The Body Positive Campaign ~ Is the Message Flawed?

There is so many thoughts running through my head regarding this "Body Positive" or "Self-Acceptance" trend. Yes, it is a trend. If you don't believe me then explain the new Sport's Illustrated cover or the new Barbie dolls.

Why do we need to feel being overweight is okay? That it should be acceptable? Now before you pick up your dessert forks, torches and scream "kill the Monster," listen. When someone openly expresses that they do not think that overweight people should be encouraged, it doesn't always mean that they are saying the person is ugly. It means that there is a health concern that should not be ignored. Yet, what is the first response people have in defense of such comments? "She's beautiful you stupid hag!" Yes, she is no matter what size but that doesn't mean she is healthy. And the person making the observation isn't necessarily a hag.

You will never hear a medical professional state that an overweight person can be healthy, never.

Obesity is the biggest problem in the United States yet we are applauding the big girl, just like we used to do with wafer thin ones... remember Anorexia? 

So why do we come to their defense with, "Well she has a workout video. She works out!"? If a person consistently works out and eats right, they will not stay overweight, period. They may not be rail thin but they won't be 300 lbs either.

We are confusing "plus-size" with obesity. 

When we start making excuses and get defensive all we are doing is being enablers. I'm not saying slap the cheeseburger out of her hand or lecture her about BMI, just be there for her. Be her support group. Her cheering section when she makes progress to a healthier lifestyle.

Here is a prime example of misplaced "encouragement."

Photo Source: Cody/Making Shapes (c)
Recently, there was an article about this 300 lb yogi. The tagline read "Yogis Come In All Shapes and Sizes." Cool but I'll tell you right now, the longer she sticks with yoga, the smaller she will get –– then what? Will there be a follow up article showcasing her success? Doubtful, because it doesn't fit the narrative anymore. She won't be obese to make other obese people feel good about themselves. This person should be used as an example of encouragement to others to get more active and work towards being healthier but instead, we focus on the fact this woman is fat and does yoga.

We are missing a deeper message. In any case, I adore her and if you have the means, subscribe and follow her through her journey, and yours... do it.

If we really want to promote positive body image or self-acceptance, we should be outraged that lil Miss Ashley was photoshopped. But we are not because thin models are photoshopped too. Isn't that why this whole movement started in the first place? Unrealistic body image? Now it's okay to photoshop rolls and cellulite off of larger women because they finally made the cover of a national magazine? Yup! Simply put, fat is ugly. 

Until we can manage to provide a balanced message, here is some unsolicited advice;

  • See your physician regularly and check with them before starting any new diet or fitness activity
  • Do not take advice from social media outlets, ever
  • If it's a meme, it's bullshit 
  • Be mindful what you put in your body  –– can't afford Whole Foods? Your local farmer's market is a better and more affordable option anyway
  • Movement is key, even if it is just a five-minute walk
  • Reduce stress levels –– fat feeds on stress
And most importantly, love yourself and the rest will fall in line. 

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