One of my best friends shared this really interesting article on Facebook. It brings up a lot of interesting discussion points.
At the risk of sounding like a hater and shamer, is promoting body positivity almost a crutch used by overweight women to stay as they are? Is it okay to promote this image when obesity and diseases associated with it are contributing to mounting healthcare costs?
Don’t get me wrong, I think having a positive body image is essential to your well-being and self-esteem, but these are interesting things to think about. Is the term almost being abused, in a sense?
Maybe we’re going about it the wrong way… If our culture didn’t make unhealthy, processed, even carcinogenic food so easily available, obesity issues wouldn’t be such a problem. Everything today is about convenience, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if structured in a way to promote a healthy lifestyle.
For example, at my old job as a medical technologist, the hospital I worked in had an Au Bon Pain in the lobby. When I ate lunch, I would go and get myself a hearty, chopped salad. It was delicious and easy. And whenever I didn’t bring lunch and was hungry, I would just immediately go there without having to give it much thought.
But I guess I just got lucky there. I didn’t get so lucky with my new job. My new place of work has ice cream and frozen yogurt galore! This is where I have to dig deep for my willpower and self-discipline. When your environment already sets you up for failure and society looks down on you for not being able to look like a size 0… How can you win?
Our culture is just so superficial and vain. It’s not about how healthy you are, but the way you look. How dare you have a big butt and cellulite! Shame, shame, shame.
But I digress. After reading this article, I agree with a lot of what she says. But there are many issues that need change, including our perceptions. We have to promote health in all areas. Feeling positive about your own body should not depend on your size. And health just a separate issue altogether.
We should not be interpreting their body positivity to mean that obesity is okay. Feeling positive about your body does not equate to being healthy. You can still love yourself but want to improve yourself.