You’d think that, after Angel Locsin pooled private resources and raised money for those affected by the pandemic, she’d go viral for her goodwill. But no — she went viral for how she looked. Specifically, for her weight gain.
Thus, rekindling the body positivity movement.
But what is body positivity? And why is being body-positive so important?
The Tyranny of Beauty Standards
It all boils down to the fact that people are expected to adhere to impossible beauty standards — girls, most of all. When all people see growing up is Photoshopped bodies and airbrushed skin on celebrities (who, might I add, are cherry-picked from the entire population), we are conditioned to think that that is how we should look.
But the beauty standard is too steep and not the slightest bit inclusive. It denies the fact that people go through multiple bodily changes throughout their life. It denies the diversity of body shapes, skin color, and hair types.
There is not one institution to blame. Neither the media nor body shamers nor your tactless relatives bear all the responsibility. The tyranny of beauty is a collective effort.
And when women deviate from the standard, they are shamed for it.
The Body Positivity Movement
Despite the insults hurled at her, Angel Locsin doesn’t care. In her interview with Boy Abunda, she says she doesn’t have any issues with her body, so why should naysayers be concerned?
Angel Locsin was then crowned, unanimously, as the latest body positivity ambassadress. The body positivity movement promotes a healthy body image, regardless of the standards that society and popular culture have set.
To be body-positive is to accept that there are various types of bodies, and that all bodies are beautiful. Being body-positive means unlearning all the judgments against bodies that do not adhere to the standard. In fact, the body positivity movement aims to address unrealistic body standards.
Living the Body-Positive Life
I acknowledge that being body-positive is difficult. All our life, we believed that only so and so could be called beautiful.
But believe me, once we are kinder to ourselves and more accepting of the way we look, we will be kinder to others, too.
So how do you support the body positivity movement?
- Recognizing body standard messages. Acknowledge that, as I’ve said earlier, celebrities are cherry-picked and airbrushed for TV. Social media users only show you the pretty side of their life. You are not your nosy tita’s comments.
- Reciting positive affirmations. Be encouraging to yourself. When you stand in the mirror, focus on the things you like about yourself. Today, you have been productive. You will aim to be healthier. You will crush the day.
- Stopping the comparisons. If she’s pretty, you are pretty, too. They have achieved their goals, but you will get there, too; it’s just taking a bit more time.
Dismantling these beliefs requires a herculean effort. But we will get there, one healthy step at a time.