Body Positive Movement is a trend that’s gained a lot of momentum lately, but where did it come from? Is it a new concept? According to Wikipedia, “Body positivity is a social movement initially created to empower and shed light on plus size women and men, while challenging the ways in which society presents and views the physical body. The movement advocates the acceptance of all bodies regardless of physical ability, size, gender, race, or appearance”(Wikipedia.com). The concept of body acceptance isn’t brand new, it has roots as far back as the 1850s-1890s in the Victorian Dress Reform Movement. The concept behind that movement was attempting to put an end to women having to modify their waistlines through corsets. In more recent history, the Fat Acceptance Movement began gaining momentum in the 1960s, and The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance was first established in 1969 and continues to work to change how people talk about weight. This movement is designed to put an end to the idea of “fat-shaming” and making overweight or obese people feel guilty for their weight.
Currently, Body Positive is a term used all over social media, in ad campaigns such as Dove, Aerie and Victoria’s Secret, and even in the featuring of more overweight models in magazines. The popularity of the movement has led many clothing companies such as Lululemon and Fabletics to use a variety of sizes in the models wearing their clothing. But there is some controversy involving the movement. Some health experts, trainers and others in the health and fitness industry claim that this encourages people to continue living an unhealthy life with long term consequences. Some fear that those who are overweight or obese could use it as an “excuse” to not attempt a weight loss program or try to get healthy. Although the main concept behind Body Positivity is an affirming message of acceptance, self love and respecting others no matter how they look, like most things it can be taken too far.
So what does that mean to you and me? According to Jenn Ryan, SureFiz Trainer and Health Coach, you should take the positives out of the movement but not take it too far. “The Body Positive movement has so many good qualities. The message of self-care, self-acceptance and respect for others at all sizes should be universally practiced in our culture. But if someone is going to use it as an excuse to stay sedentary, eat whatever unhealthy foods they want and generally ignore diet advice, then I would say they are taking it too far”. Many people already struggle with adhering to a diet and exercise plan for weight loss, so adding in a movement encouraging people to stay unhealthy could be taking away from people reaching their health goals.
In general, she suggests that to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reach your fitness goals, you should set a goal for yourself, work at eating healthy, whole foods with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Cutting back on processed foods, sugars, tobacco, alcohol and soda will not only lend itself to a healthy weight but will also help other functions of the body-heart health, lung health and overall longevity of life. At SureFiz, we offer a comprehensive program that will not only track your weight, body fat, muscle progress and more, but also give you the tips and help you need to reach your goals and live a complete, healthy life at any size that is healthy for you!