I've been trying to figure out how I feel about the body image issue for a long time. I think body positivity is what's up, but last week I read a New York Times article about how body positivity can create an acceptance of unhealthy behavior that also made sense and while I'm still all about body positivity I reframed my argument into actual words. So here it is.
Body shaming is never ok and body positivity/all positivity is what. is. up. However, I don't find that anyone is really truly embracing the concept. For the most part (with the noticeable exclusion being Aerie, who for awhile now has been doing untouched natural bodies that I am HERE FOR), companies and society in general buy into what I find to be a fake body positivity. There it is the thick and fabulous Ashley Graham and then there's Gigi Hadid. That is not a spectrum. That is an either/or that is not much less restricting than just the Gigi Hadid's because most of the women that I know and love are neither. We don't have have curves that could kill or abs ready for bikinis at all times. We are women with stuff that pillow just a smidge over the tops of jeans, women that have thighs that no one would dare call thunder and that still don't have a gap.
It's the body you're never comfortable in because no one has told you it's ok to be ok with. I think the New York Times had a point in their article in that within body positivity we're usually touching upon woman that the modeling world would consider "plus size" (I'm against that term), which can be an unhealthy size for SOME women. I know that we need to explicitly say that "big is beautiful" because bigger women have been so shat upon most of their lives that they deserve some god damn affirmations of love, but what I want to eventually be able to change that to "healthy is beautiful". Ashely Graham works out just as hard if not harder than Gigi Hadid and while I pray to god all these women have some ice cream every once in awhile, they live HEALTHY lives. No one's stuffing to be "plus" or cutting to be "regular" or whatever we call that. That's the piece that I think is missing. It's ok to be big or a twig, but take care of yourself and no one can tell you what that means except a professional. And also FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SHOW US SOME OF THE WOMEN IN BETWEEN!
There is not a body positivity campaign for my in between market and something needs to change. I'm not fat and I'm not a twig and I'M GOOD WITH THAT so I need everyone else to stop making me feel otherwise. Stop saying plus, stop trying to be a Gigi if you're not, and live your happiest, healthiest life, whatever that is for YOU.