But that’s advertising,which we all know is a frequently dodgy corner of our culture. What about bodypositivity out in the wild? Well, on social media, it actually gets worse forfat bodies: we’re not just being erased from body positivity, fat women arebeing actively vilified. We’ve become an embarrassing cohort that proponents ofSocially Acceptable Body Positivity (I just coined that phrase – bodypositivity for bodies that are accepted anyway) would like to distancethemselves from as far as possible.
We’re the baddies of Socially AcceptableBody Positivity.In 2017, however, bodypositivity is the easiest way for corporations to sell stuff to women, and theeasiest label for influencers to claim in the search of moral kudos. Itscorporate popularity is probably the clearest way to see exactly how toothlessand anodyne it’s become. We all laughed when Zara’s ‘Love your curves’ campaign featuredtwo thin models in denim, but other ads using the spin of body positivityare not that different. Victoria’s Secret used the slogan ‘A body for every body’and decorated the accompanying ad with not one but 10 thin models. Every body?No, just every thin body. It’s almost as if brands believe that sayingsomething is body positive makes it inherently good and above criticismbecause, hey, at least we tried.
Like the emperor’s new clothes, just telleveryone it’s body positive and no one will be able to tell the difference.In the recent past, at leastwhen I started blogging in 2011, ‘body positivity’ was a label that my fellowplus size bloggers and other members of the fat community felt pretty peacefulwith. It was a label that made sense to us, it pointed at the ways we mighthave been encouraged to feel disconnected from or hostile towards our bodies.It acknowledged that not all bodies are viewed equally, that some come with ahuge amount of cultural stigma. Like, for example, fat bodies. In the online community each individual can feel supported andempowered by others in the community and by the fact that they have encouragedthemselves to publish a body positive – often norm-critical – picture. Thepictures published within the body positivity movement are all self-defined asbody positive. Therefore there is a lot of variation in the types of pictures,especially when going through popular hashtags that have millions of pictures.
The idea of the movement is, however, to embrace the body as it is and notportray women as they often are portrayed: with male gaze, gender-norms andWestern beauty standards. In this body positive online community women postpictures of themselves without makeup or flattering clothes, without caring iftheir stomach is not flat or even if it is huge. In the pictures within thismovement women can be seen as fat, as well as skinny, tattooed or with ashaved-head, with unshaven armpits or legs, showing cellulites or stretch marksfrom a pregnancy or just from body-changes.The roots of the movement are in the fat acceptance movement.However, the usage of the term body positive can be traced back to the 1990’s,when “The Body Positive” was a feminist movement in the United States ofAmerica (thebodypositive.org).Nowadays the movement exists largely in social media and is based onpictures. For instance, on Instagram there are millions of pictures that arehashtagged with some of the hashtags used in the movement.
The two largehashtags examined in this study, #bodypositive and #bodypositivity, containcurrently over three million pictures. In addition to these, there are manyother hashtags that are used in the movement.Body positivity is a term lacking an academic definition and is notyet defined by the big dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster or the Oxforddictionary (5.3.2017), and only recently was added to Wikipedia. Bodypositivity means that all bodies should be seen and should be able to doanything. It means accepting all bodies as they are and that a person does nothave to fit in a certain model in order to be beautiful or accepted.
Bodypositivity includes not judging yourself so much, as well as forgiving yourselfand being gentle to yourself. (Hultin 2017, Kalenius 2017) With the aid of the internet, fat activism began to shift from nichemovement to mainstream platform. And in the process, some of its prioritieshave begun to shift. Today’s body-positive activists recognize that size isjust one of the many ways that our bodies are unfairly judged—and in theprocess, they’re working to fight not just for fat acceptance, but racialjustice, trans and queer inclusivity, and the rights of disabled folks as well.
Body positivity for all One of the core principles of NAAFA, and fat activism more broadly,is that most of the ideas we promote about fatness and health are just plainwrong. Instead of blindly treating fatness as an indicator of poor health, fatactivists argue for a Health At EverySize model. Under this framework, it is not whether you are fat or whatshape your body is that matters, but everyone is encouraged to engage inhealthy lifestyles and eating habits, and vital signs like blood pressure andcholesterol and general wellness are treated as more important measures ofhealth than weight or BMI (.Kickedoff by the 1967 publication of Lew Louderback’s Saturday Evening Post essay”More People Should Be Fat,” fat acceptance quickly coalesced into an organizedactivist movement.
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)was founded in 1969, and has been arguing against our obsession with thinnessever since. It was in the middle of 20th century that the focus beganto shift from fashion to fat shaming. The modern body positivity movementhas its roots in activism of the late 1960s—though at the time, it took aslightly different form. Instead of broadly arguing that all bodies arebeautiful, these activists exclusively championed the rights of oneparticularly denigrated group: fatpeople.
And it wasn’t Instagram likes or fashionable clothes they wereafter, but tolerance from a medical establishment that tortured and sought toeradicate them.Fighting the fat shamers (FATACTIVISM)Granted, dress reform activists didn’t always push back against fatshaming of the era, but they did argue that women shouldn’t be forced tomutilate their bodies with overly-restrictive corsets or bury their legs undermountains of petticoats. Organizations like the Society for Rational Dressargued that a woman’s place was in a pair of pants. And with that shift insartorial trends, women’s bodies began to get more freedom to exist in theirnatural state.CORSETS Though it may seem somewhatremoved from modern body positivity ideals, the Victorian Dress Reformmovement—a campaign fueled largely by middle-class feminists from the 1850sthrough 1890s—could be considered a precursor to the activism of today. Those fights have not always been about the same movements, though.
While modern body positivity focuses mostly on expanding our ideas of beauty toinclude people of all gender identities, races, sizes, ages and abilities,activists in other eras had different priorities – for example, fighting forthe right to wear clothing that didn’t actively damage their bodies.Modern body positivity is a growing movement and an online communityin social media based on visuality. With its hashtag campaigns andInstagram-ready attitude, body positivity may seem like a modern invention. However,the fight for the freedom to love everyone`s bodies is way older than the Internet.As long as humans had bodies, they have been battling the ideas about the”right” way to exist in them. as fashion becomes more body positive, the push to make otherinstitutions—including media, law, schools, and housing—more inclusive ofpeople whose bodies have been marginalized has been sidelined. As legislatorspass “bathroom bills” that target trans and gender nonconforming people,airlines make it difficult for plus-size people to travel, and the Departmentof Education dismantles protections for people with disabilities, bodypositivity has morphed to singularly focus on fashion, empowerment, and sellingproducts.
It’s a complete departure from the radical politics of fatacceptance, the movement that birthed body positivity. In the age of#bodypositivity, what are the aims of the current movement, who gets centeredand celebrated, and what bodies are considered “good bodies?”The body-positivity movement uses rhetoric rooted in empowerment toaffirm women of size and encourage us to accept ourselves as we are, regardlessof our dress size. A Google image search for “body positivity” offers an arrayof simple illustrations framed around the idea of empowerment. All bodies aregood bodies. There’s no wrong way to have a body. All bodies are beautiful.Beauty comes in every shape and size.
Honor my curves. Plus is equal. It’s timefor us to reclaim our bodies.
These catch phrases, and dozens of others, havebecome powerful hashtags on Instagram—more than 4 million people have used the#bodypositive hashtag on the photo-sharing platform. Tagging a photo with oneof these popular hashtags lets other body-positive people know you’re a memberof the community The Body Positive Movement is a movement that encourages people toadopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with thegoal of improving overall health and well-being. Whether people are nurturing their bodies and maintaining their weight,or finding a place in life where they are comfortable through working out, or changingtheir lifestyles to find a better attitude, the body positive movement focuseson building self-esteem through improving one’s self-image. The bodypositive movement targets all body shapes and sizes.
The movement is not onlyabout working out and striving to be positive and creating a better lifestylefor oneself, but deals with health as well. A debate within the movementsurrounds the question of whether social media sites, including Instagram,Facebook, and blogs, are helping or harming people’s perceptions of theirbodies. People involved with this movement challenge themselves daily to learnhow to grow and love themselves to the fullest. FROM WIKITodo so, I will first research the roots and history of the body positivemovement until now.Oneof the objects of this research the body positive community on Instagram inorder to understand how social media platforms enable women to self-present outsideof traditional gender norms and challenge dominant ideals of feminine beauty.WHAT IS BODY POSITIVE MOVEMENT