Different online communities and blogs generally define body positivity as a social movement that aims to promote a healthy body image for all kinds of bodies. Body liberation is a social movement that strives to liberate bodies of all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes. Body image is deeply personal, and that’s the core reason body positivism can be different for everyone, but you should reflect on the other reasons it can vary from one person to the next.
Every Body Is Included
Body positivism, body acceptance, and body liberation are inclusive of all bodies. Specific movements, such as fat acceptance, focus on fat bodies that are often the target of discrimination. Each individual decides what their terms are when it comes to their body in the context of the body positivity movement. It can be confusing to see people claim that they are body positive, but they might make contradictory comments about their bodies. It is imperative that you accept the personal nature of this social movement before casting judgement on others for contradictions.
Positivity Looks Differently on Everyone
Just like a favorite outfit, positivity looks differently on each person. What’s positive for one, might not be for another. You might meet someone who has made small steps towards being more accepting and positive about their body, but without knowing where they came from, you have no way to know what they believe in body positivity or even body liberation.
Body positivity is about reclaiming your body for yourself. It’s not about one right way of approaching your body. For example, when there may be someone who uses body contouring as a way to take ownership of their body and feel comfortable to it, but it isn’t the same as the absence of body positivity. Somebody else may choose to focus on how working out makes them feel and not about a number on the scale or weight loss whatsoever. It’s similar to how both covering your body and showing skin are both about body autonomy. There is no one right way to take ownership of your body, but you should take action for yourself and not because of social expectations.
Don’t Rely on Social Media
Even though body positivity is a social movement, social media only shows a curated version of it through a lens and filter chosen by the original poster. This can skew your perspective if it’s the only kind of body liberation that you’re exposed to. Social media has led so many people to feel exiled from the movement because positivity doesn’t always align perfectly with how you see yourself. It’s so important to be kind to your body and others, and step away from social media to get a new perspective. You can also follow body positive accounts and unfollow those who bring negative energy and self-doubt.
Everyone experiences body issues differently, so it’s natural for people to take unique paths when creating a culture of body positivity, acceptance, and liberation in their life. Supporting others who are on their journey to radically loving themselves is the easiest way for you to uphold the social movement and push it further ahead. Remember, this is not about looking one certain way. The point of the movement is to change the way you approach your relationship with yourself.
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