The body positive movement was started to provide a safe space for marginalized bodies and since the advent of social media, it aimed to highlight those bodies in the media. However, as the movement grew, it lost touch with its roots. The faces of the movement have shifted from the marginalized bodies to the size eight blonde woman talking about self-love.
While promoting self-love and appreciation of all bodies is crucial to creating a better, more accepting world, the body positive movement has lost touch with its root. It is rampant with fatphobia, despite the fact that this space was created for fat people.
Size 16 women have much different experiences than size 24 women. No experience is less valid than another, but negating another’s experience as a fat woman because it’s different than your own is just hateful and does not promote the true values of body positivity.
We need to strive towards more understanding which will in turn lead to more acceptance. Listen to each other’s stories. Validate each other’s experiences. When you look at a woman larger than yourself, don’t let yourself think “Well, at least I’m not that big.” Look inside yourself before you go out into the world and project onto others.
If you’re curious about diving deeper into the nuances of the body positive community, check out She's All Fat, a podcast all about the fat experience and the intersections of the body positive community. Follow a variety of bodies and experiences on Instagram. Listen more. Learn more. Be open to hearing about people different from you. Returning to the roots of body positivity starts with those of us preaching its teachings.