Speaker: I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this thing all night so I’m just going to wake up and make a video about it and we’ll see how it goes.
Recently, I have been noticing this trend in the plus size fashion community where everything is body positive. And that’s fantastic – I want as many people to be body positive and accepting of other people as possible. I think it’s rad that it’s hip to be body positive right now. I think that that’s a good thing. I think that that means we are moving in the right direction.
And also, I think that because this movement has gained a lot of attention, it has now become kind of a buzz word. We need to be much more serious about how we identify and people who are bloggers and influencers who say they’re body positive are really practicing what they preach.
There’s a big difference between liking plus size clothing and being fat and actually being body positive. Being body positive does not mean that you have the attitude of, “You do you and I’ll do me.” That’s not what body positivity is. Body positivity is thinking critically about how we relate to our bodies within our society. And how to make that a more positive experience for ourselves and others.
I feel like the community has been a little bit stagnant lately. I feel like people have become complacent in just saying, “I love all bodies! My body is great however it is,” and not actually thinking bigger picture for what body positivity is.
So here are a couple things that are not body positive that I see people doing all the time.
Propagating diet culture in any way, shape, or form. Diet culture is inherently not body positive. I’m not saying that you personally should not go on a diet or lose weight or do whatever the fuck you want with your body. Absolutely do whatever you want with your body. But do not look me in the eye, tell me you were on Weight Watchers, and then in the next breath say you are body positive.
Not thinking about intersections of gender and race is not body positive. Different genders and different races experience their body and how it interacts with society in different ways. If you are a part of this body positive community and you have never thought, “Wow, how can I be more body positive and inclusive to trans people, Black people, indigenous people, people who do not identify with any gender?” then you are missing the mark on body positivity.
A couple of really easy things you could do on starting on the path of being more accepting of all genders and all races is thinking about how you address the plus size population. If you are in this community and you are only talking about girls in this community, then that is not body positive. There are plenty of men, trans people, and nonbinary people who are part of the community who would like to be addressed.
Thinking about how you can make your language more inclusive and become more body positive and set a really great example for the rest of the community.
It’s not body positive to judge anyone’s sexual habits. That means whether or not someone’s a sex worker, whether or not someone has no sex, whether or not someone has a shit ton of sex, or whether or not someone is monogamous or polyamorous. If you participate in any type of body shaming that may make people think that you may have some perception of someone who has a lot of sex is a slut, then you are not body positive.
If you use your public platform to shame other women – even if they’ve wronged you – for being with a bunch of people, you are not body positive.
Here’s the thing, you guys, there are so many things that we can do to change our language and our perspective and think more critically about these things. And we’re not all going to get it right all of the time. I do not get it right all of the time. But if you are a blogger or an influencer or someone with a large platform and you just like plus size fashion and you don’t actually care about body positivity that much at all, that’s okay!
Take a back seat. Because some of us are actually trying to get work done. And this community means a lot to us and watching fellow bloggers and influencers perpetuate hatred or body hate in any way, shape, or form is just something that I can stand by and not saying anything about anymore. We’ve got to get it together.
And if you want to profit off of the body positive movement by tagging your videos or Instagarm with body positivity or participating in body positivity campaigns with companies, then I need you to get more informed.
I hope that we can all start a more comprehensive dialogue about the issues that the body positivity community and the plus size community face. But mostly, I just hope that you all get your shit together and just stop promoting shit that’s not actually body positive.