The body positive movement helps us drastically change the way we perceive bodies in hopes of moving from a society where differences are ranked, to one where differences are celebrated. And in recent years this movement has exploded thanks to platforms like Instagram and Twitter, but as the market becomes saturated in content I fear the intended message has gotten lost.
We moved from ranking differences to shape shaming. Instead of women obsessing over their weight, now they’re laser-focused on the way that weight is distributed. Raise your hand if you have ever wondered if you have the “right body proportions.” It’s okay, you’re not alone, my hand is raised too.
This perceived problem is ingrained in our minds by TV, social media, and magazines, but let’s not forget that our fluffy magazines are businesses that receive outrageous ad revenues and only exist because they simultaneously tear us down and offer us redemption in their glossy pages. Meanwhile, we keep spending our hard earned income on waist trainers, and diet pills in hopes of getting that “ideal hourglass shaped figure.”
Women’s search for self-esteem and acceptance has been a long road all across the globe. Movements rise and fall, and different cultural standards take their place. What was in, is out and we find the foundation of our self-esteem has been shaken apart. As a content creator, I also struggle with this and wonder…
Am I marketable enough to be a blogger? Will brands want to work with someone with my shape? Will the plus size community reject me for not being bigger than size 18? As I look around at my peers, I find my old friend comparison creeping back in and I start to question, am I the “right kind of fat” to be successful?
So if you’re wondering if you are the “right kind of fat”, I’m here to tell you that you definitely are. The body positive journey won’t be as smooth for you as it will be for people who have more universally accepted curves, but it’ll be worth it. You pushed the boundaries to get plus size representation, so take a break and celebrate it, but don’t stop there.
Yes, you’ll have days where you want to blame everything on your body, but just use that to fuel your fire. Don’t get down, get mad. Demand diverse representation from designers, brands, and the media. Challenge what is acceptable in body positive spaces because it can’t just be white, cis, hetero, hourglass, “small fats”.
Images were captured by Mysi Anne Grubbe of Soda Fountain Photography.
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