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Monday, 29 April 2019

Discussion | Can you be Body Positive but Want to Change?

Discussion | Can you be Body Positive but Want to Change? - Rachel Emily Blog

Recently on my instastories I've been starting discussions about a few topic's I'd encountered recently or my bug bears. One of these topics was raised at Bristol Fashion Week in relation to Body Positivity. While the catwalk had models of a variety of sizes, ethnicity and disability there was discussion over how as great as it was, it could have gone further.

According to Wikipedia, Body Positivity is a "social movement rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image". Basically that people need to look at who they are and see all the positive things about themselves and love themselves for them. But everyone has hang up's right? Even the most confident of us have something they would change right?

After lots of chatting, and a few gins, ironically in a bar full of the models from Fashion Week, the question was raised:

Can you be body positive but want to change something about yourself?


Discussion | Can you be Body Positive but Want to Change? - Rachel Emily Blog

I was in the mindset that no, if you're trying to change something about yourself, then there was in fact a negative connotation attached to that desire for change. At the moment my body feels weak and I want to change that, so I'm not positive about it's performance. My bodies weakness is my body positivity negativity. So I decided to throw it out to the world of Instagram.

As you can imagine the response was mixed. The main argument for no, was that if you're trying to change there is a negative to make you want to change. The main argument for yes was that you can still be positive about who you are and your body but want to improve. Kinda like you'd be like I'm great at the moment, but I can still strive to be better. 

Some comments I received:

"100% - I wanna tone my thighs but that doesn't mean I want to get rid of them"

"No"

"Yaas! You love your body cos of all it does for you but wanting to make it healthier and stronger is gd"

"Trying to change your body isn't being positive about it"

Discussion | Can you be Body Positive but Want to Change? - Rachel Emily Blog

@not.my.first.rodeo changed my perspective on the whole concept of Body Positivity all together. She said:

"We've all got the right to be the best version of ourselves without judgement from others. We should not have to 'settle'. Its a complex thing and one that is so hard to express on Social Media without offending anyone."

This led me to thinking, why is the Body Positivity movement just seen to be about us accepting ourselves? Shouldn't we be pushing the boundaries to not push ideals or perceptions on to others.
People are not only being told how they should look to meet supposed social ideals, but they now seem to be being told that they should accept things they aren't happy with to be body positive. That mum's should love their mum tum because its a mark of their children - but if it's not making them happy then why shouldn't they make changes for their happiness, without the judgement of others?
I think we are all a little too quick to judge others and impose those "shoulds". Body positivity needs to focus more on that we can each be positive about not only our own bodies, but other people's bodies too.

I love my legs as they help me do ballet which is something I also love. I love my itty bitty titties because my shirts don't gape and they don't give me back pain. I love my eyebrows because they're uneven, scarred and natural. Growing up I hated my boobs because they were small and I hated my eyebrows because I was picked on for them but these are all things I'm body positive about now. But I do still want to be stronger and fitter - but for me. Nobody else. Not because someone says I should.

Discussion | Can you be Body Positive but Want to Change? - Rachel Emily Blog

I'd love to know your thoughts on the discussion - as I know they are all so varied. Do you count yourself as Body Positive? Can you be body positive but still want to change something about yourself? Do you agree or disagree about us needing to banish the should's and embrace not only ourselves but others too? Pop your thoughts in the comments.

If you want to read more of the discussions then head over to my instagram where they are all in the 'Discussions' highlight including the poll results and comments.

Photography by Hana Dallimore

Can you be Body Positive but Want to Change? - Rachel Emily Blog

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