The Negative Side Of Body Positivity That We Really Need To Think About

Timothy Paul Smith

I prefer to emphasize a positive mind over “body positive”

Don’t get me wrong- I 110% support the body positive movement. I believe in everything it stands for and I think it’s something we really need in today’s society.

BUT, I also think it’s a movement that we shouldn’t solely emphasize.

Positive or not, the “body positive” movement still focuses on our bodies. Our looks. Our exterior. All aspects that are so triggering when they change. You can spend weeks, months or years “loving” the body you have. The body you see in the mirror everyday. But what happens when that body fluctuates or changes and we no longer are looking at the bodies we spent so long loving. We should and still can love them, but a focus that is so set on our exterior also comes with a delicate balance when they aren’t constant.

Our bodies change. Our weight is always fluctuating. Our skin is clear one day or week but acne ridden the next. We could get a bad haircut that leaves us unhappy with our reflection. Or… sometimes we just feel “ugly” or “fat”. The stress of life so easily distorts our body image. (You can’t tell me I’m the only one who feels ugly or fat during high stress times- they just don’t leave me feeling my best)

BUT, on those days I focus on my mind; my strengths, talents and abilities- not my appearance. A movement that is so focused on our exterior image isn’t always positive when our exterior changes because sometimes we forget that there’s so much more to fall back on.

I am a strong believer that our minds are the most powerful things we own. Anything we feel, think or do stems from our minds. If we don’t nourish our minds and souls, then we are neglecting the epicenter of our beings. There is a lot to be said about the way proper nutrition, a good nights sleep or doing things that we find exciting make us feel. They have a lasting effect- as does the body positive movement, but this effect is different because it’s internal rather than external.

Mental health is so much more than being “happy”. Mental health is about mental nourishment and fulfillment- it’s about taking care of ourselves first. Doing what we love, living without restriction and allowing ourselves to grow and change without being bound to any standard that isn’t our own.

A “positive mind” movement encompasses body positivity in the most universal way- by starting with the interior not the exterior. Yoga, art, baking, reading, running- literally anything that makes you feel good will ALWAYS be a constant in your life. Whereas bodies can change and although I believe change is good and natural, we aren’t all capable of saying “hey I love myself” every second of everyday. We all need something to fall back on that reminds us WHY we love our bodies. Simple movements or abilities that we can preform regardless of our shapes and sizes are a gift to us by our minds.

I hope that alongside the amazing body positive message society has FINALLY (and I mean it when I say finally- we should ALL feel beautiful in societies eyes and societies eyes should praise ALL shapes and sizes), I hope we also put focus on self care and self love. I hope to see more messages preaching meditation and self care. Messages about nutritional, spiritual and emotional nourishment. ALONGSIDE the body positive movement, this will help all demographics within our society find at least some value and some inner peace.

With that said, I fully believe that true strength and power comes from nourishment and love that stems from within and radiates out for others to see and vibe with. TC mark

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