When we talk about body positivity, we see a lot of discussions going around. But how truly do we as individuals follow it? The whole idea behind the long-used term is acceptance. As it’s well known, Body Positivity is a social movement, started way back in the year 2012 that states the acceptance of all individuals regardless of their weight or size.
While the movement has flooded our timeline for years, few oppose the idea stating it encourages ‘obesity’. Well, about the practice of collective intelligence in the new media, it is natural that conflicting views or rather differing opinions about a concept are born. What we as an individual can do and should do is reflect upon our psyche, understand the varied perceptions revolving around us and follow the right and harmless path. However, the path is likely to be subjective.
We live in a society where accepting oneself wholeheartedly is a long, tough battle. Body Positivity as a movement is a testament to this fact. Despite the endless conversations, advertisement campaigns, awareness films, brand initiatives, multiple blogs, we as a society haven’t emerged victorious in this battle of self-recognition.
Honestly, none of these initiatives can help us if we as individuals do not dismantle the barriers inside our heads. A lot of things start changing around when we change things inside. As Rumi once said, “Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.” Moreover, The conversations in the media if pushes one towards self-loathing, then it also teaches us to introspect, collect our withering remains and stand up all over again.
Talking about different brand initiatives, Vogue is one such brand that has explicitly involved itself in the movement. To date, the brand’s cultural conversations, awareness campaigns, the inclusiveness of different sized models have encouraged women all over the globe to embrace themselves. Moreover, gone are those days when we used to only see petite, slim models being an icon of fashion brands. Over the past few years, we have seen a huge shift in the representatives of the brand. Unlike what is showcased in the traditional media, the all-inclusive nature of the brands in the digital age has been a significant gateway, thereby opening the prisoned minds of millions.
Body positivity as a concept is trying to engineer the consent of accepting oneself and not weighing one’s worth based on physical appearances. The movement boldly states that “all bodies are beautiful.” It does not support an unhealthy lifestyle or an obese culture. It instead is trying to inculcate the habit of loving the skin you are in.
However, if we look at the other side of the coin, the social media buzz around the term has resulted in Body Positivity losing its initial essence and purpose. Now it’s bottled down to a tool for creating hype. Right from Lane Bryant’s plus-size ad campaign targeting Victoria Secret’s Angels to influencers on social media glorifying obesity and taking pride in it, to influencers including the message of weight loss within the umbrella of the term, has only resulted in further blurring the concept, values, and integrity of Body Positivity.
The movement was initiated with very simple goals, i.e, challenging how society views one’s body, not looking at oneself through the eyes of a different person, promoting acceptance of all bodies, moreover helping people build confidence and address unrealistic body standards. Furthermore, these goals were designed only to combat issues like depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, which were problems that were emerging under poor body image.
Now the only thing that comes up in our minds is that in such bewildering situations, What we as an individual can do? We don’t necessarily have to run behind these large terms or just blindly update such concepts on our social media. What we should instead do is practice dismantling perfectionism and idealism in our personal lives. We need to normalize ‘neutrality’, emphasize self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. Because we need to learn to detach ourselves from worldly pleasures and be our very own lovers first, for ‘ we deserve the love that we all the time keep giving others’!
The next time you doubt yourself or attach your worth against your physical appearances, remind yourself that in a garden, various flowers bloom with different colors, sizes, and fragrances, yet we are fond of them all!