What the Body Positivity Movement is All About

| By: Nancy Roque

What the Body Positivity Movement is All About
One thing that has come up time and time again in the media is the state of the female body. Whether or not a woman is thin, curvy, or athletic, it seems like there's always someone passing judgment on the way women look and the clothes they wear. In our opinion, if you're happy, healthy, and comfortable—you can look whatever way you want! And that's what the body positivity movement is all about._x000D_  _x000D_ The fashion world hasn't shied away from the bigger issues as it perhaps has in the past. This year, many industry leaders, models, and influencers have come forward in support of the body positive movement. Whether they're thin, athletic, or curvy, these women and men have one thing in common: they are embracing themselves even in the face of backlash and internet trolls._x000D_  _x000D_

What is the Body Positivity Movement?

_x000D_ The occurrence of eating disorders is on the rise across the world, and it should shock you to learn that 40 to 60 percent of elementary school aged girls are concerned about their weight. In a normal world, elementary school aged kids should be worried about their homework and perhaps who they'll play with during recess. Instead, people are being exposed to toxic standards at a younger and younger age._x000D_  _x000D_ This can be blamed on society and the fashion industry, who have historically employed dangerously underweight models who were mostly Caucasian. The result? Girls grew up with role models who not only didn't look like them, but had unattainable body standards—even the models can't healthily maintain that "coveted" look._x000D_ _x000D_
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_x000D_ A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on _x000D_ _x000D_
_x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ Today, many are sticking up for the different body shapes and sizes that we all come in, trying to spread the message that we should love who we are and look our best healthily. _x000D_  _x000D_ All too often, men and women compare themselves to the "best" representation of their gender. Similarly, individuals who prefer to identify themselves fluidly are also embracing the body positivity movement to create a much more accepting, diverse, and inclusive society._x000D_  _x000D_

Body Positivity Acknowledges We're All Different

_x000D_ _x000D_ Perhaps one of the most freeing things about the body positivity movement is the fact that it acknowledges that we are all different. Our fashion sense matches our personalities and on-going trends, but our bodies are ours. The idea of some people simply owning the way they look, and living their happiest and most positive life, has received some backlash from those who may be struggling with accepting things that fall outside the norm._x000D_  _x000D_ Body positivity advocate and model, Tess Holiday, is a plus-sized model who acknowledges her size openly and also acknowledges that she can still look great! Being a mother of two who constantly travels for television appearances, magazine shoots, and other responsibilities isn't for everyone, yet she still makes time to go to the gym and maintain her health with her doctor. And she still makes time to enjoy the sweeter things in life, like drinks by the pool or a yummy burger. Basically, she's like the rest of us: balancing work, health, fun and family._x000D_ _x000D_
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A post shared by Plus Model💕Wife💕Mom💕Feminist🐝 (@tessholliday) on

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_x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ The difference? This outspoken advocate is constantly barraged with a slew of negative comments, fitness experts leaving snide notes from behind their computer screens, and journalists publishing unethical headlines about her. The problem is, Holiday points out, her health is hers to deal with between her coach and doctor._x000D_  _x000D_ In the end, accepting yourself should be separate from the ideals that others are pushing on you, whether it be through negativity or well-intended comments._x000D_  _x000D_

Acknowledge that Positivity is Power

_x000D_ Though body positivity is more discussed by the mainstream media these days, organizations like The Body Positive have been around for almost 20 years. According to The Body Positive, their goal is simple: "re-connecting youth and adults to their innate body wisdom for more balanced, joyful self-care and a relationship with their whole selves that is guided by love, forgiveness and humor."_x000D_ _x000D_
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_x000D_ A post shared by A S H L E Y G R A H A M (@theashleygraham) on _x000D_ _x000D_
_x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ Models like Ashley Graham, seen in the photo above, are working to represent women of all shapes in the media. As a woman of color, Graham also points out the need for minorities to embrace themselves, their cultures, and spread love in the face of backlash and naysayers._x000D_  _x000D_

Standing Up for the future

_x000D_ _x000D_ With children being concerned about their weight at younger and younger ages, and the occurrence of eating disorders on the rise, it's clear that we need to stand up for the future._x000D_ _x000D_ The fashion industry is, slowly but surely, coming to understand the consequences that a lack of diversity and unattainable body standards has on our culture. Whether it's the way we look at ourselves or others, the way we judge people for wearing something they "shouldn't" or eating something unhealthy, the body positivity movement is all about acceptance, love, and maintaining your happiest and healthiest self._x000D_  _x000D_
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A post shared by Lauren Rose (@copingthroughquotes) on

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_x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ _x000D_ Many may argue that the body positivity movement, and models like Holiday, are promoting an unhealthy and deadly lifestyle. It's hard to say that the movement actually promotes that, as the message of body positivity is to indulge in self-care for yourself, maintaining your body the way it should be, rather than subjecting yourself to self-hate, judgment and destructive habits._x000D_  _x000D_ And, because of that, we can't help but support it! Beauty comes in all forms, and it will be interesting to see how the fashion world continues to diversify and include individuals who look more like the people you may pass on the street or see in the mirror._x000D_  _x000D_  

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