Countless people have voiced their support for acceptance of bodies of all shapes and sizes. Fashion is become more inclusive than ever, with an increasing number of clothing labels offering plus-size options. While this is by no means a bad thing, have we gone too far with body-acceptance? Has “body-love” become nothing but an excuse?
Let’s break down what is meant by the term “body-love”. It implies loving one’s own body not just for the sake of it, but for what it has done for you. If you’re a mum, your stretch marks are a symbol of what you’ve gone through to bring a life into this world. There’s zero shame in that and you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
However, some have used “body-love” as a blanket for their laziness to hide under. They recognise the fact that they’re unhealthy and out of shape, but refuse to do anything about it.
“I love my body just the way it is, so why should I do anything to change it?”
“I don’t care if the doctor says I’m overweight; I’m fine with the way I am.”
If my eyes could roll any further, I’d be having a front-row seat to my pulsating brain. Aside from how utterly ridiculous this sounds, it stinks to high heaven of narcissism. You acknowledge the fact that there’s a problem, yet refuse to do anything about it simply because you choose to hide behind the idea that it’s okay not to change if you don’t want to.
Considering how “body-love” was conceived as a way of fighting body-shaming, I can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am at how such a noble intention got twisted to suit the agendas of people who are constantly on the lookout for the next big excuse to justify their unhealthy choices. If you’re going to be lazy, at least have the guts to own up to it.
But here’s the real kicker: people are actually buying into it! People are looking at instances of this and applauding them as acts of bravery. And as they do this, a new precedent is established. One where misappropriation becomes tolerated; celebrated even.
If you love your body, if you truly appreciate the kind of life it has given you, shouldn’t you give it the care and attention it deserves? Shouldn’t you be taking the necessary steps to ensure that it’s performing at its best at all times? That’s the flipside of body-love that many people tend to forget. Loving something also means being accountable for it. Personal responsibility is something that cannot be shirked, especially when it comes to something as basic as your own health.
No one’s asking you to become an Olympic athlete overnight, but you can’t claim to ascribe to the notion of loving your body if you refuse to care for it. No one said it’s going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. Surely eating in a healthy fashion and getting regular exercise is something that deserves to be the norm?