A sigh of relief overwhelms me as I notice crisp early mornings and rainy days gently crawling back into my daily routine. I love the Autumn. It feels like coming home. Cosy evenings and hot drinks in living rooms with the shimmer of Christmas on the horizon.
One of the many reasons I like this time of year is because I enjoy the fashion. Layers and black tights come back into the norm. The panic of what to wear to the beach or swimming with your mates takes a back seat, and film nights with a feast creep back into the norm. But in a way, it makes me sad. I know many people prefer this time of year because they feel safer. It’s much easier to protect ourselves when we can wrap up and feel less on “display”.
This is what has inspired me to give my thoughts on the “Body Positivity” movement.
A general definition is something like this: “The Body Positive Movement is a movement that encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being.”
In some ways, I feel like we are being exposed to a more diverse range of body types. Social Media influencers such as Bodiposipanda and Grace Victory are championing this movement and running with it. In my opinion, this is bloody fantastic and I am going to tell you why.
A few months ago I saw a Facebook status arguing that a body positive article was essentially encouraging obesity and that’s creating an unhealthy message to young people. This disheartened me for many reasons. I think body positivity is all about embracing yourself and body for what it is. It celebrates how you look and aims to improve how you FEEL – uncovering the reasons why you might not be happy with your body. Those reasons may also explain your behaviours surrounding the way you treat your body.
Body positivity is encouraging people to take the time to learn more about themselves and look after themselves. Here’s the thing. No one will decide to be healthier (this doesn’t just mean losing weight) because they have been bullied into thinking how they look or are isn’t good enough. If you teach people to love themselves and that they are valued, they are going to be healthier people. They will treasure their bodies which otherwise might play a big part in self-destruction. Negativity rarely results in a direct positive change.
In general, we need to give people the tools to feel included and well resourced to be happy. There is nothing wrong with that. Let people embrace their bodies and feel unashamed – openness to diversity is never a bad thing.
Body Positivity Resources:
- What is Body Positivity?
- “Here’s Why the Definition of Body Positivity Isn’t Up for Debate” – a really good article about the evolution of Body Positivity.
- Some light-hearted tips from BuzzFeed