Body positivity: The latest trend in Shame.

We’ve all come a long way from where we started.

Gone are the days where you see people telling you ‘how you have to look like to be loved’ and that ‘you just starve yourself for a few more days so that you’ll fit into a dress size’.

Today, we’ve truly managed to create something that could have been beautiful: Acceptance. Empowerment. Confidence. Freedom.

But somewhere along the way, we’ve gotten caught up in our heads and gone down the wrong road. A single blunder has changed everything.


People have started asking: if you truly loved your body, why would you want it to change?

That wouldn’t make sense.

 A fairly simple, innocent question, really.

But there’s something far more menacing at work here. Shame.

Shame has found itself yet another expression, hiding behind banners that cry out messages of self-love.

All of a sudden, it’s scandalous to say that you aren’t content with your body.

The minute it gets out, you’re trampled and suffocated with claims of how you’re a traitor to women all around the world, how you’re a disgrace to yourself.

Even worse are the unwanted counsel and advice on how you should ‘just’ love yourself and accept who you are.

So, I’ll say it now:

No, I’m not one of those people who work out for the love of sweat or for good health and strength. I work out to look good. 

No, I didn’t eat that salad for dinner because I absolutely loved it. I ate the salad because I wanted to drop a few pounds.

No, I’m not content with my body. I want to be more toned and I want to be, gasp, leaner. Maybe these thoughts aren’t acceptable, but I won’t lie to myself by saying things I don’t mean.


I’m tired of excusing myself and my actions to people.

It’s exhausting, the lying to yourself, lying to everyone around you, thinking of excuses, worrying about being convincing enough, being someone you aren’t.

I’m sick and tired of it.

I used to feel like I’m doing something wrong by thinking these thoughts, that there must be something wrong with me if I can’t accept myself the way I am.

And those feelings are as damaging as thinking that you are too fat to be pretty.

This isn’t a question of insecurity or self-hatred.

Yes, I do love myself. I love my body, I love my personality and I know that I deserve to be loved by someone else too.

But I’m not going to say that I love that extra layer of flab over my stomach or that I love those 10 pounds that I want to lose or that I love that I sometimes walk like a frog.

Because I don’t love all of that. They are a part of me and I simply don’t. And if you do, that’s great. I’ll admire and respect you for that. But I don’t.

It’s a personal thing.

I want to change it.

And that doesn’t make me any less lovable.


At the end of the day, I want to be able to whatever I want to do without the shame, without the lies, without the excuses.

Because isn’t that what all of this is about?

Body-positivity, feminism, self-love, self-care, all of it, on a basic level is about owning your actions and doing whatever it is that you want.

And if you’re going to shame me for doing what I want to do under this very aegis, then what is the point in all of this?

Shame has merely found another incarnation, an even crueller one at that. Because now, it’s covered up in this sickly sweet façade of self-love.

Before, people walked up to me and said that I needed to lose a few pounds so that I can be ‘healthy’. Now, people walk up to me and say that I need to stop wanting to lose weight so that I can be ‘body-positive’.

There is no difference. Either way, I’m judged and shamed for something I’m doing and then pressurized to do something I don’t want to do.

We’re at the exact same place and no one realizes it.


When will we ever find that balance? Will we ever reach that place where we stop shaming other people for their actions and judging them?

Because maybe this is just a part of human nature, maybe we’re intrinsically programmed to pull each other down.

I don’t know.

But what I do know is that I’m done.

I’m done being someone who I’m not.

I’m done acting like someone else just because of the latest trend going around.

The only trend that ever sticks around is shame and what I have learnt is that it simply isn’t worth it.

All that time you spent thinking of lies, delivering them, explaining yourself to people, explaining your actions to yourself: it’s not worth it.

From this moment, I am going to be unflinchingly honest with myself: whether it’s working out to look better or eating a salad to lose weight.

And I’m going to it without feeling bad or regretting it.

It’s a good life.

Who’s with me?

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110 thoughts on “Body positivity: The latest trend in Shame.

Add yours

  1. Change is (should be) delicate, subtle; done with thought and care. Unfortunately, shifts in zeitgeist are usually accelerated by the loudest screamers (read, loudest tantrum throwers), which, today, means the youth, who, in their zeal, inherently lack the subtly and nuance to make the distinction between shifts and opposites. The perils of all or nothing thinking. And, in turn, they are fed by consumerism, in its lust to surf the money wave. Who then only make the screams louder, in their “cool” commercialization. The vicious, tornadic cycle of acceleration. And we’d be remiss to forget the hangers on, who want to appear cool and young and relevant, who may be – or have been at one point in their careers – just respectable enough to bring clout to the outrage.

    You’re absolutely right to take control. 🤔 Appears I could’ve said all that in six words…

    Btw, I don’t know what walking like a frog looks like, but I may be in love with it 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’ll definitely agree but if it’s one thing I’ve discovered over the years, it’s that the latest generation, though hot-headed and quick to act before thinking, usually have the freshest and most relevant ideas to offer
      I think it’s not the idea that is the problem- body-positivity is definitely something the world needed- but the way the world responded to it by taking it to the extreme.
      At first, the movement was pure and something beautiful but it was misunderstood later on to become something that shamed
      I hope we’re able to bring back the original meaning of the movement and find our balance though I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.
      Like you said, we’re always teetering on the edge of that all or nothing cliff and we never seem to be able to back away.
      It’s somewhat of a quandary: the newest generation acts too fast while the older generations won’t bring in change at all… who then, will we trust?

      And as for the walking like a frog thing, it’s something like pointing your feet out so they are perpetually kept in the shape of a V… very uncomfortable and looks like you’re slightly drunk all the time. 😉 Unfortunately, it also seems to be genetic.
      But if you love it, then I’m no one to object… by all means, walk on ❤

      Liked by 5 people

        1. Haha… don’t worry, I’m washing my hands of it and I’ll give you all rights of ownership to do as you please with it.
          From this point on in history, the walk is yours to customize.
          I trust you’ll treat it well and give it the respect and admiration it deserves. 😉

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for writing this!!! I’m totally with you on everything you said in this post! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make positive changes in our lives, especially when you personally feel you need to make that change to feel happy. 😊 Awesome and encouraging post! 👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading ❤
      I'm so glad you feel this way!
      I wasn't really sure on how this post would be received by the world since body-positivity is such a huge deal today and it warms my heart that there's so many of you who are willing to think beyond the social norms…
      Comments like these are what encourages me to keep writing with my heart, so thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really glad you wrote this, because people need to know that self love doesn’t have to mean settling for what we don’t love and lying to ourselves. You delivered this message beautifully, Natalie! You’re very welcome! 💖🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you! This hit the idea on the head. You’ve said it all, and so have others, loved it. Glad you commented on my post so I could find you – I’ll definitely be sticking around!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So very true! You explained this perfectly. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who often feels that this “body positivity” hurts as well as encourages, especially with it being considered so shocking and wrong when you’re not entirely happy with your body. Well said!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤
      I'm glad this resonated with you…
      I must say, I've been pleasantly surprised that quite a lot of you are willing to look beyond social barriers and approach new thoughts with an open-mind…
      Maybe the world isn't so bad after all 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We are all so conditioned by society on what is “good” and “Bad”, “right” and “wrong” — but reality is so much bigger and more beautiful and sweet than that.

    I love your writing and ideas – on how to rise above all this to freedom. Thank you, please keep sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree… people seem to completely ignore this aspect of the movement and I personally believe that this is the very crux of the idea.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts… it really means a lot to me! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, true.
      Most of the trends that come up never stay true to the original message. I recently read a post on how feminism has taken a completely different turn from its original tenor and surprisingly found myself agreeing.
      I guess trends are trends. They’ll come and go and you can’t really trust them. Sort of scary how much they affect our lives though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Feminism (I think they’re calling it 3rd wave now) is really “out there” anymore. And I hope some of the current trends do go away…some are destroying our society, pitting us against each other.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Hear, hear!
    Surprise surprise, something we’re told is for our own good actually serves to keep us worried about what society wants us to do/be/look like. I don’t know why women keep falling for these things, we need to come together, agree that we aren’t going to believe the zeitgeist when it tells us whatever we are doing for ourselves is wrong, and go about our business without judging each other. I especially agree that this kind of thing keeps us competing with each other, it’s an old, old trick to keep us from rocking the boat.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And we fall for it each time…
      I completely agree with everything you’ve said
      A world where there’s absolutely no judgement and a society where we can come together and support each other: sounds like a fairy-tale
      But somehow, I doubt we’ll ever be free of shame and judgement; it just seems too good to be true
      We can only not let ourselves get affected by it…

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts!
      It really means a lot to me ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It seems so false to tell someone struggling that “They are perfect the way they are” because no we are not perfect the way we are! There is something about our lives that is not how we want it! Better to hear that, hey, maybe you’re a miserable wretch, and maybe a lot of it is your fault, but look, you can do something about that. That seems to me to be more accurate, more helpful, and perhaps more difficult to heed.

    Great insight on this topic!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m with you. If there’s something I’m against (actually, there are a lot of things I’m against) it’s trendism. If you’re fat, you need to lose weight. It’s unhealthy and in a world where so many people don’t get enough to eat, it’s vaguely obscene. Sod the being proud to be myself clap trap. If you lost weight you’d still be yourself, wouldn’t you? Or are you saying that your (fat) body has reached its optimum shape (fat) and should never be asked to change? And the people who complain that you’re taking up two seats on the bus/plane should be ashamed of themselves? I’m also a bit sniffy about anorexia. It’s funny you don’t find any anorexic Eritreans or Sudanese… We should learn to get a grip, and to stop confusing anything goes with feminism. ANd don’t get me onto wearing a niqab being empowering or I might just bite your head off 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, I am in complete agreement with everything you’ve said.
      Honestly, I just finished re-reading your comment thrice (Shhhh….) feeling like a complete loser because this is the point where I should have something really witty to say to you that would make for a compelling argument, but I have nothing else to add to that. Absolutely nothing.
      You just swept right in and stole my thunder, didn’t you? (In the best way)

      I’m just going to step back right now and let your words do the talking. This should be a post by itself and I wouldn’t be doing it justice if I said anything else.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts on this (though I might be just a little resentful 😉 )

      Kudos, Jane! Looking forward to seeing you around ❤

      Like

      1. It was fun! I like mouthing off about this kind of thing, but don’t dare do it on my own blog 🙂 I’ll argue the hind leg off a donkey, but I hate the outright abuse the slightest whiff of controversy attracts from trolls. I’m hiding behind the sofa as I type this…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha, the Internet is the absolute worst, isn’t it?

          And don’t think I don’t see what you’re trying to do here.
          You’re just using my blog as a shield to protect yourself from haters.
          So if the sharks are drawn in by the blood, it’s my blog they’ll rip to shreds, isn’t it?

          Oh, I see you.

          And I’m hurt, really, Jane. I thought we were friends. *single tear slides down cheek*

          But since I’m such a kind, benevolent person, I’m going to let this slide.
          This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’m a complete coward who hates any sort of confrontation, of course. 😉

          Like

  9. The biggest thing is doing what makes you happy. I spent so many years trying to please others that even when I was thin I didn’t feel like I was and certainly didn’t feel like I was, or good enough either. There is a lot of mob mentally out there nowadays and you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I learned to take my power back and not care what the mob wants. If you want to be thin be thin. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Just be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations to you for warding off the negative comments. I honestly had no idea that today’s commentary was of such a nature. In the end, I do think it all comes down to doing what makes “you” feel comfortable. Afterall, it is YOUR body — not theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Every movements gets the dark side to it, which is so common now a days.

    It’s true, excercise if you want to. Do whatever that makes you feel good.

    I think, Body positivity is about not giving a damn if anyone points out any ‘defect’ of your body which never displeased you before.

    🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m totally with you on this one. Thank you for being honest. And thank you for reminding me that body positivity is actually about how I perceive and feel about my body, not what others or the society think how it should be. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that I want to lose a few pounds just because I don’t want to be seen as the public enemy-someone who refuses the progress of body positivity movement-which is clearly not the case. I want to be part of the movement, but everyone’s perception, methods, and goals are different, so again, I think it’s up to us to make a meaning of this whole idea and movement. In the end, our happiness, needs, and wellbeing should come first.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I say let them think what they want. You know what you want and that’s all that needs to matter. Nothing wrong with self-improvement of mind or body. Who is anyone to judge or decide how you should think? Keep on living and thinking for yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You really hit the nail on the head. I’ve never been able to articulate this feeling of shame in body-positivity, and you’ve done a really good job dissecting it. Thanks for your words.
    You mentioned briefly in the post that you wonder if “…maybe this is just a part of human nature, maybe we’re intrinsically programmed to pull each other down.” There’s an old (proverb?) story my mom used to tell me: a crab in a basket will just crawl right out. But if you put two crabs in the basket, when one tries to crawl out, the other will pull it back down. I think the thing to do is surround yourself with good, like-minded crabs, so you can all escape together, or to really try to understand what your basket is (depression, self-depreciation) and make sure nobody is holding your in there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad my post resonated with you… thank you so much for your kind words, your comment made my day! ❤
      Hmm, I've heard that one too…
      I completely agree, but if you've already gotten yourself into the proverbial basket, there's not much you can do but hope, is there?
      Thanks again for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts… it means a lot to me! ❤

      Like

  15. This is a wonderful perspective! While I advocate for self-love, I do agree with what you saying. Change is a beautiful thing, even for vanity reasons. Doing things that make you feel better about yourself can change the tone of your whole year. And, I hate feeling ashamed. The worst feeling ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I totally agree. I had a similar experience getting used to my body after babies. Whenever I said that I was sad about the shape of my boobs, all anyone wanted to do was insist I was still beautiful and I could still love them. They’re friggun Salvador Dali melting clocks. I spent a lot of time getting to love my body, feel attractive with it, overcome all the messages that I wasn’t good enough, and then I had a kid and my body up and changed dramatically on me and no one told me that it was okay to be upset about that, just that I was still beautiful, should still love my body.
    A book finally did tell me that it was okay to grieve over the loss of a body I knew and loved to this melting clock thing I had now. And sure, now I can get to the point where I like my body just fine, now that I had a chance to grieve. Of course I’m still beautiful. But I still liked my youthful bosom better than mom bosom and I don’t appreciate anyone telling me I shouldn’t do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly. I just wish more people understood this… often, being told to think in a certain way and not being able to do that is more damaging than the thoughts themselves.
      I’m glad you got that…
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your story! ❤
      It really means a lot to me…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I so rarely comment on things like this, but I have to here. I LOVE make-up, but am told over and over again that my notions of femininity have not advanced beyond the old notions. I work on my body and image and am told I need to just be myself. I am told that evil old male artists that painted lovely nudes were nothing more than dastardly male fantasies that kept women down… while I have instigated topless photos of myself! There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about what feminism was meant to do… it was meant to give us a choice NEVER to tell us which choices to make!

    I have consciously created myself, my look, my persona, and for me there is nothing phony or anti-feminist about my love of cosmetics and style, I am not only being myself, I am actively creating myself. I think most of the people who tell me to be myself have never really worked very hard to figure out what self means beyond adhering to some limited ideology that tells them what their self should be.

    Cosmetics, style, my sexuality… are all aspects of self expression, conscious acts of self creation.

    Am I angry? Perhaps, what I am is damn sick of being told who to be by the very people who think they have broken the mold. Perhaps they have broken a mold, but all they have done is create a new mold, and have tried to force all women into it. Well… sorry, but I don’t like your fucking mold, thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Exactly. I completely agree. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
      And what’s even more frustrating is that you can’t even talk back to arguments like these, because they represent, or once represented, things that were important to society.
      I’m so glad you finally realized that you don’t have to fit into ANY mould or label. And anyone who thinks otherwise should keep their opinions to themselves.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, Justine!
      I really appreciate it ❤

      Like

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to share your thoughts on it, Emily! ❤
      That really means a lot to me…
      I'm so glad there are more people out there who can relate to this and this isn't just me out there.
      I really hope we can learn to be more accepting of ourselves and our actions in the future… we can only hope. ❤

      Like

  18. After reading these comments I feel empowered to say some things I have not felt free to say.

    Firstly, this “body positivity” thing was a good idea at first, but now I m seeing it as a dangerous part of American “slob culture,” a culture in which so many wear crocs and go out in pajamas. A culture in which we feel entitled to “thumbs ups” and “likes” for our every half-ass effort. I teach art, and the students are so used to being told their rotten work is good because our culture celebrates lousy childish art. A culture where transwomen don’t want to shave their faces but want to be called women. A culture where we don’t want to make any real effort but want to be called “beautiful.” We are turning into 5 year-olds who feel they deserve to be patted on the back and encouraged for NOTHING, for no effort.

    If you want to be an artist, learn to fucking draw. If you want to be a woman, do the hard work. If you want to be beautiful, make the damn effort!

    It might be good for our egos in the short term to be back patted, but in the long run we are creating a culture that lacks craftsmanship and mastery, a culture of people who will no longer strive or reach beyond the lowest point in which they have settled. This whole way of thinking has gone from liberating to downright dangerous.

    I think we are on the decline in not only the loud obvious ways, but in the subtlest ways as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, with the fact that we’re expecting approval for the smallest deeds, and feel offended when we don’t get it… maybe we’ve been coddled into thinking that the world owes us something; which is definitely hurting our success.
      Being ‘worthy of praise’ and truly ‘earning it’ are not the same thing, and I think that’s what most of us don’t seem to get…

      Like

  19. Natalie,
    i LOVE this! We are a society of extremes, and no balance! I agree, we can love ourselves without needing to love every little thing about ourselves! We NEVER arrive! We MUST always keep striving to be better in whatever way we see that we need improvement!

    Liked by 2 people

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    Like

  21. Great post! And great points about why some of us exercise and order that boring salad.
    So if a mole grows on my nose, am I supposed to love it?
    I agree with you that feminism should be here to show us we have options, not to tell us what to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hey I love this good job. I love people who write about things that matter. I am actually doing a project on body shaming and I was wondering if you are interested being involved with the project. And keep writing the stuff you write it’s amazing. Hope you can check out my blog because you might like it. And please let me know if you are interested in this project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Amna!
      I’m so glad you liked it ❤
      As for the project, why don't you contact me through my 'Divulge your thoughts' page?
      I'll definitely get back to you as soon as possible.

      Like

  23. Totally agree with this thought process. Every time I say a no to a dessert or fried food dish, I am looked at by others as if I come from another planet. My body, my health, my decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, so true. It’s as though it’s a personal insult to them when you refuse and the weirdest part is, it makes you feel guilty in the end.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here, Era! ❤

      Like

  24. This is a good post. Speaking as a fat person, I am accepting that I may never get to my ideal weight that my doctor would prefer me at, but I really hate the idea that I’m not “loving myself” if I am not ignoring the reality that my weight isn’t healthy. The reality is that you can like yourself and love yourself but not embrace your every flaw as a positive. Frankly it was never my *weight* that made me feel body shamed, it was that I am that rare breed of Celtic white that is super “never get a tan” white and spent my whole childhood hiding in the shade while my family mused about what was wrong with me and why did I burn while they tanned golden brown? Talk about a complex…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, been there, not pretty.

      Exactly… it’s as though accepting that you want to change something about yourself is a personal offence to everyone else who has that certain feature. And you’re the one who ends up feeling guilty about in the end.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! Really means a lot ❤

      Like

  25. YES!!! YES!!!!! I am with you on this. Aaahhh it drives me crazy. I am waiting for the trend where people will just let others be, rather that force them one way or the other. A nice, heartfelt suggestion is always welcome, but shame because you want to change, or because you are happy and you don’t, is just plain wrong

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly… that would be a good one, wouldn’t it? But somehow, I doubt its ever going to come around: all these trends seem to be majorly centred on all the possible ways you could invade somebody else’s personal life. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know! And most often than not those who judge are just trying to impose their own issues on the person they judge. Besides, if you are happy with who you are, I mean TRULY happy, and you meet someone who is not… why getting so upset about it? Why forcing “body positivity” down other people’s throat like some sort of religious cult? If it doesn’t come from within the person, it won’t certainly happen because someone kept annoying the hell with it (and I know for a fact since I’m one of those at the receiving end of this imposed self-love mania who ended up hating herself more!)

        Liked by 1 person

  26. So happy about this post. Wonderful thoughts, wonderful for saying them. Wonderful for being honest.
    The pressure has switched- We no longer have to be a pretty princess… We must instead be warriors. Smart, Strong, Kind, Good, Tough, and Confident. Definitely confident. You can *maybe* be a pretty princess if you want… but do make sure you’re a spunky one.” We certainly are a culture motivated by shame. 😦 And you’re so right- We’ve gotta end the delusions.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I just don’t understand people who take it upon themselves to tell other people what they should do. I mean, if I wasn’t sure whether losing weight would make me healthier or more attractive or more comfortable, I’d ask, right? And I’d ask someone whose opinion I valued – IF I were in any doubt as to the answer. It blows me away how many people find it necessary to tell me things about my own brain and body – as though I might somehow have missed it.

    Like

  28. You just made me think about body positivity in a totally different way. I am all about being body positive but I do struggle to lose weight. But I am not trying to lose weight for anyone else, I am doing it for me because it will make ME happier. People will tell me I am perfect the way I am and that I need to be more body positive but why can’t I be body positive and also want to lose weight to look and feel better about myself? This post spoke to me on so many levels. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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