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 is happening to Body Positive, a movement that wants to convey a positive message towards every type of body, but that is becoming an excuse for many to go against the people to whom it is addressed.
Every time we talk about Body Positivity there are hesitant people who raise their hand and say “But you spread obesity!”. So it’s important to clarify what is meant Body Positive to avoid this type of misunderstanding.
What is and what means Body Positive
Body Positive is a movement born around 60s that still has the goal of ending the prejudices and discrimination against fat people, remembering that embracing your body means having the right to exist regardless of size, shape, ability, state of health or adherence to the canons of beauty.
In this sense the Body Positive movement doesn’t want to create new standards regarding beauty, but rather wants to unhinge the concept of beauty as a value within our society. This doesn’t mean that everyone is beautiful, just that the fact that a person is beautiful or ugly (based on what?) should not be relevant in defining that person.
Be beautiful for you, not for others
According to Body Positivity, beauty becomes a right towards yourself, and not a duty. And when it comes to beauty, it’s done in completely different terms than usual, stating that beauty doesn’t pass by weight or other rules. You have the right to feel good about yourself regardless of any aesthetic standard that makes you feel trapped.
The Body Positive movement celebrates Self Love as a way that leads to taking care of yourself, your nourishment and your mental health (freeing from the tragedies deriving from the sense of feeling unsuitable).
Why Body Positive is not just about the weight
Self Love is therefore the first step to take care of yourself and the Body Positive movement promotes love and health. Body Positivity means that if you start to love yourself you can also start taking care of yourself – which inevitably leads to a better understanding of your health. Doing the reverse path, the path that you normally face when you want to make a change, has never led to concrete results!
Highlighting this aspect,the Body Positivity avoids creating paths where may arise more doubts and uncertainties about yourself (such as losing weight deliberately) that are the first to have to be put under discussion!
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’s 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.