Should We Abandon "Body Positivity?"
At one time, the phrase "Body Positivity" meant something. It was a movement for people above a size 12 who were finally accepting their bodies as they were. "Body Positivity" meant that one was commanding respect for their body and themselves, after years of trying to conform to society and an unattainable size.
But now? Straight-sized social media influencers have co-opted that phrase. The kind of social media influencers who post comparison photos in bra tops and yoga pants to show how angles and ill-fitting clothing can alter one's appearance with captions like "Instagram Vs. Reality." These people do not share the same struggle as someone who is size 26 and is trying to survive a world that doesn't value anyone above a size 10. "Body Positivity " is now being used to promote wellness, mindful eating, and self-care: all now code for weight loss.
With this in mind, is it time to stop using the phrase? A couple of celebrities have abandoned body positivity, in name only.
In the cover story for Vogue, Lizzo preferred a news phrase: body-normative. "I want to normalize my body," she said. "What I don’t like is how the people that this term was created for are not benefiting from it. Girls with back fat, girls with bellies that hang, girls with thighs that aren’t separated, overlap. Girls with stretch marks. You know, girls who are in the 18-plus club.”
Amber Riley was much blunter in Hello Beautiful: “I don’t really f*ck with the body-positive community." Feeling the pressure to be a part of the community from her "Glee" days left the singer/actor feeling more scrutinized by fans. “
So, are we leaving the phrase in 2020 with everything else?My body is mine," says Riley. "I don’t need a community telling me what to do with it. I always have to be 100 percent real with myself.”
So, are we leaving the phrase in 2020 with everything else?