Body Positivity – Loving Your Body
Gracie Moore, Arts and Lit Editor, gives us plenty of reasons as to why loving your body is important for yourself but is also a powerful move against a patriarchal society.
Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders and Self Harm
While it’s obviously more important to respect and love what your body can do rather than simply the way it looks, it cannot be denied that also being in love with the way you look is a pleasant and calming feeling. I choose to always stick by the mantra that I wouldn’t talk about my body in a manner which I also wouldn’t address a friend with. Our bodies are our homes and it’s important that we take care of them and love them.
The body positivity trend has forged a path for removing the negative connotations associated with certain words. For example, words such as “fat” or the concept of acne no longer garner the same negativity that they used to. For instance, celebrities such as Lizzo, who is a huge supporter of loving our own bodies, have shown that happiness and success do not come in one particular shape or size. It is thanks to this body positivity that other people can look up to celebrities like Lizzo and know that they can openly and freely love themselves too. Body neutrality is an interesting concept. It focuses much more on what our bodies can do as opposed to their appearance. For example, rather than someone saying “I love how muscular my legs are”, they may say “My legs are strong and can allow me to play sports with my friends.” The concept is certainly a breakthrough for those who struggle with body dysmorphia and can’t simply break out of their negative ways of thinking, but it can often make others feel guilty for being so open about the love they have for their body’s appearance. We shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about expressing how much we love ourselves. However, it is important to note that anyone can be body positive and you don’t have to be the media’s definition of ideal in order to claim your love for yourself. Especially for those who may have suffered from eating disorders or forms of self-harm, it can feel almost like a reward for pushing through something so difficult, almost like you can laugh in the face of your past issues.
You don’t have to be the media’s definition of ideal in order to claim your love for yourself.
Standing up and declaring that you love your body despite the flaws you think it has is a powerful stance. I would argue that for women, it is a rude gesture to the patriarchy which still, to this day, dictates the ideals of our bodies and for men, it fosters a sense of inclusivity, recognising that men can also experience feelings of shame or body dysmorphia. In the past, body positivity has been known to be women’s attempt at fighting back against the norm, but it should be noted that we all have the right to share how much we love our bodies.