Body positivity is one of the greatest things to come out of social media, providing the perfect antidote to the unrealistic ‘perfect’ body expectations constantly being pushed upon us.
The movement’s shown many of us – particularly women – that there actually is beauty outside of the long-pushed ideal of the extremely slim, white and able-bodied.
I am so pro-body positivity, which is why I whisper this next statement: Sometimes, it makes me feel just a little bit bad.
Shouldn’t there be more of a movement for a middle ground of body positivity – something more along the lines of body acceptance? I wish that I could look at my curves every day and celebrate them, like model Ashley Graham does. Some days I can, but others it’s just a bit too hard – and I would hazard a guess that even the fabulous Graham has her off-days too.
I by no means want to discourage anyone from body positivity – it’s great, and you should accept and love yourself as much as you can. But I do think that it comes with its downsides; if you have one of these off-days, you can often feel like you’re failing at body positivity, and that you’re just not good enough.
This can sadly lead to even more self-criticism, which is so not what the whole thing is about. That’s why I think a middle ground should be encouraged.
If you’re not currently loving every roll of fat (or lack of curves, or whatever the case may be for you), that’s OK. If all you can muster up is a feeling of apathy towards your body, you’re not a failure. As long as you’ve not gone down a toxic spiral of self-loathing, you’re doing amazing, sweetie.
Just because you’re not always feeling fierce and confident AF doesn’t mean that you’re not body positive, which is why I think the movement should be widened out to include something a bit milder.
You shouldn’t feel bad if you’re not totally feeling yourself – if this becomes more acceptable, who knows, maybe it will even lead to more days where you look in the mirror and love what you see.
It must be said that I definitely come into this with a whole lot of privilege; I’m white, cis and not overweight, so in terms of what the media tells me, I should have no trouble finding myself beautiful. But that’s the thing with self-perception – it’s so often warped, and for many of us, it’s impossible to see what you truly look like.
I’m lucky that I don’t have a particularly toxic relationship with food or my body. However, like so many, there’s always a voice in the back of my head telling me I should lose a bit more weight, and shaming me any time I eat something that isn’t a vegetable.
I don’t think I’m the only person that is pro-body positivity, but still finds it all a bit hard sometimes.
I’m not trying to bring down the movement – anything encouraging us to love ourselves is always going to get a ‘yes’ from me. I just feel like there should be a middle ground for the days where you’re not really digging your thighs, without anything descending into self-loathing.
Self-love and acceptance should always be the goal where possible, but knowing that it’s also OK if you have the odd day when you’re not totally feeling yourself, is important too. Hopefully it just paves the way for more really good days.