Why the Body Positivity Movement Is Detrimental to True Self Love
The ‘body positivity’ movement is a powerful force sweeping the globe right now. Campaigns left right and center coming up to encourage people to love their body’s no matter their shape or size. Conceptually this is absolutely a great thing: yes, you should love your self. But when you break it down, this movement is actually problematic for three main reasons that I can think of.
1: You Are Not Your Body
The fundamental message is that of ‘love your body’ but the higher truth is we are so much more than our bodies. To dwell on the body at all is doing nothing but perpetuate the body as something to be commodified and judged. By focusing on the body, we stay asleep to the divine higher nature of our cosmic existence.
Modelling in general is rooted in praising the shell of the thing; it’s the same reason we embalm dead bodies and put them in coffins for eternity instead of letting our bodies (nature) decompose in the earth (nature)— this total disconnection from the bigger reality that our meat puppets are not who we truly are. It’s the same reason people have such a hard time with growing old: this sense that the physical body is IT.
We are the thing that animate the puppet, the proverbial puppet master, if you will. Accepting the puppet is one thing, but glorifying it (which is essentially where the body positivity movement is rooted), does nothing to encourage true Self love. Love of the higher self… the self that is driving the car (not the car itself).
So whether someone is thin or thick, whether their skin is lighter or darker, whether it is smooth or covered in dimples: the act of commodifying the body as a marketing tool (modeling) only drives the ego and perpetuates the disconnection between you and your higher self.
Instead of teaching our children to love their curves, etc, how about we teach them to speak the truth, cultivate compassion, and be generous and loving human beings.
2: Misery is rooted in craving and aversion
Dwelling on the physical construct whether positively or negatively, are two sides of the same coin. It’s creating craving or aversion to something that is fundamentally impermanent. The body is impermanent. The more we focus on loving (or hating) something that is by nature changing from moment to moment, the more we cling to (or fear) something that is ultimately going to die. Whether you hate your body or love your body: the body is impermanent. Self-acceptance of the only true reality: impermanence, is the only way to truly navigate life at peace with this human existence.
3: ‘Plus Sized’ Bodies, But Conventional Beauty
The women fighting to be accepted based on their larger frames are still conventionally beautiful. How can you be preaching that your worth isn’t defined by your body, when your face is a 10? Call me when Sports Illustrated starts putting unconventional looking people on their cover, possibly even with pockets of fat in awkward places. Call me when the girl on the cover of Vogue has heaps of un-retouched acne.
The irony is so blatant I don’t understand why women are not OK with only thin women being on covers, but they are OK that they are still being judged on their faces. You do realise unconventionally beautiful/ aesthetically unpleasing (ok, ‘ugly’) people aren’t ever on magazine covers right? Hating on an industry for only putting thin beautiful people on their covers is like hating a bicycle for having two wheels: it’s literally what defines the thing.
The problem is the industry as a whole— it’s the commodification of the human body, period. Modelling turns the human body into a commodity which we can then pick apart and judge; it’s employing the body as a marketing tool. Whether you’re 90lbs or 190lbs: you’re being used to sell something. How is that a win for true self love, when your true self is not your meat puppet at all?
We see this with the ‘ageing-positivity’ movement too. More images of older women are coming up on social media and in marketing campaigns, but these women are timelessly beautiful, in perfect shape, with long beautifully even white hair, perfect teeth, and glowing skin. What percentage of the population ages like that?!
Simply because the landscape of what it means to be beautiful is shifting, it’s still perpetuating the problem that your worth is rooted in the physical self, which (back to point #1) it is not.
If you want to love your true self: close your eyes.