After performing her ass off at the half-time show of Super Bowl LI, Lady Gaga was body shamed by the kind of people who think their opinions about women’s bodies matter, and who want to attract other sexist misogynist assholes by taking to the internet to show off their bigotry. Though they are a plague worth ending, I’m not focusing on them today. What I want to talk about are the “Body Positive” responses, because the Body Positive community has some serious problems, and those problems tend to perpetuate exactly what we want to be fighting.
The Body Positive (BoPo) movement as it often appears today is a watered-down version of the much more radical Fat Acceptance movement. BoPo inherited problems that Fat Acceptance had and still has, including a lack of inclusion and centering of the voices of People of Color, disabled people/people with disabilities, and Trans and Non-Binary people. And in seeking to apply the concepts of Fat Acceptance to people of all sizes, BoPo created new problems as well as exacerbating old ones which tend to exclude those who are most oppressed because of their bodies.
You can read my full piece about it here!
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6 thoughts on “The Problem With Body Positivity”
I knew someone would complain about Lady Gaga’s body. I’m becoming more and more convinced that society at large has dehumanized women to an extreme.
The thing with saying “It’s okay to love your body as long as you’re not > X (100) lbs” or “It’s okay to love your body as long as you don’t have [insert disease here]” is that it aspires to a level of authority the speaker simply does not possess – you (general you) simply do not have veto power over how any given person feels about their body.
I loved this article, Ragen, including the part that body neutrality is just fine, as well. You are not obliged to love your body. Just stop hating it. Stop hating your own body, and stop hating anyone else’s body, too.
The biggest, most important gift we ever get in life is a body, which enables us to live that life. If that life is puppies and rainbows or if that life is war and misery, it’s amazing how the vast majority of people will still try everything to cling to it, and call anyone who does NOT cling to life “crazy,” or “sinful” or even (my “favorite”) – “selfish.”
We can’t even have the argument about whether or not we have a right to cling to our lives or to give up and go away, without having a body, in the first place. The body doesn’t have to be healthy or able or white or cis or any other description, except alive.
As long as we are alive, that’s enough reason to love, or at least not hate, our bodies.
I’m grateful for my body, even when it does annoy me with health issues. Because now that I’m no longer suicidal (from dieting and body hatred), I’m glad to be alive in it.