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Has the body positivity movement accomplished anything? Show more Show less
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The body positive movement has the view that "every body is beautiful" and has been championed acceptance and inclusion for years. Despite this, critics are quick to point out not enough has been done to include all people or that it indulges unhealthy behaviors. What has this movement actually accomplished?

No, the body positive movement has not achieved what it set out to Show more Show less

Whilst admirable in its aims, the body positivity movement has not achieved what it set out to. Body shaming persists and people are still defined by their appearance. The movement has also been commercialised and sanitised, meaning it is not as inclusive as it was initially.
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Body positivity has been commercialised and sanitised and is less inclusive as a result

As the body positivity movement grew in popularity and gained media attention, it has been co-opted for profit, diluting the message. Body positive visibility today does not reflect society, with some groups excluded or neglected.

The Argument

The growth of the body positivity movement has partly undermined it. As it gained publicity and became commercialised, its message was diluted and its radical element ignored. As a result, body positivity today focuses on cisgender white women of a particular shape. [1] When brands entered the body positivity picture, the problem got worse. When social movements get co-opted by profit-driven businesses, the original intentions get warped and re-packaged into something acceptable and uncontroversial, and which does not challenge the status quo.[2] This has led to the absence of bodies of a particular size, colour, sexual orientation and gender identity from mainstream body positivity campaigns. Men are also often left out of the body positivity movement despite also facing pressures to have a particular physique and suffering from shaming and mental health issues - it is important that ‘imperfect’ male bodies are celebrated.[3]

Counter arguments

The body positivity movement continues and still has much to achieve. Large scale social change is never a smooth process, but the general direction of travel in this case is positive. That there is still work to be done does not mean the body positivity movement has failed.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 17:27 UTC

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