It is so important to remind ourselves of the fact that black plus-sized women started the body positivity movement. Black women were the originators of the Body Positivity Movement both in the 1960s and on social media.
While it is amazing that Body Positivity has become more popular, we can't help but notice that the marginalized groups, which are supposed to be in the center of this movement, have been moved into the background. Body Positivity seems to no longer be there to shine a spotlight on POC, people with disabilities and trans people.
Instead, when using the hashtag #bodypositivity, a majority of pictures will show white women with hour-glass figures who are no bigger than a size 12. We know that Body Shaming can also go the other way round ("Skinny-Shaming"). And we know that many women and men are being shamed for their bodies, no matter their size. And we also know that it's time for women in general, apart from their 'race', to be able to do with their bodies whatever they want. That's why we need the Body Positive Community - because it's here for everyone and for every body.
BUT anyone who is part of this movement should not forget that Body Positivity in connection with marginalized groups like Black Women, Trans People and People with Disabilities goes much further. And we also should not ignore that fact that Fat Phobia is deeply intertwined with Anti-Blackness.The bodies of marginalized people have been the subject of systemic discrimination for centuries.
They are not just fighting for self love but they are also fighting to simply not be killed just for the way they look. To not be degraded by fatphobic, racial, homophobic or ableist insults on the daily. To not have to be scared when walking home alone. To not only love their bodies but to feel SAFE in them.
So until society and our whole political system does not treat marginalized groups the same as non-marginalized people, we, as people and as companies, must take part in the Body Positivity Movement in a responsible way - by honouring its roots and putting the spotlight on those who are not represented fairly. After all, their struggles need more of a voice than anyone else's!