Body Image and Body Positivity
From a very young age, we were conditioned to believe that our value and our success in life depends on how attractive we are.
In a society surrounded by pictures, videos and social media, body-image concerns continue to be on the rise.
96% percent of women report wanting to change their body in some way—which shows that this is not an individual problem of low self-esteem, but rather a collective disconnect with how we see our body-image. Girls and women especially are bombarded with images of so-called “perfect bodies” that are often unattainable without going to extreme methods of weight control.
Failure to achieve this “perfect body” can cause decreased self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, or even an eating disorder.
So what is body positivity?
Body positivity is a social movement that encourages the acceptance of all bodies, which come in a range of sizes and shapes.
It primarily focuses on body size but also encourages acceptance of all skin tones, genders, and disabilities. Anyone with a marginalized body can take solace in body positivity. Especially the acceptance of plus-size women and women of color.
The movement originated in the 1960s, but the term “body positivity” was introduced in the 1990s. It began as a fat acceptance movement rooted in social justice, and it’s still going strong (and needed) today.
According to the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, one-third of the population is overweight, yet discrimination based on body size still remains an issue.
There’s a misconception that body positivity promotes unhealthy habits, but this isn’t true: Body positivity encourages loving your body in all its states, and part of showing yourself care is adopting practices that are good for you. But it shies away from restrictive eating habits, over-exercising, and forcing yourself to change in order to accept your body.
Can you love yourself the way you are right now, and also want to make changes?