Fat Shaming: Body Positivity Does Not Equal Healthiness
We shouldn’t forget our history when we preach Body Positivity. Although this powerful movement was popularized in the late 90s, it was actually a part of the Fat Rights movement that began in the 60s, which was also associated with The Fat Underground. This is important to the Body Positivity Movement because it reminds us that first and foremost, body positivity is rooted in unconditional self love. That is to say, body positivity is not synonymous with an obligation to be healthy.
Although people like to say that one should love one’s body as long as one is healthy, this undermines the freedom of choice people have. Should people be shamed for choosing a not-so-healthy lifestyle? A person is no less worthy of love and respect just because they are fat. What is “healthy” anyway? Healthy people come in all sizes and there isn’t a health threshold that allows or denies us the right to love skinny, fat, healthy/unhealthy bodies.
Being thin should not be confused with being healthy. People die trying to be
thin, desiring to meet that unrealistic beauty standard set by the fashion industry. It’s ok if you don’t like to exercise, it’s not ok to punish your body by skipping meals or vomiting your food. Health is a complex state of being: you can be born with a disorder which handicaps the rest of your life, does this mean that you have an ugly body? Therefore, shouldn’t you have the right to love yourself first, no matter what physical conditions you are in? The answer is YES, you should be able to love your body regardless your physical condition because self-love starts from within, not from an exterior or appearances.
All things considered, some people don’t have the resources to stay healthy.
Fruits and vegetables have gone up in price, people are overworking themselves just to barely pay rent, and mental health is a whole other problem in and of itself that affects each aspect of our lives but remains stigmatized because we are too afraid to talk about it. Be kind to each other, whether fat or skinny, because body positivity equals unconditional love.