Body Negativity: The Deterioration of the BoPo Movement

You don’t have to be a plus-size lingerie model to be body positive. You don’t have to have cellulite, back fat, and stomach rolls to be body positive. You don’t have to forgo makeup, obsess over Aerie, and take #transformationtuesday selfies to be body positive. You don’t have to be young, middle-class, able-bodied, or female to be body positive. You don’t have to be anything to be body positive–and that is the point!

Body positivity is a quintessentially inclusive movement, one rooted in compassion and kindness. It is a celebration of diversity and individuality, of you–however you look, whatever you do, whoever you are. You are honored and embraced regardless and because of your size, shape, skintone, and sex. There is no such thing as ‘too big’, ‘too small’, ‘too pretty,’ ‘too ugly’, ‘too muscular,’ ‘too fat’, ‘too dark’, too whatever. You are labelless; you are limitless, and so, too, is body positivity.

I am, thusly, appalled when I consider the movement’s current state. The aforesaid idyll has festered, and a cultural cultivation of love has become a constricted, commercialised entity. Body positivity has turned into a marketing scheme, a hot-hourglass-babe appreciation club devoted to selling of sweatpants, supplements, and sex tips. ‘Be body positive!’ Billboards scream. ‘No, not like that, but we have this overpriced hairbrush to help you!’

We, the movement and its members, should be fighting this. We should be standing together and soldiering against this catastrophic consumerism NOT buying into it. We are imploding when we should explode–marginalising, criticising, and excluding each other when we should unite, compliment, and include. Body positivity is quickly becoming body negativity from the inside out, and that is intolerable. This is not a time for hate, but a time for change. So please, please be kind, be considerate, be inclusive, be supportive, and most of all be positive, because, after all, isn’t THAT what body positivity is all about?

2 thoughts on “Body Negativity: The Deterioration of the BoPo Movement

  1. “You are labelless; you are limitless, and so, too, is body positivity.” YES!!!!

    What makes me sad about this too is that people claim that body positivity is glorifying unhealthy eating and exercise models because women are allegedly using it as an excuse to not mind their eating habits or exercise routine. I am someone with an eating disorder who does not regularly exercise because it does the opposite of an endorphin rush for me–going to the gym makes me sad, frustrated and unhappy. So I don’t.

    What BoPo is really about is the CHOICE that people have in what their own labels, limits and self-love looks like. It’s the idea that there is no guideline or punishing structure over what or how much food any one person has or doesn’t have, no one monitoring their steps per day or how many visits per week they take to the gym, because my being fat or looking one way or another is really actually nobody’s business.

    The “concern” people have for fat peoples’ health is just misunderstanding and implementation of the thin ideal, shrouded in misinformed ideas that they think they are “helping” us by speaking to them. Recovery looks different on everyone, just as feeling confident looks different on everyone–and this strange idea that it has nothing to do with size isn’t really all that strange (if we would just stop judging each other!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree with you, and I have a similar relationship with exercise. I hate it. I also don’t know how to do it in moderation. Exercise has always been compensatory and punitive for me; I exercised to burn off what I ate or to lose weight. For people with eating disorders, exercise is a tricky thing, and if you don’t enjoy it and/or can’t do it healthy, you have every right to avoid it. Society can shut up with their ‘exercise blah blah blah times a week!’ Do what’s best for you, not what’s best for others.
      As for fatphobia, I completely agree. People use ‘unhealthy’ as code for ‘I don’t like your body.’ This is especially and enragingly prevalent on social media, because for some reason, strangers think they know better than we do what we should do with our bodies. They may think they’re helping (do they? or are they purposefully being cruel?), but they really hurting!

      Liked by 1 person

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