The body positivity movement is fast growing, hungry in its quest to slam the ‘ideal’ body outlook created by the media over the years. It’s aim - creating a better self-esteem, based on a positive outlook and not on the opinion of others. We love and support this fully!
Media, of course now includes social platforms, and as with all things unregulated, some who have become activists in the body positive movement have taken things to the extreme - creating a negative outlook on the entire concept. Salon reports: “...this movement has since become a case study in unintended consequences, morphing into a troubling normalization of body passivity instead of healthy body proactivity.”
The essence of the body positivity approach is to be more lenient and amicable about your self-perception. If not fully understood, it becomes easy to form a skewed perspective. Where do we draw the line to find balance, and what exactly sparked the debate that has the world on it’s hind legs on either side of the argument?
Let’s take a look at the motive behind the body positive campaign.
External influences have a very real impact on one’s self-confidence and ultimately body image. People have become fed up with all the leverage that media lent to the general attitude towards those not genetically perfect.
This can be traced back to 1967 to the first protest against fat-bias. People were tired of the social-norm and the politics and negative connotations. Recently, The Body Positive movement, founded by Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott have inspired many to live their lives to the full, overcoming the typecast mindset of a perfect body shape. Their mission includes the following statement:
“Health, as defined in our model, recognizes the interconnectedness of physical, psychological, and emotional needs in human beings. We honor the experience and authority of the individual as the primary path to positive change. Rather than dictating a prescriptive set of rules to follow, we empower people with practical tools, inspiration, and support to find their own way to lasting good health and greater happiness. This approach makes it possible to reach a widely diverse group of people.”
Note how they connect happiness and a healthy body image through action, support and attitude; not just an attitude.
Here is where we draw a line to find balance. Sure, not everyone is a HIIT fanatic or training for the next triathlon, and realistically, 100% healthy diet is not always possible. Yet, a dangerous approach to having a positive body image is to have an unenthusiastic attitude towards health and the impact our choices will have on our future well-being.
Having a thriving body image means finding a happy, healthy version of YOU.
Here are our tips for keeping a positive balance!
- Stop idealizing - all body types and shapes differ. Accept what you have and strive to keep a healthy outlook on what you can accomplish. Be the best you!Stop the blame - If there is a genetic reason for being at a less ideal place, backed up by medical confirmation, do what you can. If you suspect this to be the case, have it checked out. But do not let it become an excuse and do not jump onto the bandwagon just because it's easier to do so. A little effort is better than none.
- Kill negative thoughts - about others’ and your own body! A judgmental outlook is quick to turn. Accept others, even if you feel they are not doing their best. Focus on yourself!
- A positive attitude is vital. And the good news is that attitudes can change!
- Activity is always good for your health, only intensity depends on personal circumstances. Nutritional advice will always clash, but the benefits of activity cannot be disputed. Take baby steps and get started!
- Surround yourself with people that have a positive and non-judgmental outlook, who value you for the person you are, so that you can feel appreciated for inner values rather than appearance.
- Explore! Find what works well for you and be sure to know the footprint it will leave on your future health.
The balance is found between finding the best way to be the healthiest version of yourself, emotionally and physically, while not overvaluing the opinion of people concerned mainly with appearance. And at Thrive Community Fitness Centers you will find happy, healthy and positive minded people focused on supporting you in your quest to live a positive life.