Body Acceptance, Positivity, and Liberation
There seems to be some confusion about the difference between the various body movements in some of the forums I visit. In particular, between body acceptance, body positivity, and body liberation. They all sound very similar, so that’s probably understandable. A key component of all three is for everyone to feel comfortable within their own bodies. They each have their pros and cons, and while I personally love body liberation, I can see what draws people to the others.
This is probably the easiest of the three to understand. This is your gateway to self-love, if you see what I mean. Some people struggle a lot with full-on body positivity. They’ve been told for so long that fat is ugly, seen so many thin people on billboards, in movies and magazines, and assimilated so much fatphobia that they genuinely can’t love their body the way it is. It seems impossible.
So, the place to start is body acceptance. Don’t try to love your body; just accept it the way it is right now. The key is to view your body from a non-judgemental stance.
- It’s an easier first step. Unpacking years, possibly decades, or self-loathing and hating your body is not an easy task. You can’t just hop joyfully from crying when you look in a mirror to blowing yourself a kiss and thinking your body is gorgeous
- People seem not to have the same hatred of body acceptance as they do of the other two. It makes you less of a target which is a factor if you feel vulnerable to online trolls
- Body acceptance is great, but I suspect many might accept their bodies but still think “for now”. The plan is still to lose weight rather than to strive for self-love. There’s nothing wrong with this of itself, and I am in no position to tell anyone how to live. I wish that these people could learn to love themselves before taking action
- Acceptance doesn’t address all the other intersecting types of discrimination
- The focus is on the individual doing the work, not making things better for all fat people