Is Body Positivity a Scam?
Body positive is not just the modern religion of Instagram plus size bloggers. This movement is for the right to live in the body in which you want, and not be subject to discrimination. From this article you will learn how this movement began, how it developed, and what modern body positive is every day.
First Steps to Body Positivity
The Victorian apparel reform movement was a campaign that mainly involved middle-class feminists from the 1850s to 1890s. This campaign can be considered a harbinger of today’s body positive trend.
Reform activists argued that women should not cripple their bodies with overly restrictive corsets or hide their legs under the mountains of skirts, even in unbearable heat. Organizations such as The Society for the Rational Dress argued that even pants should be in the wardrobe of women.
In 1967 was published “More people should be fat”. It was written by Lew Loderac. The article blew the public up. It was followed by fierce debates that lead to the creation of the National Association for Advanced Adoption of Completeness (NAAFA) in 1969. This organization is now fighting the general obsession with excessive thinness. Their main idea: “We advertise fitness and health in general so that it can be part of the life of only a thin person, but it is not. A full person can be healthier, stronger, more resilient and more energetic than a thin person. The thing is how he relates to his body, what he does.”
Image of Lew Louderback’s article for the Saturday Evening Post.
The concept of body positivity officially appeared in 1996. Back then Connie Sobchak and Elizabeth Scott organised the community The Body Positive. The community’s main goal: “offers freedom from suffocating public messages that keep people in a constant struggle with their body.”
To shave or not to shave, that is the question
In 2007, the first “No Shave Month” was held. This is a movement in the States, where men stopped shaving. This way they drew attention to the problem of oncology, in particular, prostate cancer.
A few years later, women joined this movement. This caused not only a scandal in social networks, but also the discontent of the organizers of the action. Despite the fact that the campaign attracted unprecedented attention and raised significant funds, most men and many girls were unhappy that women flaunt unshaven armpits. This once again proved how much hair on the woman’s body is tabooed by society.
According to a study, 95% of women in the Western world regularly remove body hair. Sociologists and psychologists argue that if it was a matter of personal choice, the result would be 50/50. While here, following the imposed stereotype is obvious. Another study showed that women who stand for their right not to remove body hair, not to use cosmetics, etc., are still often referred to as “male-hating feminists or lesbians.”
Stars as Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Julia Roberts and others became involved in the trend and the situation is gradually changing. For many the answer to the question “to shave or not to shave?” ceases to be so unambiguous.
Body Positivity is all about respect
In an ideal world, we do not evaluate the appearance of others; doctors do not explain all the diseases of overweight people with their fullness. We don’t bend when we see a girl with unshaven armpits in the store. We don’t panic if something is different in our appearance than on the advertising cover.
Body positive is respect for one’s right. The right of others to live in the body in which one wants to. The perception of our body can be divided into 4 components:
- Body perception: how you see your body.
- Body sensations: how you feel in relation to your body.
- Cognitive body image: how and what you think about your body.
- Behavioral image of the body: how your perception of the body affects behavior.
Where is the scam?
Many people think that Body Positivity as we see it today has a lot to do with Dove’s campaign. The enormous public success of Dove’s ads flipped a switch in the minds of other people in the attention business. A thousand imitators were spawned by the Real Beauty campaign. The deal wasn’t in sparking a surge of real self-reflection in the people who make a living by creating things for women to feel bad about. Instead, it showed brands such as Aerie and Target, both of whom earned waves of positive media exposure for Photoshop-free ads, that they could be introduced to the advertising dollar for pennies if they produced content that people felt compelled to share, above and above paid placements.