All bodies are beautiful, right?
At least that’s what we’ve been told. And over the past few years, this body positivity and anti-fat shaming movement has practically taken on a life of its own, to the point where questioning it could even put you at risk of being canceled.
And while on the surface it might seem like celebrating all body types is the kind and inclusive thing to do, what if it’s actually NOT?
What if it’s a message that is actually hurting us?
And I know this is a hot-button issue, so let me start by clarifying that I don’t believe in fat-shaming, nor do I think that every woman needs to be a size four to be healthy or beautiful. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and colors, and that is a beautiful thing and definitely something that should be celebrated.
What I have a problem with is the idea that we are supposed to embrace obesity as something that is totally normal and healthy and desirable.
That’s where body positivity crosses the line into toxicity because it’s a message that is literally killing us. And while the body positivity movement may have started off with noble intentions, I think it has been usurped and used as a manipulation tool by companies who, quite frankly, don’t always have our best interests at heart.
Because honestly the more I help people with losing weight and transforming their health, and the more I read and research and dive into the science and the history of health and weight loss over the past 100 years, and the more I see just how much the food and drug industry has been influencing us behind the scenes in a way that I can only describe as deeply sinister, the more I feel like we need to talk about this.
A little history lesson
So where did this body positivity movement come from? How did it start? After all, it didn’t just pop out of nowhere, right?
Well, it actually has its roots in the feminist movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was a way for women to reject what society was telling them they had to look like—that is, be thin and fit into certain traditional beauty standards—and instead celebrate their own unique beauty, whatever shape or size that may be.
And that’s definitely a noble cause.
But it wasn’t until Dove came along in 2004 with their “Campaign for Real Beauty”, that the body positivity movement kicked into full swing. It featured a diverse group of real women in white cotton underwear. No makeup, no airbrushing. Just real beauty.
You probably even remember it, because it was a big deal.
And honestly, it was a movement that was easy to get behind.
If you go back and look at those original Dove ads from 2004, they really are inspiring, because it was such a contrast to everything we had seen in the media and advertising up to that point, to the supermodel culture of the 1990’s, which was all about “heroin chic” and super skinny models that inspired a countless number of eating disorders, which was obviously not a good thing, and totally damaging in its own right.
And so this was seen as the pendulum shifting in a different direction, to something more positive and healthy and inclusive.
But like so many things that start out good and positive and healthy, at some point the movement shifted to the extreme, where instead of celebrating all different bodies of a healthy weight versus the scary skinny supermodels, it has slowly morphed into celebrating obesity. The women being featured are no longer of a healthy weight, but often what can only be classified as morbidly obese.
And not only that, the message being given is “This is not only beautiful, this is healthy. You can be healthy at ANY weight.”
Not only that, anyone who disagrees is accused of fat shaming. In the 20 years since Dove first launched that campaign, it has become culturally unacceptable to say anything negative about being overweight.
The Dark Side of Body Positivity
And whether it was a deep dark conspiracy by the food industry (Dove is owned by one the largest food companies in the world), or just an effective marketing idea that evolved into something more, it doesn’t actually matter, because the result has been the same either way.
Currently in the United States, 41% of adults and 19.4% of children are considered obese. That means 2 out 5 of adults, and 1 in 5 kids.
That’s a huge increase from 2004, when only 31% of adults in the United States were classified as overweight.
All this body positivity has only made us more overweight.
And that’s not healthy. Here’s why.
First, obesity increases your risk of developing Heart Disease by up to 73%. It also increases your risk of Type 2 Diabetes by up to 90% and your risk of stroke by up to 50%.
Being obese also puts you at higher risks for developing high blood pressure, depression, kidney disease, sleep apnea, cancer and more.
Plus, when you are obese or overweight, it’s virtually guaranteed that you have some form of insulin resistance and leaky gut syndrome. That means you’re also probably dealing with everything from heartburn and inflammation to digestive issues, skin issues, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune disorder.
And then there’s the fact that as your weight increases, so does your risk of an early death.
Bottom line—there’s NOTHING positive about obesity.
So let’s stop lying to ourselves.
Balancing Self Acceptance with Health
At the end of the day, I really think it all comes down to this—we have to find a way to balance loving ourselves with good health.
And honestly to me that means loving yourself ENOUGH to actually get healthy.
It’s not really about being thin. It’s not really about being fat either. It’s about being healthy enough to live your best life.
It’s about healing your body from the inside out so that it functions the way it was designed to. It’s about having the energy to do the things you want to do. It’s about reversing insulin resistance and healing your gut and balancing your hormones so that you can feel better.
It makes me angry that we live in a society that has normalized poor health. It makes me angry that we think it’s totally okay to take medication for every symptom while we ignore all the root causes of what got us here in the first place. It makes me angry that we think aging needs to be synonymous with aches and pains and going to the doctor all the time. It makes me angry that so many of us are having what could be our best years stolen from us.
Because there is a better way to live!
Bottom line—we can and should celebrate healthy bodies in all shapes and sizes, but let’s be real about what healthy actually looks like. It’s feeling your best. It’s having more energy. It’s being free from medication. It’s not getting sick all the time. It’s having skin that glows. It’s no more aches and pains.
And you know what else?
There is a way to have all of this and so much more, and it’s actually pretty simple.
And if this is your first time visiting this website, I encourage you to dig a little deeper. Start with How to Lose 40 Pounds and Keep it Off, then keep reading about the root causes of why we gain weight in the first place.
And then, if you want to go deeper, go watch our free training video. It will walk you through the science and help you understand why nothing you’ve tried until now has actually worked.
Ready to take the next steps towards getting healthy? Here are a few actions to take.
If you want to find more support, consider joining the TAS Program because we go SO much deeper into all of this in our program—and there’s a community of nearly 800 other women who are on the journey to healing their bodies and feeling their best too!
TAS stands for Thin Adapted System and is our main program here at Thinlicious.
If you are READY to get serious about transforming your health in a really significant way, then please be sure to check out that training video linked above.
Join the conversation
I’d love to get a conversation going about this topic in our Thinlicious Facebook group! So if you’re in there, please share your thoughts!
Listen to the podcast
If you liked this post, you’ll also absolutely LOVE the podcast I have on this topic. Listen to the Ditch the Carbs podcast HERE!