Body Positivity Unhealthy ?
April 2017

We know that there are at least two sides to every story.

 

Pro Body Positivity:

Recently 24-year-old blogger Megan Jayne Crabbe posted a self-love, body positive response to negative comments about her weight gain:

Her caption read:
"'Wait so you just decided to RUIN your body?'
Nah, I just stopped torturing myself every day for not fitting an image I was never supposed to be.

'But you look so much healthier to me before.'
That's funny, you looked so much more intelligent to me before you equated health with weight and forgot that mental health is health too.

'You could have stayed the same and loved your body, you didn't need to get fat.
I could have stayed the same and spiralled back into the eating disorder that almost killed me when I was 15. I could have kept starving myself and obsessively working out for hours everyday but it never would have lead me to self love. No matter how much weight I lost there was always still something to hate. And sure, people don't NEED to gain weight to find their self love, this is just what my body needed to do to match up to my mental freedom. THIS IS MY HAPPY BODY.

'But surely you can't be happy looking like that now, I could never be happy in that body. .'
I didn't think I could either, but as it turns out, happiness isn't a size. And I wasted far too many years believing that it was. Now I'm not going to stop letting people know that they deserve happiness exactly as they are. They deserve to live now, not 10 pounds from now. They deserve that mental freedom. So to every person reading this: I hope you get your freedom too, however it might look. I'll be cheering you on every step of the way."

Crabbe, who has long been an advocate for both mental and overall health, said that she wrote the responses to address certain negative comments she received on her photos. She also told BuzzFeed that she was inspired to write the post to highlight how important it is to include mental health in discussions of overall health.

"Most people would see the 'before' me — thinner, more toned — and assume that I was far healthier, when in reality I was utterly obsessed with losing weight and slipping back into an eating disorder that nearly killed me when I was 15," she said. "That level of obsession and self-hatred could never be healthy, no matter how it looks." Most of all, she said, she wanted to combat the idea that "thin equals happy."

Anti Body Positivity:

Online presenter Owen Shroyer (infowars) responded to the post, zeroing in on the physical and mental health related issues of being overweight:

“This woman is clearly uninformed on the actual subject matter of health. You don't need to be a doctor to know that in general not being overweight is more healthy. That doesn't mean that overweight people can't be healthy, there is give-and-take. But if you think for one second that being physically healthy doesn't contribute to mental health, you haven't done the research folks; trust me on that one. There are all kinds of studies that can equate to the fact that people that are in better shape have better self-confidence and then succeed more often. The sad thing is that she now decides she wants to be fat. Would you want to see your daughter put on a bunch of weight and [then] tell her that it is body positivity and a good thing for her?

“I would agree that if you have an eating disorder and you are killing yourself trying to maintain an image, that is impossible, then yes that is not good for self love. I work out about six or seven days a week. You know what, I am never going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger okay; it's just never going to happen. And I'm not going to get depressed over it and I'm not going to get fat because I can't look like on the Schwarzenegger when he was a [body-building] champion.

“I am not saying that you have to sit there and starve yourself to be skinny, but if you don't think that physical health is just as important as mental health, you don't understand how both of them overarch for overall health and you are missing the picture altogether.

“Go-ahead and eat fast food for the rest of your life, quit exercising in the name of self-love and be 300 lbs by the time you're 40 or 45; see how much self love you have for yourself then. Self-love, body positivity is not the answer. Ignoring the health issues that come with unhealthy diet and lack of exercise is not self love. e.g. the recent study showing the rise in bowel cancer due to bad diets. Just ignoring these real issues and saying, ‘oh as long as I've got self-love I will be fine’. No … you will probably get diabetes and die from bowl cancer.

“Normally in other situations it's like 'hey I used to be out of shape and unhealthy; now look at me. I am in shape and healthier and smiling more my body image is better and my mental health … everything is better’, but no. This girl takes to Instagram and does the opposite; this is why so frustrating.

“Being in shape and eating healthily is not easy, it's not. It takes a little bit of effort; this is lazy. This is, ‘it’s hard to stay in shape, it’s hard to eat healthily; I don't have time for that. I don't want to work hard, it's too hard for me I'll take the easy way out so that's the real psychology going on’.

“This is the psychological process: its too hard, it's too hard. She doesn't want to publicly go on Instagram and say, ‘it's too hard to stay in shape so I'm just going to be fat’. No instead she says it's about self love and body positivity. No it's about you're a fraud and you're lazy! So don't sit there and put out some false narrative that you're happy with yourself because you've gained a bunch. This is all fake’ this is just a total facade. Know that she is pissed because she gained weight and that she looks better when she's skinny; everybody knows that she looks better,. She doesn't want to look skinny, because it's to hard ….. she’s fat because she’s taken they easy way out and gave up”.

Is body positivity healthy or unhealthy? What do you think?