• Emma Green

Body posivity and weight loss

Like intuitive eating, body positivity is having a moment in both mainstream and social media. Whilst it’s great that the topic is being discussed, there remains a lack of awareness of what it actually means and how it translates into the way in which you live your life. Let’s be clear, body positivity is not ‘feeling positive about your body’, it is a social justice movement. It is a resistance to the idea that only certain bodies are okay. It serves to give a platform to people with bodies that are marginalised. That includes bodies of all shapes, sizes, genders, sexualities, ethnicities and abilities. It originated from attempts to counter anti-fat bias in society. It’s not new. The movement can be traced back to the 1960s where there was a lot of activism to highlight the discrimination faced by those in marginalised bodies and challenge the dominant narrative around weight and health. Body positivity aims to resist societal forces that tell people how their bodies should look. For that reason, body positivity is not compatible with intentional weight loss. The movement aims to empower people to celebrate their bodies, particularly those in bodies who are not sufficiently represented elsewhere. It also aims to highlight the negative physical and psychological effects from size-based discrimination. You don’t have to love your body to be an advocate for body positivity. However, you do have to accept that attempts to change your body are not in alignment with a social justice movement that maintains that all bodies are valuable.

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