In Monday’s blog I discussed Dr Ellie Cannon’s, concerns that Marks & Spencer’s use of ‘real women’ models gave the impression that being overweight is normal and healthy; when the opposite was true.
In this post I would like to comment on her statement about, what she termed, the “body acceptance movement”.
“I am really concerned”, said Dr Cannon, “by this trend of supposedly empowering women by what has become known as the ‘body acceptance movement, which embraces the notion that fat is fine. While fat may be fine cosmetically, it is not fine for your health”.
Anyone who reads our site knows that we support self acceptance and empowerment; we also support physical and mental health and wellbeing. In our view, they are not a mutually exclusive set of values.
We want our readers to accept the body they were born with; whatever its genetic makeup. Not hate or resent it, reluctantly tolerate or ignore it. This approach to oneself is both physically and mentally destructive.
Instead, we want our readers to embrace their body as the only body they will ever have. We want them to take care of their body, by giving it a healthy balanced diet, sufficient exercise, keeping it clean, rested and yes presenting it to the world in a way that builds their confidence, with or without makeup and the latest designer label.
In our view the ‘body acceptance movement’ does not tell individuals that “fat is fine”. It tells them that individuality is fine and what nature intended.
Dr Cannon’ also made the following statement.
“Body shape has been hijacked, solely as a fashion issue, and as ammunition in the war of cool versus uncool.”
I agree with her that body shape has indeed been hijacked. However, I don’t agree that it has been hijacked “solely as a fashion issue”. I think it has been hijacked primarily as a prerequisite marketing tool for the health (including diet), fitness, beauty and the fashion industries.
These billion pound a year industries, survive and thrive by first creating then idealising and normalising a mythical body shape and look. An ‘ideal’ that can only be attained by purchasing their products and services.