about being skinny and it’s not about being big, it’s about being your healthy. Nurturing your body to the best of your ability, to keep it working well for you, for as long as possible!




23 Replies to “The Body Positivity Movement and Why I’m Not Sure I Like it”

  1. Zoe, I think you’ve got the right idea. All this emphasis on appearance, whether they’re flaunting their thin or fat bodies, is not good. What has always worked for me is: If you take care of the inside, the outside will take care of itself! I don’t want to be spammy by putting links in my comment, but you might enjoy two of my posts about healthy eating: and I hope you can help your girls not get caught up in all the superficial ridiculousness! #triumphanttales

  2. Oh gosh, I am right there with you! I am so so so on the fence about this body positive movement too. I am way more about building one own’s self confidence more than anything else. Body Positive sort of is a cop out for so many people who are over weight and unhealthy. It allows them to simply say, I am who I am and negate their health… Which I 100% do NOT stand behind!

  3. Thank you for sharing this post. I do see where you’re coming from, but I believe that a lot of societal ideas have started to morph into something a lot more inclusive. Like Target’s fashion campaigns, which show models of all shapes and sizes wearing their clothing. The thing is, life is about balance, and I haven’t run across many influencers or public figures who completely disregard healthy eating because life is too short. Society letting everyone feel comfortable in their own skin is a breakthrough we’ve needed!

  4. I think that body positivity is sadly now being skewed from what it is meant to be. It’s not about congratulating people on being overweight or obese. It’s about not shaming people who are. There are a wide number of medical reasons people find it difficult to lose weight or easy to gain it whether it be thyroid issues, mobility issues like RA, PCOS or medication from another health issue. The BoPo movement is to ensure that people, whatever size they are (yes slim people get involved too) accept and enjoy their bodies whatever it looks like.

    I agree that health and education around health should come first, but healthy people don’t have to be slim/skinny. I’m healthier than I have been in a long time and I havent actually lost much weight (I’m a size 14 so in the middle of the two ‘camps’), I just exercise, eat a good balanced diet (yes with some treats) and my mental health has got better because of this as well as my physical health. With the worrying amount of eating disorders and self harming that happens in young adults nowadays, just helping them feel confident that they are worth something no matter what their size has to be a top priority surely. BodyPosiPanda and StyleMeSundayon Insta are great insta accounts to follow to see how a bit of BoPo can help people.

  5. Yes, yes, yes! I completely agree with you. Where are all the ‘average’ size models? You don’t see them! Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales – see you next week, I hope!

  6. I can’t agree more. Being healthy is more important than achieving a certain body type. I guess people correlate being ripped and skinny to being fit and healthy, that’s why they try to achieve such kind of look, thinking that it will make them healthy. It could, but it’s not the be all and end all. 🙂

  7. Kudos to you for being brave enough to say what I’ve been long thinking. My husband and I actually talked about this the other day, wondering if we were somehow doing our children a disservice by the complete pendulum swing to “body positive.” I’m glad we’re celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes, but we also need to point out that health is important!

  8. To be honest, I like the way guys and girls are accepting themselves in the way they are. But I like your perspective too. As a mother’ perspective, it’s is quite different. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I totally agree with you that educating the next generation on eating clean, healthy diet. When you eat healthy, eveything will be in good shapes. With a good body, we are able to achieve anything we want to.

  10. Eduacating our next generation to be healthy is what really important. Teaching them is like teaching our kids being healthy. Let us start giving awareness about health.

  11. Wow, this is such a great post and I love everything you’ve said here. I agree with you that we need to educate the next generation in living a healthy life rather than achieving a certain look.

  12. I do agree that people should strive to be healthy and not use body positivity as an excuse to not be healthy. To me, though, being body positive isn’t about leading an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s about not being cut down on and someone being told they are lesser of a person because they are not a size 2 or 0. I personally am happy to see ads that have models of multiple sizes, because people come in all sizes. And yes, I agree…people should be judged by who they are as a person and what they have to offer, not by what they look like. The word would be a much better place! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  13. Health is definitely NOT something people can fully control, that’s for sure, but we must do anything we can to stay healthy and to educate our next generation to be healthier than we are.

  14. I’m also kind of confused about this “body positivity” movement. I mean I think there is no bad to feel good and plenty with how you look but there should be education to what is healthy too.

  15. I’m now focused on my health rather than they way I look, I start to take vitamins as well and start to be more conscious about my diet. I used to be skinny but I’m gaining weight lately and I’m not bothered. high five for body positivity!

  16. I would love to write a properly considered response to this but I’m so tired! So I’m just going to say please have a read around the following because I think it helps see the other side. I’ve seen plenty of evidence that self-hatred or shame of one’s body does harm to one’s psychological relationship with food. And a person hating themselves for being clinically overweigh is shown not to cause weight loss. So body positivity is about accepting your body and the way it looks as just the way it looks, not good or bad, just there. I think that’s actually a good step towards better mental and physical health.

  17. Totally agree with this, being healthy is so much more important. I’m not the skinniest, I go to the gym a lot, but I still need to change my diet a bit, Chocolate and crisps feature too much in it lol.

  18. well written and well said. I’ve written a post this week about my mum tum, I’m 47 and realised I don’t need to hide it as I’m comfortable with it and sod everyone else, who are these people anyway? Sorry for the delay in commenting I’m currently in South Africa, working with a charity, so something had to give here. #triumphanttales

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