How my perspective on the body positive movement has changed since I stopped chasing the goal of weight loss
I was thinking about the whole body positive movement again today..and I wonder how many people have come across my website or social media accounts and were immediately annoyed by my message.
Or more specifically, turned off by the fact that I am someone that is preaching it.
I wasn’t thinking about this because I’m worried about what people think about me.. It was more because I have a pretty good understanding of the thought processes we go through as women struggling with our physical form, and I like to talk about it.
And I also like to try and be as respectful and compassionate as possible..
I’m well aware that although body dysmorphia consumed me for a good 13 years, my body type is not one that has been radically marginalized by society. My insecurities have controlled my behaviors for the majority of my life, but as an adult I have never been classified as a “fat person” and personally discriminated against in this space..so I could see where my message about body positivity might look a little naive to some.
It’s funny (in the interesting sense) for me to think about this because I spent so long in the absolute worst relationship with my body, and I can’t imagine it getting any worse. I could go on and on about how mental illness does not any physical body discriminate against, and how for the most part our relationships with our bodies are a symbol of unresolved issues in the deeper places..but that’s not really what I’m trying to do here.
Where I am going with this is that where I am in my relationship with my body now, I am able to take a step back and really see the difference between the initial intention of the body positive movement, and kinda..where some of us have taken it. I believe that at the end of the day “body positive” means accepting your body how she is, and being unapologetic about her flaws, but it kind of feels like this healthier relationship with my body has made me wake up and realize “Oh yea, I’m not really the one being discriminated against here. Now that I’m more accepting of my physical form, I can really move on with my life.” Of course there are those assholes and marketing bits out there that will judge the imperfections of even the most aesthetically “acceptable” body, but once empowered to do so, it is possible to realize how unimportant those people and things are, and avoid them.
For the socially and medically labeled “obese” person however, that isn’t always so easy. There are constant reminders everywhere that if you don’t weigh under a certain amount or your body isn’t a certain size you just literally can’t do certain things.
Listen, I can’t relate to being in a body type that has been shamed to the point of discrimination so I’m not even going to act like I know how that specifically feels..
What I do want to say is this;
-I do know what it feels like to look at someone else and wish I had it easier..”like them”
-I do know what it feels like to be absolutely certain I would never find love and acceptance in this life until every single part of my physique was unflawed.
-I do know how it feels to wake up day after day and wonder how many people would silently judge me for my appearance as I walked by them.
-I do know what it feels like to think that anytime a guy showed any interest in me it was because he was playing some practical joke.
I do know what it feels like to feel unsafe in my own body.
If I hadn’t already started working on this whole getting right with my soul thing I can tell you right now as someone who resides in a body that is considered to be more on the side of “thin privilege” I would totally be feeling guilty for the fact that I went through these things at all. I would be telling myself I had no right to feel that way.
But I did..and I didn’t ask for it. None of us ask to be negatively influenced by society and our environment...But it happens. We can only do the best we can with what we have, and hopefully at some point learn to connect so deeply to our internal guide that we can live as independently as possible from environmental and societal discrimination and toxicity.
I think the best thing we can do is remember that we are so much more than our physical bodies. We are souls having a human experience in a physical form that merely houses the core of who we are.
So I guess I just wanted to say that for all of you out there that are battling with this discrimination, although I know our journeys have some similarities, I am much more aware of the distinction now. I respect, admire, and support all of your brave efforts to bring awareness to, and inspire in this space of body positivity.
Keep shining your beautiful light