We’re loving the work that is showing up in mainstream media regarding body positivity. A great example of this is the current #DearBody campaign by Marie Claire. Yaaas to less shame and more celebration of all shapes and sizes!
ALL BODY TYPES WANTED
As the movement is gaining momentum, we wonder if it is in fact entirely inclusive of ALL body types. When shopping online as a “plus size” womxn, the models still look like thicker versions of the “tall and skinny” model stereotype. By that we mean – flat stomachs, tight arms, hour-glass figures, no cellulite. You get our drift? So where exactly is this “body positivity?” As it still only includes certain versions of “fat”?
We recently approached an agency, after someone had referred them to us as being unconventional. The agency claims to be “body positive” yet we didn’t see a regular fat model, we only saw the type that we’ve described above.
What does it mean?
Which got us thinking about what we actually mean when we speak about body positivity, if it is not inclusive of ALL body types and complexions?
According to Mallorie Dunn, body positivity means “accepting the body you have as well as the changes in shape, size, and ability it may undergo due to nature, age, or your own personal choices throughout your lifetime. It’s the understanding that your worth and what’s going on with you physically are two separate entities – that no matter what’s happening inside, outside, or to your body, you’re still just as worthwhile as the person next to you”
According to this definition, it sounds like the idea of body positivity is a “me problem“. It’s about every individual affirming themselves to not feel inferior.
Representation is very important.
Find discussions about representation in mainstream media. For example, black superheroes inspires young children to also see themselves in a heroic light. Exclusivity and representation allows for body positivity to become a reality, even for a young child. Teaching children that there is nothing wrong with their bodies, while all they ever see in the media is a certain type of body, is a waste of time.
If brands are going to claim to be body positive, we’d like to see diverse types of “fat” people, with different complexions, wearing various types of clothing. There’s no one way of being fat – there’s not one way to show bodies.
Brands should stop assuming that all fat people want to wear “curtain-esque” clothing – we’d like an affordable bikini in all sizes, thank you very much! That would be real body positivity.
Love your body!
- By Kgabo Chuene