Body Positivity

by Adriana Wells

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Self-esteem is fragile, and people are constantly changing the way they look to please everyone else. For instance, advertising often depicts models who can wear clothes that not everyone can fit into, and it makes people feel unhappy in their own skin. While weight and height can be a large source of discomfort, other factors such as race, hair, and eye color also lead to insecurity and low self-esteem.

In retaliation, The Body Positivity movement teaches women and girls everywhere about the importance of loving their bodies, despite controversy.

The Body Positive, was started in 1996 by Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott because of their “shared passion to create a lively, healing community that offers freedom from suffocating societal messages that keep people in a perpetual struggle with their bodies.”

The movement’s website, The Body Positive, reads: “The Body Positive’s mission is to teach people how to overcome conflicts with their bodies to lead happier, more productive lives.”

It’s popularity grew tremendously in 2015, possibly due to role models such as Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, Meghan Trainor, and Rebel Wilson, who all support body positivity.

In addition, as a result of the growing demand for realistic figures, the creators of Barbie have released dolls with not only a new variety of skin colors and hairstyles, but also with three new body types: tall, petite, and curvy.

However, not everyone is satisfied with the misleading message body positivity encourages. For example, some argue that movement should also focus on physical health, as well as emotional health.

Others have said that while they agree with the movement wholeheartedly, they’ve come to notice that the movement overlooks the role of skin, hair, and eye color in boosting self-esteem, and focuses on gender.

“… an issue that keeps arising for me is that fat people of color, especially women, usually have to be professional models in order to show up in mainstream media.” wrote Quinta Tinsley, a journalist for the magazine, The Body is Not an Apology. Tinsley also wrote that “the body positivity movement must exist beyond the gender binary.”

Because of the people who recognize body positivity for its faults, more steps are being taken to include everyone. For example, smaller movements within body positivity are being formed for men, the LGBT+ community, and people of color. Hopefully, as time goes on, more and more people will become more comfortable with themselves for who they are.

“My life is full of drama, and I don’t have time to worry about something as petty as what I look like,” said Adele, a singer and body positivity role model.

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