How The Body Positivity Movement Became Toxic On Social Media

Is the body positivity movement going in the wrong direction?
Is the body positivity movement going in the wrong direction?

The body positivity movement started a long time ago. We live in an internet era where it’s very easy to compare ourselves with what we see online: ‘perfect bodies’. The movement speaks about body acceptance. You don’t need to look like other ‘perfect’ people in order to love yourself and be confident, but be happy with the body you were blessed with. 

Although the initial idea of the movement was a good one, people are starting to be obsessed with their bodies. Where do we draw the line? Where did this movement go wrong? Let’s go through all those issues together. 

Image: Unsplash

Body Positivity On Social Media

‘Bodies that look like this’ is a viral trend on Tik Tok where women show their body imperfections in order to teach young girls that their body shape, size and colour are normal. It is very important to see your true value to love and accept yourself. However, it seems like the movement goes in a slightly different direction.

People are getting triggered by mid-size women joining the trend. Recently, Sienna Mae Gomez, a teenage girl and former dancer, has received backlash after posting a video of herself wiggling her supposedly ‘fake’ belly. Many ladies have complained about feeling more insecure after watching the video. On the other hand, she “never claimed to be the face of body positivity.” However, the real problem seems to be the platform. 

Image: Unsplash

Is It All Fake?

It seems like the platform prefers thinner women for this viral trend. The body positivity trend should portray women who suffer from being bullied for their bodies. This trend should be about women who fight criticism and genuinely love themselves for who they are. To truly encourage someone who feels ashamed for their body shape, you need to understand their feelings from a personal experience.

A few years back, I received very interesting advice that I hold up to even to this day: “Accept advice from people who already been through what your currently going through.” There’s no way someone can fully understand your situation unless they’ve been there. 

Ashley Graham, an American model, has recently responded to commentators who said ‘you’re pretty for a big girl’ with ‘I’m pretty and period’. Singer Lizzo is also shamed for her more prominent body form, which is kind of ironic since she is posting videos exercising and eating healthy.

Image: Tik Tok

Beauty Standards

Although there is no such thing as a ‘perfect body’, we see two types of body shapes being pushed on Tik Tok and social media in general: skinny or hourglass. Which one will win the war for the beauty standard queen? It kind of feels like that, doesn’t it? 

It is sad to see women in some sort of beauty competition. Every culture has different beauty standards that women feel pressured to achieve. Whether it is the white skin, big butt, slim size or curvy shapes, learning how to look past those ‘standards’ is the real achievement.

No video in the world will make you feel pretty if you don’t see yourself pretty. You might get a small boost of confidence, but it won’t help in the long run. See your true beauty. We all have insecurities we need to face every day. 

Personal Story

Image: Unsplash

Ever since I was a child until a few years back, I was skinny. People used to make fun of me, saying I have two sticks for legs. That’s not a nice thing to hear as a teenager. Because I was skinny, my ears looked more prominent. It kind of reminded me of Dumbo. I was very insecure about my big nose too, and the weird thing was I didn’t even have access to the internet. 

I simply compared myself to the people around me. However, I stopped doing that, and now I’m happy and content with my belly fat. I don’t see myself ugly anymore. It doesn’t matter if someone calls me that; I know who I am and what my true value is. Even though hateful words might affect me for a moment, it’s not something worth spending my time on. 

Life is a journey full of bumpy roads, but when you find yourself, it becomes less stressful. The body positivity movement brings awareness that no matter the looks of a person, you are worthy.