Column: The body positivity movement is focused on the wrong things

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez, Opinions Writer

Editor’s note: This column uses some strong language.


Over the years, we have seen the body positivity movement challenge beauty standards more than ever before, helping more people love themselves and their bodies to the fullest.

It has not only changed how we see ourselves and each other but changed the modeling industry, with marketing campaigns for major corporations such as Dove, Aerie, and Savage X Fenty being more inclusive.

We’ve gone from only seeing tall, thin models on runways and magazine covers to seeing models of varying body types.

I’m very proud of the strides the modeling industry has made with inclusivity, since it has helped people feel more comfortable in their bodies, but the truth is we still have a long way to go.

We haven’t truly normalized different body types.

All we have done is expand what’s desirable, and we can’t fight body image issues and fatphobia by expanding what’s desirable.

At the forefront of the body positivity movement, we see plus-size models that still fit the ideal body type with their flat stomachs, smooth skin, big breasts, and hour-glass figures.

It has made me realize that all the body positivity movement has done is show the world an acceptable version of “fat.”

A version of “fat” that is beautiful, desirable, and f**kable.

In the modeling industry, there hasn’t been much room left to represent other body types, so we rarely see models that don’t fit those beauty standards.

Now that we live in a society where the acceptable body type includes “thick” women, the body positivity movement still does little to prevent women’s worth from being directly correlated to their physical appearance.

Maybe we don’t live in a society that is completely obsessed with the idea of being skinny, but we still live in a society that is obsessed with fitting the beauty standard, just now the beauty standard looks a little different.

I believe the best way to combat beauty standards is to stop trying to live by them. We need to stop looking at people’s bodies and trying to make every part of them fit the beauty standard just so they can finally be deemed acceptable.

I don’t want stretch marks, body hair, cellulite, body rolls, etc. to be seen as beautiful. I want them to be seen as normal because they are normal.

Instead of focusing on how beautiful and desirable our bodies can be, I wish the body positivity movement would focus more on normalizing our bodies. I wish it would focus on making people realize that their worth is not attached to how attractive they are, because you don’t need to be attractive to be worthy of respect and love.

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez is an English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].