Junior Mya Ong wakes up in the morning and immediately starts scrolling through Instagram seeing countless pictures of models and celebrities with one specific body type. Ong sees that there is a certain body standard in America so she has to feel good and comfortable in her own body.
Body positivity ideas have been around for hundreds of years, but recently it has become a social movement. A popular body positivity movement started in 2012 that focused on challenging unrealistic feminine beauty standards and then it came to the message of “all bodies are beautiful”. Now, in 2021, some people do not think body positivity has the same meaning and stigma as it used to.
“When I am looking through Instagram I see people posting [the caption] ‘body positivity’ under a post of them on their weight loss journey or working out,” said Ong.
Body positivity is now focused on certain stereotypes and not about every body type. More and more people are starting to use words in phrases such as body normalcy and inclusivity instead.
“The messages of what is considered an attractive or appropriate body type and size can be damaging for many people who do not fit these specific criteria. These expectations can lead to poor mental health, body dissatisfaction and unhealthy behaviors around food and exercise,” according to Megan Hull fromThe Recovery Village.
Body positivity is no longer about the activism, but it is now used for hashtags and marketing tools.
“I love my body and it is hard to use body positivity when really only one group fits into that group,” said Ong.
Body positivity fails to see how so many people do not love their bodies and why they have such a negative look on their own bodies.
“I live by love your body no matter what,” said Ong.
We are moving away from body positivity and all the pressures and moving towards body inclusivity and neutrality. With this new era there is room for people with a good sense of physical strength and beauty and also for people who do not want their bodies to be a political statement or brand. Finding true equality in all body types is the real goal.