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So What’s The Effect Of The Body Positivity Movement?

It has taken quite a long time for society to see the beauty in non-skinny people. For years, being skinny has been the standard of beauty and fitness. But due to the continuous effort to promote body positivity, infiltrating social media, news, and pop culture, we see love and appreciation for bodies of different shapes and sizes. Elle’s Jes Baker shares her thoughts on the impact the movement has done: 

Curvier women with this feature are often called “Rubenesque,” after the voluptuous female nudes famously captured in great fleshy detail by painter Peter Paul Rubens five centuries ago—women whose body type was an ideal of the time. Rubens’s subjects, usually themes from Greek mythology, often included women lounging or twisting about, their bodies irresistibly soft-looking. The Flemish artist is quoted as saying, “My passion comes from the heavens, not from earthly musings.” Whether that was specifically about painting women or not, it certainly speaks to “heavenly bodies.” They are otherworldly. And suddenly Rubenesque is starting to feel more and more modern (and desirable) today.
On the modern-day canvas of Instagram, curvy models like Paloma Elsesser, Tara Lynn, Ali Tate Cutler, Tess Holliday, and Charli Howard have amassed devoted social followings, often garnering more likes and engagement when they post clear images of their “rolls.” Some influencers, like Megan Jayne Crabbe, who has more than a million followers, have built entire communities around normalizing their shape.
On the runway, rolls were anything but hidden at Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show, where models like Margie Plus, Raisa Flowers, and Alva Claire walked in the singer’s cult-loved lingerie (lauded for its size range of XS–3X and 32A–46DDD). What once was almost always hidden has now moved proudly front and center. Witnessing this celebration of a body type we used to singularly abhor brings me an indescribable amount of joy; it’s apparent that a cultural shift is happening.

image via Elle


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Thanks. I had considered mentioning my own experiences, but the comment was already long enough. I have been both underweight and overweight in my adult life and can absolutely attest to the truth of your statements. Trying to fight your natural body type can really wreck your physical and mental health.

As for the diet an exercise go... I have a rail-thin friend that has a diet that consists of mostly sugar and bread. Their health is terrible.

I also have an overweight vegan friend that has a great diet, but they do exactly zero exercise. They eventually wound up in the hospital ICU due to blood clots from too much sitting.
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That's all true, but it's worth adding to the conversation the diversity of natural body types. Some people are naturally thick to the point where society calls them fat even though they eat healthy and exercise. For those people to look have what mainstream society considers to be a "healthy-looking" body, they may have to go to dangerous lengths. Similarly, some people who look "healthy" eat horribly and never exercise, and while they look fine, their body is suffering.
Attitudes like those belonging to the other commenter on this post only make things worse, despite the fact that they often convince themselves that they are just trying to tell people to be healthy.
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This is an incredibly complex subject. Being wealthy and healthy is generally part of being attractive. Suffice to say, on average, being overweight isn't great for your health. Being obese is worse.

In days long past, only rich people could afford to eat enough to be overweight, thus "attractive" in the sense that they were likely to be reasonably well off, financially speaking. These days it is easy to become overweight with junk food, but in the past you had to eat "real food." So, being overweight isn't really giving you the whole picture anymore.

I think fat-shaming is actively harmful and can lead people into eating disorders, depression, and worse. I don't think we should be criticizing others for their weight, nor should we glorify unhealthy lifestyles. Live and let live, but give people the best information we have so they can make informed decisions.
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