When most people on this website hear the phrase 'body positivity' they probably think it means 'glorifying obesity'. Now I have seen obesity being glorfied in the name of 'body positivity' in certain cases, and that I don't agree with. So I will discuss that issue and the issue of 'body positivity' itself.
To me, this is not 'body positivity' at all. Obesity is a health problem which nobody should glorify. You wouldn't glorify anorexia, so we shouldn't glorify obesity.
I say we treat obesity like we would anorexia.
Where the problem comes in, is shaming obese people for their problem. Now if someone was anorexic would you shame them? No, you wouldn't- so why shame an obese person?
Now obesity usually stems from problems such as inactivity and over-eating. Some people get addicted to unhealthy food. Some people over-eat because of issues such as depression. So if we want obese people to lose weight, we need to find out what caused them to get to that stage, and then we need to encourage them to lose weight and help them in doing so, if we can.
And not to conform to 'beauty standards', but to be healthy.
Body Positivity Itself
Now everyone thinks this phrase just correlates with how much someone weighs. And whilst that has a part to play in it- it's not solely about weight.
It can be about figure. Everyone has different body types.
There are three main body types. Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.
Ectomorphs - Find it difficult to gain weight and have fast metabolism so they burn calories easily. They're skinny, have a small ''delicate'' frame and bone structure and they find it hard to gain muscle mass- and they're usually tall.
Mesomorph - Have a naturally athletic physique, large bone structure, large muscles, they're physically strong and can lose and gain weight easily and they gain muscle easily.
Endomorph - Have strong muscles, they have thicker arms and legs, they gain fat more easily, it's difficult for them to lose fat, but easy for them to gain weight, they have a round physique, slow metabolism, they're generally short, and they have quite a 'stocky' build, and their muscles are not well defined.
People can't help what body types they are. All can exercise and be healthy- and they still won't all look the same.
And oftenly people can be a mix of two types.
Like me for example, I'm a mixture of an ectomorph and a mesomorph. I'm an ectomorph in the sense, I struggle gaining weight and burn off calories easily, and it's harder for me to gain muscle. And I'm a mesomorph in the sense, I have a naturally 'fit' body- meaning I'm not too skinny or too fat for my height.
So when I see guys acting like "real women" must look something like this:
And girls acting like 'real men' must look something like this:
It triggers me. Those pictures look perfect don't they? Because they're photoshopped.
So that's one reason why when people make statements as such, it triggers me. Another is, that we can't control our body types. We can control being healthy, so we can control the way our bodies look to a certain extent but not completely.
Other things concerning 'body positivity'
Certain people consider 'dark skin' to be bad, so they use skin lightening creams to get a lighter skin tone. And it works both ways. Some people may consider 'pale skin' to be bad and therefore will wear fake tan and sit hours in tanning beds just to get a tan.
Skin lightening cream, fake tan, sitting in sunbeds- it can be bad for us.
Sunbeds emit UV rays. Which can cause your skin to age prematurely, making it look wrinkly. Now people sit in sunbeds for a long time. And exposing your skin to UV rays for a long time can increase the risk of developing malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. And if you don't wear goggles, the UV rays could also damage your eyes.
Fake tan chemicals could damage your lungs- if not applied correctly, so you should avoid breathing in fumes or droplets. And it doesn't protect you from sunburn, like many are led to believe. And often people buy the wrong 'type' of fake tan, so it does damage skin.
Possible side affects of using skin lightening cream could be redness and swelling of skin, burning sensation, itchy and flaky skin. If the creams contain hydroquinone, corticosteroids or mercury, could result in thinning of skin, visibility of blood vessels in skin, scarring, kidney liver or nerve damage.
Why put yourself at that risk of using any of these three products?
Now if you took the time to learn about whichever one of these products you want to use, and knew how to use them safely... Well why learn about that, when you could learn something else? Wouldn't it be easier to just accept the skin tone you have - because all skin tones are beautiful - rather than trying so hard to change it?
You could learn a new language, you could learn about another country, an instrument, a programming language, a new sport, how to build something- but you want to learn about how to change your already amazing skin tone? Because you want to be lighter or darker? Because you don't want to be considered dark-skinned? Because you don't want to be considered light-skinned?
Now I have been considered both dark and light skinned. By Pakistanis and other Asians I've always been considered dark skinned, but black people usually consider me light skinned. But I've never tried to lighten or darken my skin tone.
Your skin tone is beautiful. Don't try to change it.
Again I've seen 'real men' been referred to as 'tall' and 'above 6ft' and to me that just stinks. I've also seen taller girls feel insecure about their height- and that stinks too.
Because people can't control how tall or short they are. So nobody should be made to feel insecure or any less than someone because of their height.
Body Concerning Disability
People with a prosthetic leg, or a prosthetic arm, or who are missing limbs or who's body is affected visibly by a disability- should feel positive about their body.
Something I used to feel a little insecure about when I was younger was my left leg. It's visibly skinner than my right leg- and my knee looks like it's hanging off kind of, and below my knee it just looks really skinny and uneven compared to my other leg.
I don't show my legs, but I was conscious when getting changed for PE and stuff when I was younger.
But I've learned to accept it and to not at all feel bad about it. If people want to judge they can, and that really shows how sad they are if they do- is their life really that uneventful that they'd sit there looking at my leg and thinking "er, what a horrible leg"😂😂
My disability is apart of me, it's played a part in who I am today- so it's something that I shouldn't be and am not ashamed of.
Now some of you who posts will think: "but you just posted about how your disability made you feel insecure a couple of weeks ago" and I did. There is times, when it gets hard for me and I feel it negatively, and then other negative feelings enter my mind. I don't love it all the time. But when I overcome those feelings, it makes me a stronger person. And I feel much better about now, compared to when I was younger.
Nobody should be ashamed of their disability.
My Experiences With Body Positivity
The insecruity with my 'leg' didn't last that long, and it was only when I was getting changed for PE- and that's really the only challenge I've faced with my personal body positivity.
I consider myself to be quite 'lucky' otherwise. I've never really felt any other insecruity when it comes to my body. I'm naturally a 'small' girl. I have a small waist, a thigh gap, a flat stomach, and kind of an hour-glass figure. I'm a size XS/small. And I'm at a healthy weight. Now why I consider myself to be 'lucky' is because I don't exercise much. I don't workout. Yet I'm happy with the way I look.
And I see girls who are insecure about their natural figures- when there's nothing wrong with their natural figures, they're perfectly healthy- all it is, is they don't look a certain way. I also see a lot muscular girls who are lean and fit being shamed on social media. Being too muscular can be unhealthy to an extent- but these girls are just fit, and strong- they look great yet they get shamed for looking 'manly'.
Equally, I see a lot of dudes trying to look a certain way and feeling insecure about the fact they don't- there's nothing wrong with the way they look, it's healthy.
Girls are great thigh gaps or no thigh gaps. Girls are great flat stomach or no flat stomach. Girls are great muscular and not muscular. Girls are great whatever their waist size. Girls are great whatever skin tone they have. Girls are great whatever their height. Girls are great whether they are Ectomorphs, Endomorphs or Mesomorphs. Girls are great disability or not.
Guys are great six pack or no six pack. Guys are great muscular or not. Guys are great whatever their waist size. Guys are great whatever their skin tone. Guys are great whatever their height. Guys are great whether they are Ecotomorphs, Endomorphs or Mesomorphs. Guys are great disability or not.
Whatever a girl's or guy's natural body is- as long as it's healthy it's great and nothing to be ashamed of. If it isn't healthy, you don't need to feel shame, you need to know you have a problem and be determined to fix it.
And remember, our bodies are just the packaging we come in- it's whats on the inside what defines us truly. <3 <3 <3
I hope you enjoyed this lengthy read :)
Thank you for reading :) <3