Updated: Nov 15
By Krush Sood
Fat. Thin. Curvy. Skinny: Most of us have probably looked in the mirror and thought of one of these words at one point or another.
In the age of social media, we live in a time where women’s bodies are displayed and judged on a day-to-day basis. With this negative light constantly being shined on women, the Body Positivity Movement has become more prominent.
This movement did not begin in the social media age but began in the 1850s when women protested wearing corsets because they were damaging to their bodies. Women would wear corsets in order to fit society’s standard of tiny waistlines, this was the first sign of the Body Positivity Movement.
The movement kept evolving from there and took on fat-shaming. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) was formed in 1969 by Bill Fabrey. It began when Fabrey became frustrated at the way his wife was being treated because of her size. He was inspired by an article by Lew Louderback entitled More People Should Be FAT in The Saturday Evening Post.
Fabrey went on to start NAAFA and began their fight against society’s “obsession” with being thin. They protested the idea that most of the stereotypes based on obesity were an indicator of poor health.
At the time, many people took being curvy as a sign that a person had an unhealthy lifestyle, for example, poor eating habits and no physical fitness. They believe that body positivity is living a healthy lifestyle no matter your body size.
In today’s world, the Body Positivity Movement is about acceptance of all body types. Activists believe that bodies are judged unfairly. With most of us constantly posting our lives on social media, we open ourselves up to more judgment than in the past.
But being more open with our lives on social media has almost become a positive. It allows us to open our eyes and see the world from a different point of view. With this viewpoint, people are able to understand other’s lifestyles.
This is the basis of the Body Positivity Movement now. It is focused on the fact that we are more understanding of other’s circumstances and should try to be less judgmental and more accepting.
The current movement is about accepting all of our differences and believing that everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like. Social media has given the movement a platform to expand and become widely accepted.
Many companies are following the movement by adapting their campaigns to include more body-positive models. For example, Savage X Fenty uses plus-size models and has nude undergarments in many different shades of nude. This was a massive step in creating a welcoming environment for diversity and acceptance. Another company that has created a campaign for inclusiveness is American Eagle’s Aerie with their #AerieREAL line. They use models of every shape and size. Both these companies are taking the Movement in stride to show that all bodies should be loved.
Singer Lizzo has become a major advocate for not just the body positive movement, but also being more “body-normative.”
“I think it’s lazy for me to just say I’m body positive at this point. It’s easy. I would like to be body-normative. I want to normalize my body. And not just be like, ‘Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.’ No, being fat is normal,” Lizzo told Vogue in an interview.
Lizzo is working to transform the Body Positive Movement to standardized being more plus-sized is a normal thing rather than it is something that needs to be put up on a pedestal.
The Body Positivity Movement has progressed from protesting dress restrictions to accepting all body types. This movement has inspired confidence in many men and women to be themselves and more accepting of their bodies.