There’s no doubt the body-positivity movement gained momentum in 2015. Women’s Health banned the phrases “bikini body” and “drop two sizes” from its cover, The Pirelli Calendar got a revamp, and pretty much everywhere you looked women started changing their fitness goals from “get flatter abs” to “get stronger and feel great.”
But why now? As the cultural emphasis on looking perfect was coming to a head thanks to Photoshop, social media, celebrity culture, and advanced non-invasive procedures, people started putting more and more effort into changing their bodies. Couple all of this with the misleading information being thrown around about what kind of training would give people the body they desired, and it’s no wonder that the mantra “it doesn’t matter what you look like, only how you feel!” became popular.
As faulty information failed us, many women retreated to secret shame caves, convinced there must be something unspeakably wrong with their bodies. The harder they tried to look better, the worse they looked; we created an epidemic of people who feel fundamentally broken.
The body-acceptance movement can feel like hitting a pause button on the spiral of self-loathing and failure we’ve faced throughout the last 20 years. It’s a breath of fresh air to anyone caught in that vicious cycle of “try, fail, try harder, fail harder.”
But just because the old way wasn’t working doesn’t mean the new way is perfect either.