It is true: sooner or later the great ideas are destined to be known by everyone, spreading them. But the stronger they are, the easier it is to run into interpretations that have nothing to do with the original idea. Personal vision thus mixes with the main message, creating a series of pre-judgments that, instead of helping to spread the idea in the best way, damage it.
This is what’s happening to the Body Positive, a movement that wants to convey a positive message to our body. A movement born from women but that – slowly – is also moving into the complicated world of men’s bodies.
Every time we talk about Body Positive there’s the smart guy who raises his hand and says “Yes, but … obesity is a disease!”. Apart from the umpteenth lesson of obviousness, it’s important to clarify what is Body Positive to avoid these kind of misunderstandings.
What is (really) Body Positive
Body Positive is a movement that speaks of beauty/aesthetics in terms completely different from the usual, stating that beauty does not pass neither by weight nor by other rules. Everyone has the right to feel good about himself regardless of any aesthetic standard that makes him feel trapped. So Body Positive celebrates the love for oneself as the only way that leads to take care of oneself, and therefore of one’s body (feeding it correctly) and of one’s own mind (freeing from the drama deriving from the sense of feeling unsuitable).
Loving yourself is the first step to taking care of yourself and Body Positive promotes love and health. Body Positive means that if you begin to love yourself you can also begin to take care of yourself – and this leads to take care of your own health. Doing the reverse path, the path that is normally dealt with when you want to make a change, has never led to concrete results!
Why Body Positive is not just about the weight
Think about all the times you went to a (good) nutritionist or a (good) personal trainer: you’ve ever been told that to get real, optimal results, you’d have to start from “your head” before your body? Body Positive only highlights this aspect, avoiding the creation of paths where only more doubts and uncertainties about themselves (such as deliberately losing weight) can arise – and those are the first ones to be tested!
Seen in this way, Body Positive doesn’t concern “simply” the weight, but addresses all those physical characteristics to consider “a defect” from the social canons we are used to – from being thin (but without muscles) to have some pimple in the face, from the shape of nose to the greatness of the feet. How can such a positive message help to spread an unhealthy idea?!
An advice …
It is important to bear in mind that we never really know the stories of whom we meet. Especially if they are not friends. And the way to deal with a health problem, if any, is a matter between the person and whoever the professional is responsible for following him in the resolution. Not ours. Not of our judgment. Not of our desire to necessarily say something that, in most cases, will not help the other, but more to ourselves – for exorcising our fears.