Body Positivity: Self-Acceptance Or Self-Indulgence?
February 8, 2019 17:42 By Fabiosa
Do you love yourself and your body? If you hesitated with the answer, then don’t worry. The world is full of people just like you!
Let's talk about body positivity
Many people, especially women, suffer from critical and even negative self-perception after comparing themselves to countless images of perfect models.
Body positivity – it's a movement that promotes the concept that every person should have a positive body image and be accepting of their own and others’ bodies. The movement started within the framework of the third wave of feminism and fights against shaming based on a person’s weight, appearance, as well as mental and physical health.
At the same time, there are people who believe that ‘accepting oneself as is’ masks typical laziness.
They claim that supporters of body positivity simply want to keep stuffing their mouths and shirk exercising. And also want to preach to others about life choices!
So what do Kristen Bell, Ashley Graham, Serena Williams, and Chrissy Teigen really promote? Let's figure it out!
According to clinical psychologist Elizabeth Halsted, a positive body image (PBI) consists of three components:
- Self-esteem: valuing yourself and believing that others enjoy your company.
- A positive attitude: accepting your strengths and weaknesses, while avoiding perfectionism, making comparisons, and being judgmental.
- Emotional stability: maintaining a healthy connection to your thoughts and feelings, as well as being able to share your experiences with others.
Beyond doubt, the greatest achievement of body positivity is that after getting rid of negative attitude towards their own bodies, many women believe in themselves and fulfill their true potential.
Opponents of this movement have their arguments. They agree with the indisputable benefits of having a positive body image, but they claim there is a different side to it as well. Here is what one of the internet users writes:
I have recently seen this movement become one of acceptance of obesity.
This is dangerous as it is allowing men and women who are dangerously obese to feel that they do not need to change the error of their ways.
In addition, I feel that this cause has allowed for people who were content with their bodies to believe that they are “perfect just the way they are” and that they no longer need to strive to be healthier.
…This movement (or at least most of what I have seen it become of late) is dangerous and life threatening as the obesity that is being accepted could shorten a person’s life up to a decade. Instead of telling these unhealthy people to continue living as they are, we should encourage them to love their bodies enough to improve their health.
Also, body-positive people have been repeatedly criticized for their attitude toward people suffering from eating disorders (such as bulimia) or for those who have to observe a strict diet for health reasons.
Where there is body positivity, there is body shaming
The internet is full of people eager to discuss someone else's appearance. It is natural that celebrities are the number one victims of body shaming.
Even beauties such as Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid have been the targets of repeated online attacks.
Can you imagine the amount of hate plus-size Ashley Graham or Tess Holliday has to deal with!
According to experts, an urge to criticize other people’s bodies usually comes from the rejection of one's own appearance.
Experts advise looking in the mirror before calling someone fat.
5 steps to a positive body image
Boosting your own body image can be difficult. But it is not impossible.
Here are 5 important steps you can take right now:
- Recognize that we all come in different shapes and sizes. Admire the beauty of others, but don’t compare yourself to anyone else.
- Focus on your positive qualities, skills, and talents. Avoiding saying or thinking negative things about yourself or others.
- Learn to appreciate and respect what your body can do.
- Set positive health-focused goals, instead of weight loss-oriented goals.
- Live a life you like right now.
Remind yourself that perfect Instagram images are in most cases unrealistic.
So, what is body positivity? As you can see, there is no definitive answer. But there is one useful thought that you can definitely take from followers of this movement: every person deserves to be loved and respected!
The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.