Body Negativity.

Woman sits in a manual wheelchair.

Just about every other article on the internet right now is about how we should endorse body positivity and put a stop to body-shaming under any circumstances. On the whole I agree with this sentiment. Someone shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed and embarrassed for the way they look; I was permanently teased throughout school for having frizzy, uncontrollable hair, glasses, and crooked teeth, as well as somehow managing to be simultaneously too fat and too thin. While I believe that a healthy weight should be maintained where possible, my concern on this front is for health and health alone, not how someone appears. In fact I fully support women who have the confidence to display their beauty whatever their size. Women like WWE Raw wrestler Nia Jax have proved that size bears no relation to looks whatsoever; she’s walked down the catwalk at a fashion show and the ramp down to the ring with equal confidence, as she should do.

However, body positivity does hold one small but vital caveat for me. How the heck am I supposed to love a body that has repeatedly tried to kill me and malfunctions more often than a British Leyland car? It seems like I’ve spent half my existence being poked and prodded by medics and they’re not marvelling at how healthy I am. What might look alright on the surface may as well be a carefully decorated cake that tastes like damp and mouldy cardboard (disclaimer: I don’t know how this tastes, and I don’t want to find out). I try not to care too much about how big my wheelchair makes my butt look, but I still find it a little difficult to love a body seemingly hell-bent on self-destruction.

The media constantly tells me I should love my body no matter what, but no one in the spotlight seems to recognise that no matter how much love I give my physical body, that isn’t going to fix me (Coldplay style). I can stand in front of the mirror, wink, and say “you got this” in a cheesy teen movie voice as often as I want; my body is not going to suddenly and miraculously repair itself however much I would like it to. It continues to amaze me that a thought pattern as shallow as this has taken hold of everyone so completely that they refuse to hear a word uttered against it.

On the other hand a lack of general body positivity doesn’t mean I hate myself entirely. I think I can take pride in my relationship, my achievements, my work, and my writing. I think I’m an alright human being to be around, although I’d verify this first with someone who knows me well. I also think that there’s more to me than how I look. Body positivity really is great; it’s just not the be all and end all we think it is.

9 thoughts on “Body Negativity.

  1. This is the first time I’ve seen an article addressing this online…
    I think body-positivity has gone in way over its head in the past year, with people pressurising you to love everything about yourself and shaming you if you want to change your body in some way
    It started as a way to give us more freedom but it’s ended up being just another prison with a gilded cage

    “It continues to amaze me that a thought pattern as shallow as this has taken hold of everyone so completely that they refuse to hear a word uttered against it.”
    Coincidently, I just wrote an article about body-positivity and the shame that’s come along with it and thought my story is nowhere near as significant as yours, I’d addressed the exact same issue
    I still don’t know how people are going to react to it though, so fingers crossed…

    Great post! ❤
    Thank you for being so honest and so vulnerable
    It takes a lot to really put yourself out there and I think it's great that you're spreading your story and letting thousands of other people know that they're not alone this way and inspiring them to live their lives the way they want to.

    Looking forward to reading more from you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment!
      I was very nervous before publishing this particular post, as I wasn’t sure whether I’d receive some backlash. We should all have the freedom to feel confident about our bodies, but when your body physically feels unwell, it’s kinda hard to feel positive about your body.
      I’m sure your take on this subject will be equally as significant. It takes a lot of confidence to be so open and honest where literally anyone could see it, but we need people to do this if we want things to improve!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey you are very talented. Love what you wrote. Just checked your entire blog and it’s really good. Keep writing about stuff that matters to you that’s exactly what I do on my blog as well. I am actually doing a project on body shaming and I was wondering if you are interested. I have zero tolerance for the people who body shame which is why this project is important to me. Let me know if you want to be involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey I just check out your blog and I am in love with it. Keep writing about stuff you believe in, and your experience, and stuff that matters to you because that’s all I do on my blog as well. Something I cannot stand in the world today is definitely people who body shame. I think it is absolutely disgusting and there is no excuse for it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am actually doing a project on body shaming and I was wondering if you want to be involved. Let me know if you would like to be involved in this sort of project. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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