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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 only marginally expanded the range of which bodies are celebrated

The body positivity movement has slightly widened the range of bodies that are celebrated to include ‘curvy’ bodies, but other features are not celebrated and shaming still exists. A new ideal has emerged which is different but just as harmful as the old one.

The Argument

The body positivity movement may have given excluded bodies greater visibility, but it has not produced a shift in general attitudes towards size. People generally still see being thin as ideal - Adele was recently praised for her weight loss, suggesting that her previous size had been a problem.[1] Rather than living up to the body positivity movement, mainstream culture now celebrates ‘acceptably fat’ and ‘curvy’ figures that have small waists and wide hips.[1] At the same time, plastic surgery has been normalised and a new ideal body shape has emerged in the image of Kim Kardashian. [2] The new body ideal might embrace curvy bodies with a role or two, but scars, acne and body hair are still excluded from mainstream visibility.[3] Rather than achieving inclusion and celebration for all bodies, only curves in the right places are embraced. The body positivity movement has fallen short of its aim to celebrate all bodies.

Counter arguments

The body positivity movement has made great progress and continues to do so. Cultural change is always a gradual process and will take time, but this does not mean the movement has been a failure.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 20 Nov 2020 at 17:39 UTC

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