History of ‘Body Positivity’

By Ella Angell



Today our social media pages are flooded with ‘Victoria’s Secret’ bodies that influence the way we see ourselves and influence the body shape we aspire to have. However, as of recent years there has been increasing numbers of women who are trying to portray a more ‘normal’ view on body types that exist and exemplify how we should treat ourselves. This is known as the body positivity movement.

Body shaming has been a huge element of what people face whether they are a social media influencer, or even someone who is serving you at the cash register. In the 1960s Lew Louderback started a movement to end fat-shaming. He published an essay titled “More people should be fat” which critiqued the way people with a bigger build was treated within America. Within his essay he promoted for the appearance of larger ladies to cover more magazine articles.


From Louderbacks essay the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance was created. They educated people on what overweight was and criticised doctors labelling patients. They also made health not decided on a number on the scale but on your vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate and other things like exercise and diet.


Actors in the 1980/1990s created ‘The Body Positive’ organisation- founded in 1996 by Connie Sobczak and Elizabeth Scott. Its mission has been to make a better world for women and to encourage them to live away from body standards created on media sets.

From the blow up of the internet body positivity movement has been an increasing attitude of loving who you are. This attitude has continued to grow after the recent end of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and will continue to become mainstream as the expectations of how people should look become more inclusive and realistic.



Sources used:

https://sites.psu.edu/halepassionblog/2018/02/26/history-of-body-positivity/

https://fusion.tv/story/582813/a-short-history-of-body-positivity/


Image: https://www.everythingmom.com/parenting/soul/body-positivity-does-it-really-work

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