There are currently two major body trends at war with one another. One is the same old shit we’ve been hearing for years: thin is in, or “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” from the likes of forever-waif, Kate Moss. The second is the self-love/ love your body/body positivity movement—and frankly, I’m suspicious of both.
Because although I applaud the brave women on Instagram and Facebook who use their imperfections as a badge of honor, I am reminded that even these “plus sized” women still revel in their smooth rounded curves, their perfectly supple, thick, muscular thighs. They bear no resemblance to my own marred body (secretly I’m hoping my friends will jump up right now and say, no, you don’t have a deformed body! But let’s face the hard facts—I have PCOS body). It’s not that I expect to see an exact replication of “my size,” shape or form. No, I guess I just don’t know if
- displaying my body, and or its imperfections to an already voyeuristic society is the way for me to learn body acceptance, or
- if a public platform, with all its likes and dislikes, isn’t still seems fundamentally rooted in a “likes = self-esteem” culture.
I get that women want to infiltrate media with real images of women, and I agree—that has to happen, but again, the focus is the body. Is the body positivity movement trying to find a solution in the same way the problem started—by our worth still being contingent upon the general acceptance of others?
I am thrilled that we are beginning to redirect our ideals of the female form to normal bodies, bodes that should be celebrated; but I can’t help but worry that our focus is still in the wrong place, on the female body. We’re still focusing on the outside—and maybe that will be a natural progression of the body positive movement, to slowly make that turn to the valuing of women’s thoughts, ideas and enormous contributions to society, not how we look—one way or another.
As for me, I wish I could say I embrace my body, that I am proud of it, that I have learned to love me just the way I am, but that would be total bullshit. The truth is that I am disgusted by my own skin; the days I don’t indulge in excessively hating everything about my body are the days when I’m just too tired to care. I am glad women are finding the courage and strength to love their bodies—frankly, I don’t know if I will ever be able to feel those things myself. But I am still not sure, they really do either. And maybe that’s not even the freaking point; maybe faking-it-until-you-make-it is good enough.