“No matter how you colour your disgust, it’s still hate!”
For fat shaming individuals visiting this article, beware! This is a no hate zone designed to challenge the vitriol you drag with you. For the curious or already converted, we hope to provide deeper insights into the world of the body positive movement.
Before We Begin — Finding My Psych Can Do Better!
The recent backlash in the media on the body positive movement, has caused some serious self-reflection about our role in promoting the diet and exercise industry. We do not take for granted the powerful influence we all must take responsibility for when voicing our opinions in our little niche of the interweb. Because of this, the Finding My Psych team is deeply sorry! Let me explain…
After close examination of our global content, along with some of the messaging and language found in our articles, it is concluded that we have fallen into the trap of supporting the diet and exercise industry. While we believe that a plant based diet used as a prescriptive measure by medical experts such as Dr. Dean Ornish (reversing arterial sclerosis), we abhor the notion that ideal health is simply accomplished through weight loss.
The field of Positive Health Psychology does not side with the exercise and diet industry. Diets do more harm in a society deeply disconnected from others while seeking validation through perfection depicted in social media. In step with promoting a broader understanding of health, we are removing language on our website supporting the negative impact of shame based speech, regardless of original intention.
Are we making too big a deal about nothing? No!
Piers Morgan’s Body Positive Disgust
By now, you have likely read about the recent October 2018 Cosmo cover featuring Tess Holliday, a 300lb size 24 plus size model. Cosmo is attempting to broaden their audience with covers featuring diverse representatives of society. Needless to say, the backlash has been profound. Check out this recent video on Good Morning Britain featuring Piers Morgan and his outrageous behaviour to his body positive panel:
Eight (8) Myths about the Body Positive Movement
By definition, being body positive means accepting and appreciating all human body types, thus encouraging improved emotional wellbeing. Being body positive means both accepting yourself, and the diversity of body types around you. The diet and exercise industry depends on body negativity and self-hate. Moreover, society as a whole pushes back with moral superiority.
We believe that society is driven by the following ten myths about what it means to embrace body positivity:
- Body positivity encourages weight gain: Doing a scan of the peer-reviewed literature reveals no clinical evidence that the body positive movement has caused an increase in overall weight gain.
- Body positive people have, ‘given up’ on weight loss: Being overweight and body positive does not mean that the individual has given up on weight management. In fact, being positive decreases shame and hateful self-talk, both indicated in emotional eating.
- Body Positivity does not care about longevity: Everyone wants to live full and health lives. Suggesting that a body positive focus is short-sighted on healthy aging, indicates a society that seeks to moralize the behaviour of others in the here and now.
- Deep down, those who believe in the body positive movement, look in the mirror and hate themselves: Self-hate is a reflection of the messages delivered in society through major media outlets, supported by unregulated hate promoted in social media. If someone hates the sight of their body, we should examine the external influences before we do a deep dive into the psychology of the obese.
- Believing in body positivity means you never watch what you eat: Everyone thinks (to a fault) about the food sitting in front of them. Being positive about your body does not mean you consume every available calorie on the table. The key is intuitive eating, an adaptive approach for everyone regardless of weight. Intuitive eating is popular among supporters of body positivity.
- Body positive individuals are deeply in denial about their weight: Are you kidding? Shame based messaging is everywhere. There is not one individual alive that lacks awareness, however distorted it might be, about their weight.
- Body positive individuals are going to raise obese children: If guilt is the intention, that point goes to fat shaming! There are more assumptions that go into this myth than can be addressed in this article. For now, understand that no child should shoulder the burden of diet obsession promoted by society. Assuming that a diversity of food options are readily available (often a challenge in high poverty areas), every parent seeks to feed their children nutritionally appropriate meals.
- The term, ‘body positivity,’ is only used by those with curves: Everyone can benefit from adopting a zero judgement/shame based approach towards the self. Think about your teenage years. Were you body positive, even as an athlete?
- Men cannot subscribe to the body positive movement: Women are overly represented in the media as spokespersons for body positivity. That needs to change. Gender has nothing to do with it! Both men and women are invited to adopt this zero judgement/shame based approach.
- The media sets the terms for health and fitness: Stop reading and listening blog posts, news articles, YouTube videos, etc., that are setting terms for what it means to be healthy and fit. These outlets are promoting click through rates and advertising that support the diet and exercise industry. Instead, make your own voice loud – Call out Piers Morgan in your own blog post or video. Call out hateful speech designed to promote shame.
Do You Agree/Disagree? Have Your Say!
There is no issue more divisive than fat shaming. Your views are important to both us and the hundreds of readers that hit our website every day. Never forget that your voice is louder than you think! Feel free drop us an email. Also, if you want to scream even louder, consider becoming a contributor to the Finding My Psych Website and Podcast!