2020 brought many life challenges and added stress, which can cause our weight to fluctuate. Some people eat more, and others eat less in times of stress, but it is important to forgive yourself and take care of yourself going forward. Many people who are a part of the body positivity movement are sending this message out right now.
When you first think about the body positivity movement, you probably think about the social media accounts that promote self-love and body acceptance. While this is the modern idea of the body positivity movement, there is a long history behind it and many reasons why it came into existence. When challenging sexist, racist, or ableist ideas, we must also challenge fatphobic ideas.
In 1969, Bill Fabrey was upset about how the world was treating his fat wife, causing him to gather a small group of people to create the National Association to Aid Fat Americans (today known as the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance or NAAFA). Around the same time, a group of feminists formed the Fat Underground in support of Fat Liberation, which the NAAFA referred to as Fat Acceptance. Fat Liberations called for "equal rights for fat people in all areas of life" and called for reducing or eliminating the diet industry.
Radical fat activists saw the way fat people were treated as a form of oppression. However, mainstream fat activism of the time, even now, shut out voices from people of color. Many white activists believed many communities of color seemed accepting of overweight people and that these communities did not need fat activism. Overall, many movements, such as the feminist movement and the body positivity movement, silence voices from people of color, and we need to work towards changing that.
Many of the most popular body positivity influencers post pictures with their bodies molded a certain way to show the fat on their body and arrows pointing to their insecurities. However, when you see them walking down the street, they look like the ideal body type. While these influencers are praised, the influencers who are visibly fat despite the camera angle experience more harassment and censorship. Those who deal with other forms of oppression are often the most outspoken, and the body positivity movement is meant to be a space for them. Even though early forms of the movement excluded people of color, the internet has given them the platform to share their voice.
Every time we interact with technology, we see ads run by companies that capitalize on our insecurities, such as new diet pills or special creams to eliminate stretch marks. Especially right now, with people making New Year's resolutions, companies who are a part of the diet industry have huge sales to convince us to feel like we must change how we look to fit in. As we enter the new year, many people make the New Year's resolution to lose weight or look "better." I encourage you to make a New Year's resolution to be healthier and happier because you deserve it.
This is the last blog post of 2020 for GrasshoppHer! We appreciate you reading our posts this year, and we are so excited to share everything we have in store for you in 2021! Happy New Year!