What is body positivity?
Body positivity, or BoPo as it is colloquially known, is about unlearning the negative concepts surrounding our bodies and letting go of the idea that some bodies hold more worth and deserve more acceptance and praise. The body positivity movement encourages us to recognise that all bodies hold equal value and purpose.
BoPo has been gaining traction for some time now and promotes the understanding that you deserve to exist in your body without the judgement of others; it aims for a world where no one experiences prejudice or bias because of the body that they inhabit. Discrimination in this way can be rude remarks, diminished economic opportunities and inadequate health care.
Body positivity has been strongly linked, particularly in media, to body shape or size but it is inclusive of ALL bodies no matter their size, shape, disabilities, gender and race.
The BoPo movement is just as much about accepting and appreciating others as it is about turning that light onto ourselves and acknowledging how great our bodies are for what they do. It is a hard job being a body!
More than this, BoPo is about having love for the ‘self’ and this includes your body but also your heart, soul, brain and all the things contained; your sense of humour, your smarts, your ability to cook, your creativity, your wit, your kindness, your gentleness.
So what is Body Positivity: At its core it is an inclusive acceptance of yourself and others.
Body Positivity and Eating and Body Perception Difficulties
When you struggle with eating and body perception difficulties, it can be particularly tough to imagine being body positive about your own body (and, lets be honest, sometimes others’) but it is part of the recovery journey and a very important one. Individuals who do have eating and/ or body perception difficulties are likely to punish their bodies and to feel at war with themselves. Recognising that your body is not the enemy but is a vital tool for life and one that, despite its perceived or actual flaws, is trying its hardest to carry you and deserves to be nourished and treated appropriately can be tricky.
Body Positivity can be tough
Being body positive doesn’t necessarily mean that you love your body all the time. You are allowed to be displeased with it sometimes and you are allowed to have bad days. This doesn’t mean that you don’t recognise your body’s worth. However, maintaining a base level of love for your body even when it changes, something that can happen when in recovery, is very important in the recovery journey.
Embrace a documentary
A little while ago, we went to a weekend dedicated to body positivity that was hosted by Vie-ness (a friend and collaborator of Acacia Dreams) and part of the weekend was a showing of the film Embrace.
Embrace is a documentary directed by Taryn Brumfitt and the best person to summarise is probably Taryn herself:
“EMBRACE is a social impact documentary that explores the issue of body image. The project has been supported by nearly 9000 Kickstarter pledgers who responded to a fundraising trailer I released in 2014, which has now had over 25 million internet views.
The inspiration for EMBRACE came about after I posted an unconventional before-and-after image on the internet in 2013 that sparked an international media frenzy. The image, which embraces body diversity, was seen by over 100 million people worldwide and led to hundreds of interviews and articles. But I soon realized how restrictive 4-minute TV interviews, 800 word articles and 140 characters on Twitter can be. This issue needed a louder voice on a bigger platform, so the idea of creating the documentary EMBRACE was born.” – Embrace Director Taryn Brumfitt
We thought that Embrace had an important message and after we watched it we had a discussion. Some of which you can see in our video below:
Possible trigger warning with themes of eating disorders and body image.
Let us know…
Have you seen Embrace? If so what do you think?
How do you feel about the body positivity movement?
If you or anyone you know is struggling with eating or body image perception difficulties then please do not hesitate to contact us.