Body positivity and body shaming

Body positive and body shaming have been around for a while. All since the modelling business promoted underweight figures and in some cases it would look like malnourished. That was the standard for years until France and Israel banned models from being below a BMI of 18. Despite this change, statistically 94% of all fashion models are underweight which is below a BMI of 18. The problem is that models can pursue a career anywhere else in the world because the ban is only in two countries.

Graph from businessinsider

The rest of the world have tried to follow up on the law from those two countries. For example, the ban of the Yves Saint Laurent advert. This is good because it was promoting an unhealthy weight.

Picture from BBC

Even with this ban there was still an uproar.

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The reason behind this is we body shame both underweight and overweight. However, when we start to move away from the underweight models that’s always in our face we reach an obstacle. That obstacle is body positivity. It is accepting every aspect of yourself but body dysphoria. To move away from eating disorders and be healthy and content with yourself. As always when something hits mainstream and the media picks up on it, the message gets distorted. We’ve come to a stage where we are promoting being underweight and shaming being underweight. Moving away from one extreme to another extreme.

A simple post about plus sized women on for example BuzzFeed’s Facebook page generates these kind of comments.

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No matter what is being praised theres always the other side of the spectrum that feels perhaps excluded and takes it personal. Being underweight is bad and so is being underweight.

From a peer reviewed article, the statistics from 2010 shows that one in four deaths worldwide is caused by ischeamic heart diseases. Compared to the numbers from 1990 which was one in five deaths. It’s worrying that a lifestyle choice is taking so many lives which could’ve easily been prevented through education.

Fortunately educating yourself can be done through the internet for free, for example the bodybuilding forums. A man lost 400 pounds (181.4 kgs) from just trolling on the forums. Despite this the members asked questions about him and eventually help him on his journey. Giving him advice on what to do and what to change. Jesse Shand is a role model and should be praised more. He’s not the only one, theres countless of other individuals that have gone through drastic changes.

Instead of using the body positive term and following this type of mindset. We should strive towards healthy lifestyles. Lifestyles that won’t cause us any harm. It’s not simple, it’s a physical and mental challenge. You will have your days where you relapse but that’s expected because nobody is perfect. What are your thoughts? Does it matter what choices individuals make and should it be ignored?


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