And Have Parts Of Body Positivity Gone Too Far?
In a three part series I wrote about my concerns over the direction of body positivity I raised a big concern. The most militant segment of the body positivity community insists that if you’re seeking intentional weight loss, internal fatphobia is lurking in the shadows.
My Beliefs About Intentional Weight Loss
I think this is a difficult question, and I can honestly see both points of view. From a body-positive point of view, it’s impossible to reject society’s unrealistic beauty standards and love your body as it is while still seeking it change it. In essence, you’re saying your body isn’t ok the way it is. At worst, you’re perpetuating the fatphobia and discrimination that oppresses fat folx.
On the other hand, unlike body positive activists, I do see that there may be circumstances where a person wants to lose weight for a reason other than dissatisfaction with its appearance. The main reason is to reclaim an ability they’ve lost as they gained weight. If a person used to love hiking, or playing football, or even playing with their kids, and can’t now they’ve gained weight, it’s understandable they may want to look weight.
It can also be as simple as that they don’t feel comfortable. Mike is pretty slim overall but does have a noticeable belly. He says it feels really uncomfortable at times, and so he’d like to be rid of it. Again, not a focus on appearance.
Where It Becomes Problematic
There are two reasons I struggle with the concept of intentional weight loss. The first is good old delusion. A person may tell others they are losing weight to regain an ability or feel more comfortable, but are they just trying to convince themselves?
I suspect a decent percentage of folks who say their weight loss is not driven by fatphobia (internal or external) is lying to themselves, pure and simple. They want to embrace self-love, see diet culture for the manipulative monster it is and give up…