Saturday, 3 September 2016
Another bopo bore.
Body positivity seems to be the new media buzzword these days. Gosh, that sounds cynical of me doesn’t it? Bear with me.
It’s no secret that our media promotes the insidious message of thinness being the archetype of beauty, success, and worthiness. This ultimate goal affects everyone who tries it: be it those who seek to attain it, or those who fight to maintain it. Every which way there is a problem for people to fix; trying to measure up to body types that, realistically, don’t even actually exist thanks to the power of Photoshop.
Everyone out there is battling with this toxicity that surrounds us. We’re all trying to come to terms with who we are and what we want for ourselves. But here’s the thing: some of us experience vastly more oppression and discrimination than others. That’s not to say that the expectations thrown at women are not harmful and painful for many but the oppression and discrimination levelled at fat people far outweighs that of thin people.
Body positivity, as a movement, is virtually unrecognisable anymore. Where it was once a tool to create spaces for the marginalised; be it fat people, disabled, POC, trans folks, and other groups, now it is a means for brands and media to appear to be sympathetic without having to actually acknowledge or cater for those marginalised groups.
Campaigns like #iamallwoman use the token call of body positivity to appear to give the middle finger to body policing while simultaneously upholding beauty ideals by using models who are typically attractive and –you guessed it-all thin.
Any criticisms levelled at these campaigns us met with disbelief, as though these meagre crumbs, that do not represent us are supposed to satisfy us. Promises of more inclusions to come, as though the radical inclusion couldn’t have just come in the first place.
This isn’t the fat community demanding that it be all about us, or that thin woman can’t be involved, but rather they, for one minute, take up the least proportion of representation. There are so many groups that can and should be represented that simply never are. This is a movement for all but has now been co-opted for those with greater privilege to hijack a movement that doesn’t place them at the centre and call it unfair.
We are sick of being told that our turn is coming when it never does.