The body positive movement grows stronger and stronger everyday, and with it’s increased success there will inevitably come some backlash. We’ve all heard plenty of the “think about your health” crap that we are just not going to dignify with mentioning any more, but are there times when body positivity can do more harm than good? While not every act, event, or hashtag can instantaneously transform you into a body positive superhero, any improvement is progress.
Body positive events aren’t 100% effective
In an article earlier in the month, Amber Brenza wrote a piece for Self.com in which she relates her experience taking part in a ‘Dare to Bare’ event in New York. The event was basically a SoulCycle class outdoors in one of the busiest parts of New York City wearing just a sports bra and leggings.
The event was envisioned as being empowering, helping women to feel more comfortable with their bodies and to develop more body confidence. Unfortunately, Amber writes that it had the complete opposite effect for her. As she so eloquently put it, “Turns out that, for me, one topless bike ride did not have the power to undo years of body-image struggles—which didn’t surprise me, to be honest.”
A body positive moment nonetheless
So a single topless bike ride didn’t make her a body confident superstar, however it still made a difference. A small step in the right direction is still on that should be celebrated. Perhaps it wasn’t the life-changing revelation she expected, but there was still a lot of good that can come from instances like this.
“I was so focused on my own body—how powerful it was when I was working hard, and how insecure about it I was during easier segments—that I wasn’t paying attention to anyone else’s performance or body. In fact, I only had positive thoughts regarding the women surrounding me: She’s pedaling so fast! Her back looks amazing in that strappy bra! Then I had a sort of revelation: If I wasn’t picking apart other women’s bodies during the ride—quite the opposite, actually—why would I automatically think they were tearing me down?”
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