Back to Basics #3: Body Posi Club! Starting Now, Ending Never!

By: Sierra Voorhies

Welcome once again to Back to Basics! In these posts, we break down feminist concepts for readers curious about feminist vocabulary, concepts, and ideas! Today’s question is….

“What is body positivity?”

Body positivity is a movement and a set of ideas based around body acceptance and challenging social norms of thinness as beauty. It challenges diet culture and the thin ideal with radical body acceptance and practicing intuitive eating.  We as a society have been policing fat bodies and shaming fat people, and body positivity is a response to diet culture, limited sizing, and discrimination based on size. 

 

“So what does it mean to be body positive, like for me and my body?”

It’s different for everyone, but the basics of the practice are…

1. Practice appreciating all your body does for you instead of evaluating it on aesthetics

2. Do what feels good for your body, not what others tell you to do. This doesn’t mean eat sweets 24/7 because it feels good, it means listen to the cues from yourself to eat when you’re hungry, take naps when you’re tired, and  exercise when you can.

3. De-center your body from your self image and self worth, and cast off magazines, billboards, and other media that would tell you to become thinner to conform to a beauty standard. 

 

“Isn’t body positivity unrealistic? I mean, bodies can’t be healthy at any size.”

 It is literally impossible to know someone’s health by just their body. Body positivity is a response to fatphobia and policing bodies based on their size and beauty standards. The whole idea of body positivity is to not judge yourself, or others based on looks and size. So, if someone is very large or very small, it’s not anyone’s societal duty to shame them. Making inferences about people’s health and shaming them to eat less, or exercise more is not helpful or healthy. 

We should all practice body positivity, regardless of your gender, age, or size. Some people feel like “body neutrality” or “body acceptance” is a more suitable name for the movement, but all three terms describe roughly the same ideas. Wanna learn more about body positivity? Click here. And, if you want to learn more about basic feminist topics, check out our post on the myth of “man-hating feminists” or  intersectional feminism!

In Response to Tess Munster: Plus Size Model

The Fat Women by Igor Grabar. Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images.

The Fat Women by Igor Grabar. Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images.

By Matiara Huff

Please watch this video before reading this blog!

First of all I would like to say, Laci Green is so great. I encourage everyone to watch all of her other videos on her channel Sex+. Secondly, Tess Munster is my new idol, so follow her on Instagram!

In this video, Laci made many very interesting points, but the one that stuck with me is when she said, “We already glorify an unhealthy lifestyle!” May I just say this is the truest statement I have ever heard in my entire life! When I went home for Christmas, my 13 year old sister told me she was counting her calories, I almost cried. Instead, I had a long talk with her about society’s BS and bought her ice cream. She is one of the most confident kids that I have ever met, and to know that even she is facing body image related issues is heartbreaking, and quite frankly terrifying. I makes me think of all of the other little girls who don’t have someone to tell them that they are perfect, which is yet another reason why I am a feminist.

Things like this give me power to want to make a change, so to every person out there who reads this blog, please know that you are beautiful, just the way you are!If you need to hear it in person, or a hug, or someone to talk to come visit me at the UMKC Women’s Center.

I’m Joining the Fat Acceptance Movement

Image credit to http://mightyhealthyquest.tumblr.com/

Image credit to http://mightyhealthyquest.tumblr.com/

By Matiara Huff and Kacie Otto

I have noticed this happing a lot lately, and I think it is time that I blogged about it. Fat Shaming is when a person is made fun of or treated like less of a person because they are overweight. This can range from little comments like, “Wow! You’re having a muffin and a salad for lunch?!” to flat out bullying like “You’re so fat and such a waste of space” on someone’s body positivity blog. But fat shaming doesn’t end there, not in our society! Everywhere you look there is someone telling us what the perfect body “should” look like. Being a fat girl in this society means dealing with some pretty harsh bullying that is still accepted by society. It should no longer be accepted!

That’s why I’ve decided to embrace fat acceptance. The way I do that is by encouraging my fat friends in positive ways. The best way to start is by not making “fat” a bad word, Nowadays, calling someone fat is the same as cussing at them, and it is time we changed that. When someone calls themselves fat, don’t say “No, you’re beautiful.” Instead, say “…plus you’re beautiful”. This way it doesn’t seem like your friend is only allowed to be one or the other. Stop saying things like “As long as you’re healthy!” This can be offensive and condescending, because you wouldn’t say something like this to a skinny person.

We need to start moving toward more realistic and inclusive beauty standards for all body types. I think one way to do that is treat people the way you want to be treated.