This is definitely going to be my most controversial post to date and I am not going to lie I am shit scared, not because I don’t believe in what I am about to say but because I don’t want to offend anyone with what I am saying and because you know, trolls.
So before you read this I ask that you go easy on me because I am just a woman who has found her passion and is trying to learn everything there is to it. This post is by no means an attempt to shame anyone but rather to get a conversation going.
I would also like to put a trigger warning on this. If you have or do suffer with eating disorders then you might want to skip this post. I don’t go into too much detail but this post discusses weight loss.
I have noticed lately, although I am sure it’s nothing new, that many fitness and diet bloggers/influencers are starting to include body positivity in the mix.
Now where I want the conversation to start is here, because I am not quite sure if it’s because they’ve lost weight or gotten fit enough to the point that they now feel comfortable in their bodies or if it’s because body positivity is appealing to a lot more people so they want to go with the flow or get on the bandwagon.
I have spoken about my views on others wanting to lose weight previously and what I said was something along the lines of this – your journey with your body is personal so if you want to lose weight it is your choice and you shouldn’t be shamed for that and you also shouldn’t have to justify it and I still agree with this however it is a complex subject and I have since been educated by a few ladies who have a strong point of view on this topic and who I respect such as Megan Kelly and Courtney Morgan and I have personally been triggered by weight loss promotion so I have a bit more to say about it now.
I will admit that I was quite against other body advocates shaming others for dieting because again, I don’t believe in shaming ANYONE but the thing is that they weren’t shaming the actual “dieter” they were shaming diet culture. And I hate diet culture too.
As said by Glenys (A health at every size dietician) “Diet and weight loss culture is rooted in the belief that fat bodies, bodies that do not conform to the very narrow beauty standards are wrong, unattractive and/or unhealthy. Diet and weight loss culture simply does not respect the broad diversity of body weights and sizes that exist”.
So I ask, can you promote fitspo/diet AND body positivity?
Can you say that you are body positive while promoting a protein shake and other substances of that nature?
Can you post a picture on your Instagram feed today of your body and say that you genuinely love it but then post a picture of your “lose weight now, ask me how” tablets?
My opinion is no. If you are choosing to be an advocate then you need to really believe in your message and can you really say you love your body completely while trying to change it? I understand that for some weight loss is part of their body positivity journey but when you are still trying to change something can you say you love it? And body positivity is about loving your body.
Let’s look at it in a different context, if you were redecorating your house. You will probably love the progress, you will love seeing the changes but ultimately you are waiting for it to be finished and then you will be 100% happy. It’s the same with a weight loss journey, you are waiting for an after picture while body positives are promoting their present picture as the one they are 100% happy with.
The biggest issue for me is the promotion of diet culture which is a trigger to so many and is also not the ideal message to be sending to our younger generation.
Being healthy and wanting a thigh gap are two completely different things. Eating the right, nutritional food versus drinking magical tablets every morning are worlds apart. Weight loss and body positivity are two completely separate societal issues (even though most people lose weight to become body positive) and I don’t think the two should become one if you are promoting diet culture.
As someone who has taken drastic measures to lose weight to fit into societies standards I know firsthand what a slippery slope diets can be. And I will never ever feed off of or buy into that culture again. I also don’t want anyone to ever feel like the answer to loving yourself is in weight loss.
Again, I need to add that my issue is not what anyone is choosing to do with their body, the issue is what is being promoted.
I know that we are all a bit lost in this crazy world and I know that our bodies are such a big part of our struggles so we’re all just trying and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that but we have to be careful of the traps we fall into and we have to know that the answer is not in magical pills, it’s not even necessarily in weight loss.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this?