Why Body Positivity Will Never Be a Thing

Alessia Bicknese

In today’s society, we are obsessed with “body positivity” and obtaining the perfect “body image” – whatever that is. But the truth is, no one will ever win, nor will we ever know what the real representation of today’s “body image.”

When people think of having a perfect body, they automatically jump to the image of having a tiny waist, a toned rear, and a flat tummy. That’s great – if that’s your goal, obtain it. However, if you’re someone who is “plus sized” – whatever that means — then society tells you to consider yourself curvy. Again, if that’s your goal, that’s great; obtain it and live with it.

What society does not seem to understand is that everyone has a different definition and understanding of what it means to be “body positive,” and having the perfect “body image.” No one will ever win. What we need to understand is that we should constantly be improving and bettering ourselves and never settling and calling ourselves “comfortable” and “finally happy” with our bodies.   That just excuses heavier people to eat themselves to obesity and acting like they are “comfortable” just so they can keep eating and act like they want to obese just because that is what they are. And once they are obese, they will refer to themselves as “curvy,” “thick,” and “plus sized.”

What I’m saying is: how can we tell everyone to accept their bodies and to be happy with how they look even if they are extremely unhealthy? Isn’t that setting the bar exceedingly low? Can’t that be a health concern? We’ve settled on making people, particularly women, be relaxed with how they look at every weight they are at. Saying to love your body, live carelessly, and not care what people think is kind of degrading. To me, that is the same as saying that people with eating disorders should continue having their eating disorder if it makes them happy, and obese people should not care about the number on the scale, as long as they are content and comfortable.

If you ask me, that’s no way to live. As humans, we should be constantly making changes and getting closer to healthier lifestyles. I’m not saying everyone should be emaciated, I’m saying that there is always room for improvement. We should absolutely never settle. I’m also not saying that we should hate our bodies and always want to change it – that is also a terrible way to live. We should love ourselves enough to want to keep our bodies happy and healthy, and to improve our lives.

If you are overweight, then you should try working towards a healthier lifestyle. You should not listen to society and gain a ton of weight and call yourself “curvy” and “body confident” because I got news for you – you’re not “curvy” or “thick” just because you’re overweight.

There is a global standard for a healthy lifestyle and deeming yourself as “comfortable” creates a label for yourself that is opposite of what is actually healthy. Society tends to tell everyone that they are perfect the way they are and should not change a thing, but when it comes to be a health concern, don’t you think something needs to change?

Did anyone ever think about how the other party feels when referring to one body type as THE “body image?” Every single day, I see heavier girls posting on Instagram saying “This is what a real body looks like. No man wants skin and bones.” How about girls who can’t help their weight? Whether it’s an eating disorder, their natural frame, or they have other health issues which either add to their weight or bring it down greatly.

Why does there have to be a certain body image? Why can’t everyone just keep to themselves and improve their body on a more personal level? There is constant controversy over what THE body image is. How about everyone motivates themselves to always be greater? Everyone should be comfortable with their body, but on a healthy level. Those who think they are too heavy should not drive themselves to an eating disorder, I’m not saying that at all. There should be no such thing as “fat shaming” and reading too deep into such plain material.

I recently read an article about how people should have no respect for Meghan Trainor because she shames skinny people. Apparently her lyrics in “All about That Bass” are extremely demeaning and insulting towards girls who aren’t “thick.” Her lyrics read, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” which they do – so what’s the problem? Men enjoy any booty that they are able to “hold at night.” Trainor is not saying that men only want to sleep next to bigger girls, like the article implied, she is simply saying that she is fine with her body and having a little extra meat on her bones.

Where is the body shaming there? People need to stop reading into things so much. I’m sure Meghan Trainor didn’t sit down and think to herself, “hm, I really need to get a song out there that puts skinny people down.”      Let me just add that “fat shaming” is much more of a topic than “skinny shaming” is.

Maybe my mind is so wrapped around this right now because I just finished watching a documentary about obese children and how they are not going to live longer than their parents due to their health. What stood out most to me was that a lot of these children could not help their weight. They were born heavier and their weight consumes their lives. Some people cannot do a single thing about their weight due to nonfunctioning digestive systems and metabolisms. It is not their fault and it is also not right that these twelve year olds have to get gastric bypass procedures in order for them to lose weight. They struggle to lose weight, they struggle to stop themselves from eating when they are already full, and they can barely get off the couch to work out. All of these children were at risk of (or already had) heart attacks, seizures, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even death – AT 10 YEARS OLD. And yet, their mothers were saying, “I just want my child to be happy and comfortable and not worry about her weight. She is too young to worry about this right now.” Yes, it is extremely unfortunate that your child is going through this disease, yes – obesity is a disease, but change needs to happen or your child is not going to live much longer and will never have time to worry about this.

Despite the knowledge that parents have regarding the lack of health amongst their obese children, they continue to buy snacks that are “healthier” so that their child can eat as much as they want, but it’s okay because it’s healthy? Wrong.

Buy as much low sugar and two percent fat as you want, but if you’re eating it in bulk and not controlling yourself, you might as well be eating the product in full fat and sugar. Some children are obese because they binge eat, which is a very serious addiction. They need to be watched and controlled by their parents – again, they are children, they don’t know any better. Parents need to understand that just because their child is eating Ruffles that are “less sodium,” it doesn’t mean that they can sit down and eat the bag to themselves and parents can applaud them for eating “healthier.”

One thing sticks in my head from that interview: “Eat less, exercise more.” Something that is so ignorant to me. How about eat more, exercise more. No, that does not mean eat whatever you want, as long as you exercise more, because that will leave you drained and weak. It means if you’re hungry, eat. Eat healthier – reach for the yogurt over the Oreos, the almonds over the chips, and especially the water over the soda.

I just believe that there is always room for improvement and that there should be no war of skinnier girls vs. heavier girls about which one is the “goal.” Set up a goal for yourself. Become a better version of you. Don’t settle for what society claims the perfect body is. You decide it for yourself.