What is the Body Positivity Movement?

Body positivity is crucial to women's and girls' mental and physical health.

Photo: Shutterstock

The media, fashion, tabloids, advertising and a variety of other industries all pressure people, particularly women, into believing that they need to look a certain way. Everyone needs to be petite, with just the right amount of muscle to fit into and be flattered by the latest fashion trends. You’d better not look too old, or too tan. Or too pale. If you hair curls, use these products to straighten it. If you don’t like the color, change it.

Body positivity is accepting that all bodies are good bodies and deserving of love. That it doesn’t matter what TV, magazines or movies tell us. We are told that bodies are only healthy and beautiful if they are a certain body fat percentage. Because of this, we look at others and judge them. Compare them to ourselves. What we or they should be.

Projects like the Be Body Positive model use a variety of outreach methods to help people of all ages, sizes, sexual orientations, genders, ethnicities, abilities, and socioeconomic levels to learn to accept and love their bodies and remove body-shaming from our culture. This comes in the form of public outreach, trainings and leadership education, and workshops. This teaches people the skills they need to practice self-love for their physical, psychological, and emotional beings. This improves health in a variety of ways from diet to social life to mental health and confidence.

Another branch of the movement is as consumers, to show that we want to see more body positive portrayals in mainstream culture. Advertisements including woman of various body types. Magazines that talk about more than the best ways to be perfect. By educating ourselves on self-care techniques and endeavoring to support body positive companies, we can help to change the culture but by bit.


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