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Why We Should Be Celebrating the Body Positivity Movement

Why We Should Be Celebrating the Body Positivity Movement

Social media and media in general are blowing up right now about sexual assault, harassment, and scandals in Hollywood. However, in the focus of those issues (which need to be addressed), the body positivity movement has taken the backseat while it should be riding shotgun, hand in hand with the other current issues.

Part of the problem in society is the consistent degradation and lack of respect for females, as seen through the number of participants in the Me Too movement, as well as the harassment cases plaguing the American nation right now. Lately, I have been discussing this issue with many people, some of whom have said that “Women will never get anywhere asking for respect if they keep showing off their bodies in magazines.” Is this not exactly the problem?

Enter the body positivity movement. I have been in awe of the Aerie Real shift to no retouching and use of everyday women’s pictures on their social media since it surfaced. Why? When you ask around, most girls know someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, self-esteem issues, or sexual harassment, if it is not something they experienced themselves. The no retouching and positivity movement aims to combat those issues, which are so prevalent in young women today. They preach acceptance of every body type, because the “perfect” body seen in the media is a creation of what could be considered ideal. But ANY body is ideal because we are all made differently, and, as we are taught in Kindergarten, it is our differences that make us special and strong. So one more time for the people in the back: the media’s depiction of the “perfect” body is an unrealistic expectation created to sell products based on the exploitation of insecurities.

You are more than what the magazines say you are. It took me years to learn this, and the body positivity movement right now is working hard to show that we are all beautiful, and that we are powerful because we are women who love ourselves.

I have the utmost respect for the pioneers of this movement, who bring attention to the issues in society. Aly Raisman, for instance, posed for Sports Illustrated magazine, but wrote on herself: “Women do not need to be modest to be respected.” And can I just say, PREACH. It is time for women to stop fearing for their safety from sexual harassment and negativity because of their body type. Every woman is beautiful, and every woman is powerful. The female body is capable of so many amazing things, and we should be respecting women for their capabilities instead of bringing them down because of the size of their clothes.

Respect is something every person is owed. Claim it, ladies. Respect yourselves, love yourselves, and start listening to the body positivity movement. If we all learn to ignore society’s expectations for us, imagine what we might be able to do to improve the world around us.

Augustana Contributor 
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