Body positivity: The latest trend in Shame. Don’t fall for it.


Over the last few years, the body-positivity movement along with trends in self-love has exploded into our world with a fervour that matches the throes of young love.

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’.

It started off with good intentions but like any other trend, I fear it’s slowly tipping onto the other side of the scale; its true purpose and meaning disfigured into something that shames instead of honours.


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’ve betrayed them, how you’re a disgrace to yourself.

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 let me tell you; those feelings are as damaging as thinking that you are too fat to be pretty.

And let me get something clear: 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 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. Instead of feeling pressured to lose weight, we’re at the other end of the spectrum; we feel pressured to love ourselves and lose our souls by lying to ourselves.


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.

Shame might never stop 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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75 thoughts on “Body positivity: The latest trend in Shame. Don’t fall for it.

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  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 3 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 4 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 2 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! 👏

    Like

    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 1 person

  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 1 person

    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! 🙂

    Like

    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! ❤

      Like

    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 1 person

    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 1 person

  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

      2. 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 1 person

    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

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