I’m sure many of you have heard of the body positivity movement, and if you are anything like me you are probably not a huge fan of it. Before you start bashing me for “Fat shaming” hear me out.
While, body positivity, in general, is a wonderful thing, and people of all shapes and sizes are beautiful just the way they are. However, some of the leaders in the body positivity movement such as Tess Holiday and Virgie Tovar are taking things too far and it can really have negative consequences. Some of leaders of the movement are glamorizing obesity to our future generations and I have some things to say about it.
If the whole movement was just about all people being beautiful, I and many others like myself would have no problem with it. All people are beautiful no matter what size, shape, orientation or ethnicity. That is a wonderful thing to think! But the people higher up in the body positivity movement have been taking it too far as of recent with the “health at every size” argument.
You might be saying to yourself, “You’re not my doctor, what do you know?” or “you know my body better than me?” No, I don’t know your body better than you, but I do know that excess weight has a lot of negative effects on your body as a whole and so do you. That is why this movement has gotten out of hand. People now believe that no matter what size they are they can be healthy, and that is a terrible message to send to anyone.
Not only are they spreading this “health at any size” message but some of the higher-ups in the movement have been promoting not listening to your doctor because “you know your body best.” Or, the exact wording was, “Don’t take sh!t from doctors – you know your body best.”
This kind of message is not only dangerous, but it is detrimental. This is basically assisted su!ci!de because while you are telling people it is healthy to be morbidly obese, you are also telling them it is okay to have diabetes, increased risk or heart attack and stroke, and all of the other ailments on the list below.
People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:
• All-causes of death (mortality)
• High blood pressure (Hypertension)
• High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
• Type 2 diabetes
• Coronary heart disease
• Gallbladder disease
• Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
• Sleep apnea and breathing problems
• Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
• Low quality of life
• Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders4,5
• Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning6
And this is not just a message we are spreading to overweight people, this is a message we are spreading to our future generations, and I for one, am not okay with it!
Not only are the leaders of the movement spreading lies about health, but they are also not accepting of other peoples choices. It seems that the only size it is okay to be in the body positive community is obese, if not you are part of the “diet culture.” Because having healthy habits is not okay!
I saw a video from Virgie Tovar that was berating people for choosing to have a smaller size of cake. Yes, I am telling the truth, watch the video below. So because some people choose to keep healthy habits, and watch after their own health they are fat-shaming.
And if you are part of the body positivity movement and choose to lose weight and share your success, you better watch out because you are “spreading negativity.” Plus-size model Tess Holiday was part of a scandal involving a fan, and some nasty messages she sent to the fan sharing her before and after pictures.
Jennyleeisme posted a before and after picture along with a caption that states: January 2018 to October 2018. I am so amazed at my own progress, my capabilities and my strength. I am unapologetically in love with my fight and my hustle. When I see this kind of progress; I could cry because I remember all the rough days, emotional roller coasters and @morphelife sessions I struggled through to get here. My body and my progress tell a story… to be continued!
While most of us would look at this and thing, what a great accomplishment! Good for her for putting her health first, Tess Holiday found a problem with it and unfollowed Jennyleeisme. And this is the reason why:
So weight loss and uplifting/inspiring posts are “triggering”? Since when is it triggering for a person to decide to make a change for the better? This woman was prediabetic and had high cholesterol if she decided to keep on the route she was on, she would have just gotten sicker and sicker. And these are very real consequences for people who decide to keep on living unhealthily.
You might be saying, “but I have a health problem and can’t lose weight.” While there are some people who do have valid medical concerns that hinder their weight loss, there are many people who do not. Even with certain conditions like PCOS, that I myself struggle with, you can lose weight. It takes a lot of discipline at first while you are losing weight. Exercise and moderate calorie deficits, but maintaining it is easy.
I lost 100 pounds with PCOS and believe me, if I can do it, you can too! The only thing holding you back in most cases is yourself, and I am here to tell you that you can do it, and you ARE worth it. While many people might be angry with me because of my words, I have been on both sides of the spectrum.
I have been skinny and I have been 140 pounds overweight (Still working on it,) and let me tell you, no matter what anyone says it does not physically feel good to be overweight. It makes it hard to move, you get out of breath walking even short distances, you are constantly struggling with self-image even with body positivity, and you are constantly struggling with self-worth.
While that may be okay for some, it wasn’t for me, and this is not the message that I want to spread to my children or the children of the world. No matter how much a person wants to say, “health at every size” there is no such thing, and even though you might not be showing signs of ill health right now, it is almost guaranteed that it will happen in the future. To be clear, I don’t think it is healthy to be on the other side of the spectrum either, being too skinny is not healthy either.
Please don’t misunderstand my words, I do think that people of every size and shape are beautiful, people should NEVER be mistreated because of their size. But I do think there is a lot of toxicity in the body positivity movement, and if you look a little deeper into the messages you are sharing and the people you are looking up to you, you will too.