The term “body positivity” has become increasingly popular in daily life, but what does it actually mean and why is it related to women?
At a time where advertising promotes “bikini body” as a goal and perfecting self-images through Photoshop has become a culture, many argue that women have been taught to measure their value based on their body and appearance – that if they don’t fulfil certain beauty standards, they deserve to be seen as lesser.
That’s where body positivity comes in. Body positivity may mean differently to each person, but the underlying message is to free oneself from self-hatred and to value themselves regardless of physical appearance. As Marie Ospina of Bustle says,
“While it’s important to remember that everyone’s interpretation of body positivity is unique, at its core the term represents this wild idea that all bodies are good bodies. All bodies are worthy of self love, self care, and acceptance. All bodies are allowed to feel beautiful, regardless of their color or jean size or health status or how attractive you personally find them to be.”
A number of corporations have jumped in to the movement as well. Women’s Health magazine, for example, has dropped the terms “bikini body” and “drop two sizes” off their covers due to their “shaming, negative undertone that’s become more than annoying.” Other brands, such as Dove and Aerie, have also featured models with diversity in body size and skin colours and rejected photoshopping in order to promote positive outlook on body images.