The internet has been kind of a boon for body positivity, but the internet is also a boon for the concept of the fail. Much of the body positive rhetoric on tumblr and pinterest is well and good and beneficial, but much of it is drivel that perpetuates our self hatred.
These quotations and mantras are well intentioned, but they end up missing the mark and making people feel worse:
- “Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.” Why do we have to act like beauty is so important? Saying this confirms the notion that some shapes and sizes are not beautiful. This mantra reiterates that beauty is supposed to be a priority,
- “Fit is the new skinny.” We didn’t need a new difficult-to-achieve body type to add on to the skinny ideal.
- “You are beautiful inside.” This is still upholding “beautiful” as something to be achieved. This particularly one sets up women who are beautiful on the outside to be perceived as ugly on the inside. Anyway, not all uggos have nice personalities.
- Real women have curves. Some do and some don’t. Real women have whatever they have. Don’t bash one body type to elevate another. Everyone loses.
- “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.” If you need to hate on people who aren’t as active as you are in order to compel you to keep going, you are an asshole.
- “Beauty is only skin deep.” But my skin still looks like hell and I feel bad.
- “I’m perfect just the way I am.” How about: perfection is impossible to achieve and boring anyway.
- “You are beautiful, no matter what they say.” Christina Aguilera sang that. I appreciate the sentiment of “eff what those jerks have to say,” but you might not be beautiful and that’s definitely okay too.
- “Love your body.” Loving your body isn’t the only way you can love yourself. You can love yourself but still hate your body. This kind of mantra puts a lot of value on the body that can stress some people out. It’s awesome that some people love their bodies, truly, but not everyone has to. Some people have reasons not to, maybe their body turned on them or let them down or maybe they don’t think about their body enough to love it. You don’t have to love your body, it’s not a big deal. Guilting people into loving the way they look just makes them feel bad for failing at self love and at looking a certain way. Not everyone needs to want to be or to feel beautiful.
Now what did I miss?