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?
People who misunderstand the body positivity movement undermine their goalsShow moreShow less
The goals of the body positivity movement center around promoting acceptance of people's differences. Despite this, some people take these views to extremes, using them to validate unhealthy behavior or promote their own agenda. These people undermine the progress the movement has made and serve as fuel for its critics.
The body positivity movement has been advocating acceptance for decades, but should we accept all bodies unconditionally?
Many people cannot help the way they look and we should accept them and make them feel included. But this becomes harder to argue when we see the increasing rates of obesity in the world.
According to the World Health Organisation, obesity levels since 1975 have tripled worldwide. They calculate that, worldwide in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults (39% of the population) were overweight. Of these 650 million were obese. All the while, a study researching people's perception of their body weight seem to indicate that from 1997 to 2015 adults in the UK increasingly likely to misjudge their own weight. This led to them being less likely to work on losing weight.
COVID-19 has only brought obesity statistics further into the spotlight. The CDC reports that obese patients are more likely to suffer severe symptoms, and are three times as likely to need hospitalisation.
Obesity is, in many cases preventable. Encouraging people to accept themselves without encouraging to take better care of themselves, as the body positivity movement sometimes does, seems irresponsible.
The body positivity movement is trying to raise awareness of different body types, and giving people with little to no visibility in the media a voice, not encourage a lazy lifestyle. Many activists in the movement are people who have struggled to conform to the stereotypically beautiful body type and want to prove that being healthy does not mean being skinny.