What do the body positive and self-love movements mean?
Recently I’ve noticed an increase in body positive and self-love publicity on the web. Whether YouTube videos, social media posts, or passionate articles, these feminist-headed movements have been getting a lot of attention lately.
Interestingly enough, the body positive and self-love movements seems to be centered on scantily-clad fat girls dancing provocatively as well as inappropriate and sensual selfies.
This is not okay.
This public display of indecency should not be tolerated from anyone. And when I say “anyone” I am not discriminating by weight. Seriously, fat or skinny—just don’t.
While I am 100% in favor of self-love and being body positive, I fear society is misusing these terms to push a destructive agenda.
Today’s media seems to suggest that self-love and being body positive means accepting everything about who you are and what you look like. The good, the bad, the ugly. Sounds inspiring, right?
I would argue that mere “acceptance” is not true love. The surest sign that you love something is your willingness to take care of it.
For the lack of a better illustration, imagine a car…
You claim you love your car and will always love your car. However as time goes on, your once pristine automobile begins to show signs of wear. Chips appear in the paint, a large scratch mars the passenger door, and the left-rear window is cracked.
“No trouble,” you declare. You love your car no matter what.
Before long, internal problems arise. The spark-plugs are faulty, the brake pads are worn out, and something is up with the transmission. Unfortunately, you rarely (if ever) go out of your way to care for your car. Cosmetically and functionally, you seem to have abandoned your beloved automobile. Additionally, you use your car for functions it was never designed for. You go off-roading on terrain your vehicle obviously cannot handle. You treat your car like it’s a truck. You attempt to haul heavy loads. Your car runs on regular unleaded gasoline, but you insist on filling it with diesel. Because of the excessive abuse, your car can no longer function properly. But no matter, you love your car. It’s now broken, scarred, and for all intents and purposes, inoperable—but you still love it.
This example is laughable. If you truly love something, you’ll take care of it. If you love your car, you’ll clean it, preform regular maintenance, and use it for its intended purpose.
The same goes for self-love and being body positive. Don’t get me wrong, these movements are admirable. Everyone should love their bodies. But love comes with an incredible amount of responsibility. If you love something, you’ll take care of it—and that’s not always easy.
The single greatest evidence of true love is a self-denying willingness to do whatever it takes to care for the subject upon which your love is bestowed.
In other words, if you love yourself, you’ll deny yourself pleasures that may be injuring you in the long run. You’ll make choices that promote health and well-being rather than choices that feed your desire for instant gratification.
This same principle applies if you’re fat, skinny, or somewhere in the middle. Self-love means self-care. It means embracing the responsibility to become the best person you can be. That’s often a difficult task. It goes far beyond eating an apple instead of a candy-bar.
- Sitting up straight instead of slouching
- Engaging in healthy hobbies
- Enjoying nature
- Stepping away from your phone/computer/TV
Honestly, the list is endless (click here for some more health inspiration). While society may naturally pick on overweight or obese individuals and scream “health” in their faces, true health is so much more than size. Don’t get me wrong, size is a considerable factor in overall well-being. Thank goodness it’s generally one of those things we have the ability to control. It might be hard, and it might take a while (years even), but it’ll be worth it in the end. Hands down.
Donning lingerie and dancing provocatively in front of a camera is not body love and should not be tolerated from anyone, despite their waist size. Self-love and being body positive is an intimate, conscious choice you make. The rest of the world will know you love your body because you take care of your body—not because you post suggestive images or videos.
And that, my beautiful friends, is true self-love and being body positive. It’s a major responsibility. Don’t worry if you mess up from time to time, we all do. The awesome thing about life is every day is a new day with new opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed.
Eat a carrot, listen to a podcast, and remember—today will be AMAZING!
(I love you all.)
One thought on “What the Body Positive and Self-Love Movements Should be Saying”
Great article! REALLY loved the car loving care analogy. 🙂 Would love to see you continue this and delve into the varied reasons we don’t practice self care. In other words, why we don’t love ourselves and our bodies, especially women.Keep writing, Kristi Jensen!