The piece is called “Body Positivity Has Become an Excuse to Be Unhealthy” and the subtitle “If you hide under the gauzy blanket of body positivity to conceal your laziness and passivity, I feel sorry for you.” Riiiiiiight.
She spends the first part of the article discussing her history with weight cycling, her dislike of her own body, her vague understanding of the body positivity movement,and her choice to try to solve her issues with her body by manipulating its size and shape. Of course that’s all fine, and none of it is any of my business except to say that I respect her right to make choices for her body precisely like I want my choices to be respected. Unfortunately, Rutvi seems to be struggling with that concept. Let’s take a look, shall we:
If there is one thing you have absolute control over, it is your body.
With any luck at all, this is the point when people realized that Rutvi has literally no idea what she is talking about (unless she can tell me how to become 6 feet tall when I need to reach the top shelf, let alone knowing what the research about weight loss shows) rolled their eyes so hard they saw their own brains, and then stopped reading. But just in case they didn’t…
The compliments I’ve gotten since beginning my weight loss journey were not regarding my actual weight loss. Every single compliment I received acknowledged my perseverance and the fruitfulness of my efforts. That is so much more important than how drastically the landscape of my body has changed. If you go for a run five days a week for a month, there will eventually be results. If you work for something, there will definitely be results. That’s just how it works (thankfully).
Rutvi is allowed to believe whatever she wants about her own journey. What she cannot do, at least while remaining in any way credible, is make sweeping statements that suggest that she knows how everyone’s body will react to exercise. There are plenty of fat athletes who run five days a week or more and don’t lose weight. An inability to understand that your experience is not extrapolatable to everyone isn’t an “unpopular opinion,” it’s a failure of logic.
There is no excuse for snarking about another woman’s body because you lack the discipline to change your own body to your satisfaction.
By the exact same argument, there is no excuse for snarking about another woman’s body (including making assumptions about her level of discipline) because she isn’t interested in manipulating her body, because she is satisfied – even thrilled – with the body she has, or because she has jiggly thighs (more on that in a minute.) I would suggest that there is simply no excuse for snarking about another woman’s body.
If your only excuse is to hide under the gauzy blanket of body positivity in order to conceal your laziness and passivity, if saying “oh, I can have that body in two months” each time a sinfully hot woman walks past is your justification to yourself for your jiggly thighs, if you roll your eyes at your friend when she says she is proud of herself for sticking to her workout plan, I feel sorry for you.
Yeah, Maria Kang called and she wants her ridiculous bullshit back. PEOPLE DON’T NEED AN EXCUSE TO LOVE THEIR BODIES. If you don’t think that people should love their bodies because of their size, or health (by any definition,) then you are a sizeist and a healthist. If you visit that sizeism and healthism on others and/or try to convince other people to do the same, then you are not someone who holds an “unpopular opinion,” you are someone who is actively participating in marginalization and oppression. Obviously I can’t tell anyone what to do, but I for one think it would be just lovely if you would knock that shit off.
I won’t pretend to know what Rutvi is thinking, or what her motivations are, because I don’t. I will say that, whenever I see this kind of sizeism and healthism and lashing out by people who are trying to manipulate their bodies – at people who love their bodies without trying to manipulate them – I always wonder if the real reason they are lashing out is that we refuse to buy into their belief that they are somehow superior because of their size/health/fitness/weight loss attempts.
People don’t need an excuse to love their bodies while being “lazy” or “passive” by whatever definition anyone is using. People don’t need an excuse to love their bodies and never work out. People don’t need an excuse to love their jiggly thighs. People don’t need excuses to believe that their fat bodies are hot just as they are. People don’t need excuses to not give a single fuck about someone else’s workout plan or whether that person is sticking to it. (And if they are rolling their eyes, perhaps that person needs to ask themselves why they are telling someone – who obviously didn’t ask and doesn’t care – about their workout plan?)
Health is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, entirely within our control, or guaranteed under any circumstances. Body positivity and “health” (by any definition) or “healthy habits” (by any definition) do not have to be related to each other in any way.
People are allowed to decide that their worth is somehow tied to how closely they are able to approximate the stereotype of beauty, or their “health” by whatever definition they are using, or how well they stick to their workout plan. What they aren’t allowed to do is suggest that everyone (or anyone) else has to buy into that.
If you need to engage in sizeism and healthism, if you need someone else to feel badly about themselves so you can feel good about yourself, if you need everyone to make the same choices as you in order to feel ok about your choices, then I feel sorry for you.
You are under no obligation to love your body, but you are absolutely allowed to love (or work on loving) the body you have – exactly as it is right now – no excuses needed.
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