What Does Body Positive Really Mean?
I believe that body positivity started out as a reaction to the under-representation and negative representations of non-thin and non-white women in the media. Women in particular had become sick and tired of not seeing themselves reflected in the pages of magazines or on television. It was really a grass roots effort to be seen and appreciated.
Having been a part of this disillusioned group, I got on the bandwagon almost seven years ago and created my own niche that includes discussing, fat acceptance, race, taking up space, feminism, chronic illness, accessible yoga, plus fashion, and more.
Of course there are lots of areas to explore underneath the BODY POSITIVITY umbrella. In fact, I'm hosting a teleclass this Saturday that's all about starting your own body positive blog.
But as the years have gone on, body positivity has come to mean different things to different people.
- For women of color it has become about becoming visible and being represented in a way that reflects our diversity and cultural richness.
- For those with chronic illness or those who are differently-abled it is about showing our strengths despite a society that tries to limit us with negative descriptors.
- For fat women it's about so many things, including giving ourselves permission to wear what we want when we want. By now everyone knows what a fatkini is, right?!
- For many it's about anti-dieting and how this billion dollar industry shames people into believing that a very specific body type (ie. thin) is the only standard of beauty we should ascribe to.
What I understand is that body positivity is really a movement about being seen, heard, appreciated and having equitable access to resources and positive representation across the board. It is constantly changing to be as inclusive as possible, as any well-intentioned movement should. I know my views have changed over the years and I've learned so much about my own biases. I do my best to stay open and learn from others who have different experiences than I do.
If you've ever wanted to blog about body positivity, join me this Saturday for a super fun class on BoPo Blogging 101. Early Bird tickets are just $15 and available through this Wednesday.