Body positivity - what I’ve learnt so far

Body positivity – what I’ve learnt so far

When I first wrote about body positivity here, I talked about learning to love my body and some ways I was actively showing my body more appreciation/love. Since writing this post I’ve delved much deeper into the subject and have learnt more along the way.

So I thought today I would share a little bit of what I’ve learnt and point you to some excellent people to follow and podcasts to check out if you want to learn more.

I’ll preface this by saying I am still learning and certainly don’t profess to be an expert on the subject.

This means I may make mistakes, assumptions or generally get things wrong here. If you spot any of this happening, please call me out on it! I’m keen to learn more and starting discussions is a great way to do this.

Anyway, let’s get cracking shall we?

What I’ve learnt about body positivity

body-positivity-learnt-8

That it isn’t just about loving my body

On the surface, body positivity is perceived to be about accepting and loving your body as it is. While this is true, it’s really about loving and accepting ALL bodies. Fat bodies, thin bodies, black bodies, white bodies, disabled bodies, abled bodies, lesbian/gay/transgender bodies, hairy bodies… you get where I’m going right?

The body positive moment was pioneered in order to give marginalised bodies a voice. Something that is getting a little lost in the current ‘body positive’ trend (more on this later).

What the health at every size movement is about

‘Health at every size’ is another movement often discussed within body positivity (though they are not one and the same). I’ve found the following definition for it: “a movement that supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control).” and this is something I am totally down with.

I’m not going to talk more on this until I’ve learnt more, if you have any great resources on this, let me know!

That I’m privileged

I’m a slim, white, able-bodied, cisgender, straight woman. This automatically gives me privilege. This means I have never experienced some of the oppression many others have experienced. Recognising this and learning what privilege really means has been an eye opening part of the body positivity journey (there’s a great explainer on everyday feminism if you want to know more about privilege).

 

(wonderful illustration by Tyler Feder)

That it’s being hijacked by brands for marketing and thin white girls (*waves*)

The final and perhaps most apt thing I’ve learnt is how the body positivity movement is being capitalised on and that the original intention is being forgotten. The driving force behind the movement was to give a voice to marginalised voices and encourage body diversification. Then brands came in, posted adverts with slim white girls at the gym talking about health using #bodypositivity and the intention became muddied.

Even in my first blog (and Instagram posts) on body positivity have been entirely focused on myself – a slim white girl. And I guess this is part of the journey… you have to start with yourself. But now I feel like I’m understanding the point of the movement more and want to ensure I’m not adding to the ‘white noise’ as it were.

How can I do that? By pointing people in the direction of other people who are doing incredible things within the body positivity movement (and are generally much more knowledgable than me!).

Excellent people to follow

 

Top row (left to right): Kenzie BrennaDana ‘do the hotpants’Shay Neary 

Bottom row: Daniel GalvinLaKeisha Shurn, Evette Dionne

I know there are countless others out there – if you have any recommendations, please send them my way! Also send over any male body positive activists! 

Body positive podcasts rocking my world

One of the key ways I’m learning about body positivity is through podcasts. Here’s what I’m listening to:

As I said somewhere near the start, I am no expert, but I’m learning and the more I learn, the more fired up I’m getting. There’s lots more I want to say on the subject, especially on diet culture (which I’ve started to touch on in my food morality post) and intuitive eating… but I’ll save that for another time.

Anything here got you thinking? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!

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