Obesity (1/2): Body Positivity
Updated: Nov 13, 2020
Obesity has continued to increase throughout the decades with no end in sight. As the years progress, there are less individuals willing to keep track of a healthy weight. Although body positivity is a wonderful celebration of one’s physical form, it is no excuse to not live a healthy lifestyle and ignore the consequences.
What is Body Positivity?
Verywell Mind informs that, “Body positivity refers to the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size, and appearance.” It is a movement meant to remove barriers between the insecure and the refreshing breath of being able to feel confident. Fat-shaming and descrimination against body shapes that are even slightly different from the norm was the antagonist that the founders of the movement sought to eradicate. In the twentieth century, society has come to be much more progressive than the earlier years, but the slurs and prejudice never disappeared.
What is Obesity?
“Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. There are many reasons why some people have difficulty avoiding obesity. Usually, obesity results from a combination of inherited factors, combined with the environment and personal diet and exercise choices,” according to Mayo Clinic.
*Image from Mayo Clinic
Why do body positivity clash with obesity?
To have self love and self acceptance is an aspect of life that many yearns to achieve. Body positivity encourages such thoughts and feelings in order to reduce self deprecation. However, in the event that one settles for his or her obese status, then it becomes a problem and a health risk. Olga Pavuka asserts, “While the goal is to make all body shapes acceptable, a large part of this is now on the individual to “love their body”. Body positivity might be teaching overweight people to love themselves, at a tremendous cost to their health and life expectancy. That is the major problem with the Body Positivity Movement. It is about changing society’s expectations of obesity, rather than changing the individual behaviors that contribute to obesity. Instead of taking on the individual responsibility to fix this problem, many people have found reasons to blame society.” There is no fault in being overweight and such, but when one becomes too overweight it must be addressed with a health professional and resolved to prolong lifespan as well as prevent the weakening of one’s immune system.
Cherry, Kendra. “Why Body Positivity Is Important.” Verywell Mind, 25 Feb. 2020, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-body-positivity-4773402.
“Obesity - Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 15 Feb. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742.
Pavuka, Olga. “When Does Body Positivity Become Health Negativity?” DeepH, 23 Oct. 2019, www.deeph.io/when-does-body-positivity-become-health-negativity.