Is the Body Positivity Movement Coming to an End?

How the movement causes more harm than good.

Body neutrality
Body neutrality

Becoming a viral trend


The first wave of the movement originates back to the 1960s but blew up through the use of social media, specifically Instagram, in 2012.

The trend became a perfect opportunity for marketers by advertising to their consumers to 'love themselves' and encourage shares, likes and comments in support of the movement. However, in our capitalistic-hungry society, profit from a campaign is more concerning for companies than genuine care for their customer.


Body image and social media go hand-in-hand; they are both obsessive and potentially dangerous. Our subconscious stores information we consume without choice, whether it be the idea that gaining the Kardashian figure will give you the 'dream body' to preaching and celebrating 'normal' sized celebrities.


The message is inconsistent and confusing.


The Issue


Mary Victor, a body neutrality advocate exclaims 'that body positivity can also quickly become toxic positivity'. This is because we are being guided to love and celebrate all of our flaws and imperfections including; stretch marks, dimples, freckles, hip dips, roman nose, dad bods, wrinkles, gapped teeth, moles and more. Most of which, I was unaware of what they were or that they are considered 'imperfections'. The body positive movement has had a counterproductive impact by creating more insecurities and self-deprecative mindsets by highlighting them to be an issue.


Unfortunately, social media has turned the human physique into a trend, making it a fashion statement rather than just a set of functioning organs. Keeping the ideal at an unattainable reach ensures that we are never satisfied and constantly aiming to improve ourselves. In turn, this negative self-attitude keeps gyms, weight-loss brands, plastic surgeons and many more in business.


Body neutrality

Body neutrality is the idea of not loving nor hating your body but accepting it for it's ability and function. As previously mentioned, the current, most desirable body is impossible to obtain. The platform of TikTok is progressively rejecting this attitude as non-influencers are going viral by being a voice for the movement, one coming from the creator Cassey who captioned her video 'So can we stop treating our bodies like fast fashion k thx'. The video looks at the ideal body types through history, highlighting how they change so rapidly. Along with her terrifyingly good editing, it reminds us of how conditioned we are to 'not be good enough'.


Mindset change

The media constantly feeding us contradictory information is damaging but sometimes hard to avoid as we are surrounded by it in society. However, we can take some mindful steps to limit the influence social media has on our body image.


Stop body talk conversations - Whether talking to yourself or a friend, redirect conversation from weight/size to another topic.


Research - Gaining an understanding of why your body has changed brings comfort and appreciation. The seasons, age and hormones all play factors.


Appreciation - Begin to focus on the body's abilities and function rather than physical attraction.

Most importantly, be patient. We have been conditioned to accept a certain view/opinion of society, training ourselves to reject that ideal and create our own will take time.