As a female student at a liberal college, I see body positivity all over the place. It’s impossible to express any discontentment about your body without getting judged by your friends. I thought this was refreshing at first, coming from a family full of women who struggled with body image issues and had devoted themselves to diets like Weight Watchers for years. I thought that my family was just innately negative, and I had developed obsessive dieting habits because of it. I also began going to the gym. I started seeing progress, but my body image didn’t improve because I was doing it out of hate for my own body.
It wasn’t until college that I started to accept my body. I began to appreciate food as nutrition instead of only perceiving it as calories. Oh, but then I gained 10 pounds and stopped regularly working out. So, where is the balance in that? What does body love really mean, and when can it be more toxic than positive?
A definition of this philosophy, which has become hugely popular in 2016, is,
Body Positive explores taking up occupancy inside your own skin, rather than living above the chin until you’re thin. It is a set of ideas that may help you find greater well-being in the body you have.
Now, there’s nothing in this definition that says it’s okay to sit around and spend your time binge-watching Netflix. In more extreme cases, like being dangerously under or overweight, the body positivity excuse has been used to argue against the need for a lifestyle change, which is a bunch of crap. The bottom line is: body positivity has been misconstrued as a foolproof excuse to do nothing. It’s a defense mechanism against individual progress, and it can be your biggest opponent in your journey to be a healthier you.