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Are We Still Body Shaming Through Body Inclusivity?

In Saturday's edition of The New York Times, chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman noted the strides towards body inclusivity and acceptance worldwide, but questioned if we've become hyper-critical of those with body types we once considered ideal.

Noting the case-by-case approval of ads by London transit authority to prevent and the stance France is taking to prove that working models are healthy and full disclosure digital alteration of photographs, Friedman asked if the regulations are helping women fully form an idea of what constitutes a favorable female image. Below, Friedman explains:

It’s also because to judge a body healthy or unhealthy is still to judge it. The notion of creating a committee qualified to rule for the public simply reinforces the message that such judgments by those in power are acceptable and necessary. What’s more, it’s unclear who will even be on the British committee — a spokeswoman said it was “under discussion.” (Here’s an idea: Include some teenage girls.)

In our quest to show diverse body shapes, are demonize naturally thin women? We may not think we are, but we're body shaming them by not only denouncing their figure, but sharing the image over and over through social media. Is this an accomplishment we should be proud of? More from Friedman:

Just because a judgment is supposedly coming from a good place does not obviate the fact that it's a personal judgment, handed down from afar by a third party, bringing another set of prejudices and preconceptions to bear.

Maybe it's a good time to step back and question our intentions when promoting body acceptance. If we're truly trying to push the body inclusivity movement forward, we have to remember all kinds of body types should be represented and not vilify those who were once the standard for so long.


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