I LOVE the body positive movement. I live and breath for it. Nothing makes me happier than seeing friends and strangers accepting themselves, using hashtags and celebrating their bodies. Scrolling through pages and pages of #bodypositive and #effyourbeautystandards tags gives me genuine chills and I DO believe that the more people who partake in this "trend", the happier we will be as a result. It's changing the world, it's making society better, it's just pretty great.
BUT. There is something that is really starting to grind my gears about that label, and it looks a bit like this....
Now I know that its the Daily Mail and that there is a LOT wrong with this sentence beyond what I am about to complain about, but to me, this whole thing signifies something that needs to end.
Ariel Winter, for those that don't know about her, is great. She plays Alex in HBO's Modern Family and was in the news a lot last year to explain her decision to get breast reduction surgery (something that she shouldn't have had to explain, alas, society sucks...). Since then the 19-year-old actress has had her Instagram photos and Snapchat stories regurgitated every few hours onto the Daily Mail's side bar of shame. I don't know Ariel personally (man, I wish I did...) but I do love following her on social media, she is a breath of fresh air, she seems to give absolutely zero fucks about the haters and yes, she IS very body confident.
And that's great to see. It's great to watch. It's INSPIRING. True, she has never uploaded a photo of herself in which she doesn't look ah-mazing, but that's hardly surprising. The online world is a dangerous place to be and we all know that we have to put our best food forwards. Or best face forwards in this instance. The fact is, Ariel loves her body, and she shows it off. It's great, the whole thing, the confidence exploding out of her Instagram feed? It's a thing of beauty.
But somehow, despite all of this, the only way that anyone describes her as anymore is 'body confident'. That just doesn't feel right.
For people overcoming insecurities, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, this label is incredibly important. The movement, the hashtag, it's all great. But we need to remember that body confidence should not NEED to be news. Body confidence should just be a thing that we have alongside our day-to-day. Alongside our careers and our friendships and our lives. It should be something that we have whilst we are out living our lives and not be the only thing that is defining us.
There is no reason at all why Ariel Winter should not be body confident. To be honest, the girl is sexy as hell and I am pleased as punch that she knows it. But can we please, please, just let her get on with her amazing career without branding her with such unnecessary titles?
I don't want people to stop describing themselves as body confident, for most of us, it is a really important thing and if we are brave enough to use that term to describe ourselves with then that is truly amazing. I don't want the hashtags to stop, I want it to keep growing. I want people to strip off all their clothes and share photos of themselves in their underwear, I want to see normal women being proud to be normal women, sexy women being proud to be sexy women, fat women being proud to be fat women.
But to the patronising, ignorant journalists using this term as clickbait, you've got to stop. We are identifying as body positive, as body confident as a reaction to the labels. We had decided that we had had enough of being squished into boxes that weren't meant for us. We decided, on the back of this nasty culture to stand up and embrace our bodies and now, by taking that and using it as yet another descriptive term? It's not okay. You're missing the point. You're taking our power away and that's not fair.