Why We Need to Re-evaluate Our Concept of Body Positivity

To save me ranting on Twitter, I’ve come up with the idea of writing a mini think piece every now and then when I want to speak out about a hot topic. I’m calling it “Words Only Wednesday” because I am obviously a genius when it comes to catchy titles, cough. It’s also a good way of zoning out of hump day on your lunch hour. I’m going to keep each post short and snappy and would each to spark some conversation. I welcome your opinions with open arms, there’s never a right and wrong so please don’t be afraid to leave a comment.

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Picture this. You’re a 20-something about to venture onto Love Island, and before the show has even begun you are being targeted and used as the poster girl for a war against the lack of representation for those with a larger clothing size. Doesn’t it seem ironic, fighting for a world in which body size, shape and type becomes irrelevant when that is the very thing being picked up on and pulled apart to push the agenda. I find these tactics not only regressive but that it sets a harmful standard to constantly obsess over our own idea of what does and doesn’t count as a signal of body positivity. Shouldn’t anyone, regardless of size, be granted the right to show off their body without being criticised, whether they have had cosmetic procedures, are below or above the UK average size of 14?

Honing in on someone because they don’t fit your stereotype of body positivity is divisive and alienating. You shouldn’t have to disregard one set of people to make another feel better.

I can’t comprehend what would possess someone who claims to want wider representation on a show like Love Island to take images of a contestant and list the amount of cosmetic procedures that they’ve had. How backwards. If we truly want to enact positive, inclusive change, sectioning off one person from another simply because of their smaller waist or wider hips is not the way to go about it. This tells me that if my body doesn’t resonate with you then I cannot be your ally, or worse still, have the right to take ownership of my insecurities. 

We’re all fighting a battle that the next person knows nothing about. Believe me, clothing size makes no determination on self-confidence, it’s such an outdated concept that someone who fits into a size 10 pair of jeans will be any happier than the person in the next cubicle trying on a plus size. I absolutely grant that a wider range of sizing in high street shops is still an issue, and that we should always want for different shapes and sizes of models, but we should not disallow the insecurities of any other person to get there.

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