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Thin Privilege & the Origin of the Body Positive Movement

Brittany Valentine

Posted on October 14, 2018 10:11

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Through interviewing Becca Hernandez, a popular mental health/body positivity advocate on Instagram, I learned that the body positive movement is inherently political.

1. What made you decide to document your recovery on social media?

Surprisingly, this started out as my personal account. I made it when Instagram first came out. I started actually documenting my recovery nearly 2 years ago. It wasn’t a decision I just made, it gradually started. I realized that there was more to me than my struggles and I wanted to show the “real” side of me to everyone.

I was tired of seeing images that were fake, edited, photo-shopped and highlighted. I wanted to show that I am a human and it’s okay to struggle.

Most of all, I wanted people to know that they were not alone. When people say people with mental illnesses do things for attention, they’re not wrong. It’s not the attention they’re talking about, but it’s attention that we need to know that we are struggling and attention to others knowing they are not alone.

2. What do you want to say to people who deny they have the thin privilege and believe in body positivity, but shame people simultaneously?

I don’t ever want thin people to think they don’t matter. Their struggles are just as important, their struggles are just as valid BUT hear me out on this. Thin privilege is always taken so strongly and offensively.

What thin privilege means is being represented everywhere: magazines, ads, TV, models, mannequins, social media - you name it. Thin privilege is being able to eat the same thing a fat person eats YET no one bats an eye at you, stares at you, criticizes you for your food choice or ridicules you while you are eating. It is being able to do anything without people questioning your worth, your health, or your existence.

Fat bodies are not represented anywhere, and when we are, it’s in a negative spotlight. It's also so important to recognize that body positivity isn’t being positive about your body. It’s a political movement, and it can be quite messy and intense at times but only because we have to fight to have our voices heard. The correct term for thin bodies would be body love or body acceptance.

3. What would you like to see for the future of body positivity, in terms of acceptance, self-love, representation and reclaiming the spaces?

For the future, I hope to see more representation, more inclusivity, more diversity of bodies, more real bodies displayed. I hope that thin bodies can realize they are represented everywhere. And although they struggle too and have hardships, they are more accepted than fat or marginalized bodies. And for once, they can sit back and realize they don’t have to be included in everything as they are already.

Let this space exist for those who have nowhere else to exist safely, peacefully and wholly.

Brittany Valentine

Posted on October 14, 2018 10:11

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Source: sheknows

From a young age, we’re conditioned to have a narrow view of what is considered beautiful and healthy. In both cases, being...

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