I see two confusing messages on social media:
1. Look like us! Lose weight, banish cellulite and for God's sake, don't get old!
Flip the coin over and you get
2. Embrace your body, love it, let's get body positive!!
A. This of course messes with our heads big time
B. You need to know that loving your body and body positivity are not actually the same thing.
I mean everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their own skin right? This is a positive message we can agree on but what this is actually about is self love.
A quick history lesson......
The body positive movement began in the 1960's but even in Victorian times, some women advocated for the acceptance of women’s bodies and discouraged the use of extreme corsets or body mutilation to fit the standard of an extremely tiny waste and hourglass figure. They argued the right to wear pants. Yes pants!!
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) was launched in 1969. They advocated for the re-education of what it means to be overweight and discouraged doctors to blindly label any patient that is overweight as unhealthy - something we are still battling today, having had 2 conversations with my clients about this, this week.
NAAFA promoted a the Healthy At Every Size model where health is not measured by the number on a scale but rather real health markers such as blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol. NAAFA argued that these measurements of general wellness were better indicators for overall health than weight and body mass index.
In 2010 Linda Bacon created the HAES manifesto but from the mid 90's, research into weight science has now created a plethora of evidence that supports a non-diet approach to health.
The body positive movement is about social justice. It's true purpose is to give people in marginalised bodies, equal rights. It is designed to encourage people with curvy, queer, trans, black bodies to not only practice self-love but to feel worthy of self-love.
Body image and self love
Body image issues are becoming more prevalent, as appearance has been give a higher platform on social media. Body positivity has now become a commercial entity, so it's origins have become diluted, hence the mixed messages.
I have what is called in the trade, thin privilege. I don't have a marginalised body and I haven't been discriminated against. Although as a child, I never really felt comfortable in my clothes [that didn't fit the best] because I have ridiculously long limbs and big feet. That didn't help my self love.
I don't know what it's like to live in a fat body but I have still had to learn self love. And I still have to practice it too, as life keeps throwing doubting lemons. It was hard work, didn't happen overnight and I had to go through a number of stages that involved self awareness and acceptance. I had to peel back my layers of unhealthy relationships, parental divorce and bullying, like an onion to get to my core.
If you'd like to find out more about how I created this shift and how you too can find inner peace, I am holding a live chat with Dale Darley the Word Alchemist from Journaling Online as together we explore the power of healing through journaling.
Check out Finding Happiness and Inner Peace happening on the 20th August.
We've also created the most wonderful 28 day journaling and coaching programme that helps you find your own inner peace, helping you work towards self love: 28 Days To A New You
Lots of Love