Body Positivity

According to Wikipedia:

Body positivity is acceptance and appreciation of all human body types. It is a social movement rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image, and be accepting of their own bodies as well as the bodies of others.The movement sets forth the notion that beauty is a construct of society, and poses that this construct should not infringe upon one’s ability to feel confidence or self-worth.

I absolutely agree and understand the importance of accepting your body for what it is. All our bodies are unique and shaped differently. However, when your body is extremely underweight and overweight it should not be appreciated. To appreciate is to value or regard highly. Having an unhealthy body is not something that should be valued in our society. I embrace the body positivity movement to appreciate the differences in curves, shapes, colors, bumps, spots, scars, and any other physical features of our bodies,but I reject it when it includes unhealthy weights.

As some of you may have already guessed the reason for writing on the subject was sparked by seeing the latest cover of Cosmopolitan UK.

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She is more than just a little chubby or plus sized, she is obese. Apparently she is 5’5″ and weighs 300 pounds. If that is the case she has a BMI of 50 which is considered Class 3 obesity; severe or extreme obsesity. There is a big difference between being a bit bigger than average and obese.

A lot of the positive reactions from this cover are coming from people who feel that having an obese woman on the cover of a magazine will have a positive impact on how they view themselves as bigger women. I can’t support this because she is more than just big. I understand the message that they are trying to get across (It is important to be comfortable in your body) but this is not how to do it productively.

If you break it down to the bare bones, it acknowledges that we exist. A fact that pretty much every single fashion designer, Hollywood film, advertising agency and mainstream media outlet, would like you to forget. [Source]

I find this statement in Cosmopolitan very silly. Why would fashion designers, films, advertising, and media outlets want to promote obesity? Trust me, we know obese people exist. Just go to your local Walmart or McDonald’s!

A quote from Tess:

“People who think I’m glorifying obesity are glorifying stupidity.”

Just because you say you’re not glorifying obesity does not mean that you are not glorifying obesity. Actions speak louder than words. It’s glorifying obesity by placing an obese, dressed up body on to the cover of an international magazine.

Just as it’s you’re right to express yourself, it is my right to express mine. Just because my belief of your actions and the consequences of them are different from yours doesn’t make me stupid.

I understand that her intentions are good, I understand the importance of loving ones body and how whether or not you are comfortable in your skin can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. But the body positivity movement has gone too far in that it has become a crutch for people to use in order to just accept their unhealthy bodies as they are and not actually help themselves.

I am wondering, since this is about the importance of mental health, are you aware that there is a more productive way to improving your mental health that should be appreciated? Exercise.