I want to take a moment to talk about the body positive movement and skinny shaming, as these two things have seemed to go hand in hand within the last few years. Skinny shaming is nothing new. It’s something that I have actually experienced my whole life. I’ve been called anorexic (although I’ve never had an eating disorder), and I’m always getting comments about how skinny I am, such as, “You need to put some meat on those bones.” Any time I go to a gathering where there is food involved, I can be sure that someone is going to check out my plate and make some unnecessary comment about my weight. I never really thought much about these things growing up because models in magazines were of similar size, and being skinny was considered the more desirable body type. Therefore, any negative comments I received were just brushed to the side.
The body positive movement really gained a lot of momentum within the past few years. The purpose of the movement is to get society to be more accepting of all body types, and I really think it’s working. You now see people being more confident and flaunting what they’ve got instead of trying to hide behind clothing. Magazines are also starting to feature more people of different sizes, instead of just one size. I think this is all terrific. I’ve always admired different body types, and I don’t think one size is better than another. Sometimes I even find myself getting a little jealous of curvy women because I think they look amazing.
My only issue with this movement is that some people feel the need to tear down one body type in order to build up another. Body positivity means being accepting of all body types, not just certain ones. Some people claim that skinny-shaming doesn’t exist, but any negative comments geared towards someone’s body can be detrimental to their self-esteem, so for myself and many others, skinny-shaming does exist. When people call you flat chested, say you have the body of a young boy, you look like a twig, etc., it exists. All of the comments over and over, and all of the memes spread around social media saying that “real women have curves” and “Zero isn’t a size” (despite it being my size) can be incredibly hurtful for a person to see. Thankfully I’m still confident in myself and my body, but someone else could see these things and really let it get to them. This is not okay.
Everyone has their own preferences and maybe you like one body type more than another (like how you might prefer blondes to brunettes or vice versa), but you don’t have to put down any one body type in order to make another one sound good. I want the body positive movement to continue on, but not at the expense of others.