The “body positivity” movement is one which encourages individuals to adopt a more loving and forgiving attitude towards their bodies no matter the shape or size. It’s all about self-love and empowering others. This movement does not lend itself to only one body type, one gender or one race. It’s a collective movement for the entire world to embrace.
Earlier this week, an Instagram post caught my eye addressing “bopo [body positivity].” It referenced that the movement started as an “opportunity to shine light on the lives of fat people” and that “it’s not really fair for companies or public figures who are geared towards fitness to be using #bodypositivity to label themselves because they have plenty of representation in the media and are generally deemed acceptable within society.” Although the BoPo movement may have started in the way stated above (which I cannot confirm or deny), I think it’s incredible that it has evolved into one that doesn’t discriminate based on an individual’s body type.
A Personal Take on Why I Use #BodyPositivity
Ever since I was little, I was taught through the media (subliminally, I might add) that body image was important. Being “skinny” meant being popular and being popular meant having a lot of friends and getting boys to like you. It took me 21 years to realize that most media was wrong and that body image isn’t everything. It took me 21 years to realize that what YOU think of YOURSELF is all that matters. Today, I use the hashtag #bodypositivity to represent how far I’ve come on my fitness journey. [Note: Fitness is a term I use to describe being mentally, spiritually and physically fit. Fit doesn’t mean skinny. It means confident in your own body and being healthy.] My 16 year old self would go to the beach in a one piece bathing suit with a huge t-shirt to cover. My 22 year old self walked across the beach this summer in a two piece bathing suit without a care in the world. THAT is #bodypositivity. I do not refer to myself as skinny. Hell, I don’t even refer to myself as fit. I’m not even close to where I feel my body is capable of being and I definitely have rolls. Rolls that I am hella proud of. The state of my mental well being is what allows me to embrace my own #bodypositivity and it’s what has changed in me the most over the past 6 years.
I promote fitness 100%. I would classify myself as a public figure that is geared towards fitness, without a doubt. BUT that does not mean that I ONLY promote being skinny. I stand for being healthy, loving your body and taking good care of it- getting in your daily dose of exercise, feeding your body the right nutrients and cherishing your mental health. Doing all of these things IS being fit.
To say that #bodypositivity should only be used for one type of body size is ridiculous. Who is to say who can be proud of their body and who can’t be? Who determines what classifies someone as “fat” or “fit”. There are SO MANY variables that go into bodies and every single person is different. For the past decade, we have been trying to tell people to be proud of themselves and to practice self-love, but now we’re dictating who can and can’t share their #bodypositivity moments? Why are we moving in a backwards direction?
Be proud of your body. If you have a little junk in your trunk, embrace it. If you’re a size 2 working on building muscle, embrace it. If you’re feeling extra bloated today, embrace it. If you love how your body is transforming, embrace it. EMBRACE THE HELL OUT OF THE BODY YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN, NO MATTER YOUR SHAPE OR SIZE. I will continue to share my #bodypositive stories with you because I worked hard to get to where I am today and my positive outlook is what keeps me going. You should continue to share yours too.