What it Means to be Body Positive
Body Positivity has become a new term, as has body shaming, fat shaming, skinny shaming, but what does this all mean, and how does it impact me as a person? We have had our bodies unfairly define us for a good portion of our lives. For men, physical bulk and the degree to which you had it, meant you were steered toward more “manly” activities, treated more like a man, and if not, you were in a passive aggressive way, or more directly, punished. For women, you were meant to have a womanly figure, which doesn't explicitly dismiss curves, but by process of elimination has created an unrealistic image of what a woman's body should look like. Those out of shape are lamented vicariously by others, teased, offered condescending advice or insulting solutions. And those that are in shape still believe they are not. It's a false world where only those with manufactured bodies can be and all others must watch from the sidelines.
Body Positivity is body image anarchy. It is the awareness of the fact that our images of beauty or what to aspire to are wrong and that being in love with your body and physical being for how it is now is the most beautiful and energetically exciting way to be. It allows for those that are physically overweight to still dress as they please, as covered or exposed as they want and in styles that were not previously atypical. It allows for you to dress in ways that make you feel good without having to compromise that with what others would think.
In the following clip Taryn Brumfitt shares her insights on what it means to be “body positive”
Naysayers and cynics may believe that this creates a belief that one shouldn't aspire to be healthy or that it worships lack of health, but this isn't true. We, as a people, the specific person, and those close to him or her, want this person to be alive, to live a long time, and as part of this, to be healthy. To feel good about yourself while you are still at a time of poor health and nutrition is the true catalyst to working on yourself. Feeling bad about yourself will only keep you in the cycle or feeling that it is too late to change.
Body Positivity is ageless. It begins as early as you want it to be, with toddlers proud of their tummies, and for developing bodies to be allowed to develop as they should, and to support the feelings and happiness of developing kids as much as possible. It goes beyond the ages where we feel we begin to lose our attractiveness and reveals that to be a myth. For each age your body looks as it does among a range of other bodies, the uniqueness and variety makes the body in and of itself something special and magical in that no two are alike. It is something to be embraced by seniors as they continue their feelings of attractiveness and sexual fulfillment from their youth, or re-establish a bridge by defying the expectations of age.
It is the act of dressing and being comfortable as you are, in your own skin, with the decisions behind your dress, level of exposure, style of clothing, and variety, being of your own mind and not influenced by outside factors. And at the same time recognizing this act present in others and being supportive of their own version of it and realizing that their version of it has nothing to do with you. And so it is.
There is a variety of books and gear available at Cupid's Musings for all body positive folks, ages 18 and up interested in enhancing their awareness of self.