For years now, society has set many standards which are expected to be adhered to by everyone. A person has to look and behave a certain way to be accepted by others. Traditionally, people who look thin, muscular or fit are considered healthy and people who are over or even underweight have been shamed. This made people being overweight or underweight feeling depressed, under confident, and also denied a position of respect and acceptance from others. They have been body-shamed – which is being judged and made fun of because of looking a certain way. To curb this rose the concept of body positivity, which means that everybody deserves to be accepted and loved. This encourages people to widen the “set criteria” of how a body should look, and celebrate a positive body image. Understanding and accepting the appearance of a person’s body is the first step to helping them overcome the under confidence, mental health issues and even eating disorders that they face when they are shamed for how they look.
All fat people are not unhealthy and all thin people are not healthy. Irrespective of how you look, we need to take care of our body by eating well and exercising. We need to understand that what might be considered as an attractive or appropriate body type isn’t always the healthiest, nor can every person fit in the same bucket. People look a certain way because of a lot of reasons which are more than just what they eat. Things like genes, metabolism, and some health disorders also play a role in how our body looks physically.
What we also need to know here is body positivity is a lot of times conceived wrongly as fat acceptance, but that isn’t the case. Self-love and body positivity encourage people to accept and respect themselves as they are. People who are body positive do not promote being fat or unhealthy – you can love your body and physical appearance while you are overweight and working on your body. Body positivity does not promote obesity and people who encourage this positivity are not lazy and not neglecting themselves from eating healthy and doing exercises. The whole idea of body positivity is the inclusion and acceptance of all shapes and sizes, and to stop glorifying the already set notions of how a body should look like.
Body positivity is important as our body image is linked to our self-worth. It influences our mental health and well-being. People who have been body-shamed have been hard on themselves to look a certain way inviting many health issues, have eating disorders, and low confidence. This makes it very important for people to change their mindset and be open to accepting people for how they look – with their fat rolls, loose skin, stretch marks. Think healthy, and not skinny. It is important to stop comparing yourself to the preset unrealistic beauty standards. Admire and thank your body for all that it does for you and love it even if it does not adhere to societal standards.