It's the evening and I see Lizzo is trending on twitter and also Clubhouse. Admittedly I do not follow her and so I do not know much about her. I click to see what the furore is all about and I see it is to do with her doing a 10 day detox.
I'll give my 'surface level' response.
What is the big deal?
But truly to do this topic justice let us go into more detail.
The body positivity movement
There is a really good article on BBC bitesize that discusses the history of the body positivity movement which started in American in 1969. Please read the article for more detailed information. I believe we can agree that there was a 'resurgence' of sorts in the recent years which a verywellmind article references and states that the current wave of body positivity movement began in 2012. Furthermore, they claim that the body positivity movement has shifted to now seeing all bodies as beautiful as apposed to a movement that encouraged inclusivity and acceptance of bigger people. There is no one definition of what body positivity is however the general consensus is that it means:
-Accepting your body weight and shape as it currently is
-Loving your body presently
-Being confident in your body size and weight
Ok, now that we have the general view out of the way let's delve into my take on the body positivity movement.
I have a previous post where I discussed an advert that had tongues wagging as it portrayed a skinny body as the ideal 'beach body'. As I stated in that post, it was a silly advert in incredibly poor taste. Now, how does that link to body positivity now? I feel as if we need to be careful as individuals in making anyone a face of any type of movement. Yes, even if the person states they are an advocate for the movement it should still be taken with caution.What if the person want to change their mind later on? Are they now destined to be pigeonholed because spokesperson duties calls? Let me make it specific to the body positivity movement and particularly bigger women.
Virtually harassing a woman- in this case Lizzo about taking a 10 day detox is disgusting. Is that not in itself contradictory to the message that being body positive is all about? Ahh, but someone will say 'if you are really all about body positivity why would you do a detox?"
No. From my understanding of body positivity it means loving your body no matter which size it is. It does not mean having to stay at whatever size it is. To me if a person wants to lose weight or gain weight it means loving your body before, during and after the weight gain or loss process. We do not get to tell people that they are 'letting the body positivity movement down' because they chose to have a detox. Even if she chooses to want to lose weight, we have no right to say these things. It is her body, her rules.
Whilst we can look to others to help us with confidence-especially if they look like us, it is not their responsibility to teach us how to be confident. That is way too much responsibility to give to another human being and we also do ourselves a great disservice when we outsource our confidence to outsiders. Because confidence is an inside thing. If you feel that Lizzo 'let the side down' it says more about you than it does about her. Yes we may say society 'caused' this but let us not forget that we make up society. Lizzo owes nobody an explanation with regards to her bodily choices. We have become a very entitled generation that always feels the need to know why. How about we mind our business? If we want to do body positivity let us do it properly. Let us not heckle those who choose to change their bodies.
I know some have an issue with 'before' and 'after' pictures shown when someone loses weight. I do realise how problematic they can be. I also realise that I can log off, swipe up and close an app if I see it. Ultimately people will do what they want and we cannot police every single thing.What we can do is allow people to live and not harass them in the name of not 'waving the flag' for the body positivity movement. You can't wave a flag that appears to be fundamentally flawed in the way that some of us are viewing it.
I think it is time that we all go back to basics and take a look at what body positivity actually means. Maybe that way we won't be in a situation where Lizzo is trending for doing a body detox because she wants to and where she does not feel she has to give an explanation for it too.