Art+by%3A+Sarabeth+Wester

Art by: Sarabeth Wester

Falcon Voices: BPM medium responses

Below are the medium-length responses from Falcons on the Body Positivity Movement and their experiences with body image in general.

“I think the movement is awesome. As a woman who has struggled with body issues her entire life, it is wonderful to see that society is learning we all aren’t Cindy Crawford. It brings smiles to my face to see companies like Aerie create campaigns with everyday women. All women deserve to be seen as beautiful even if they are obese. There are some women who simply don’t try to be thin and healthy, but I think they are rare. Most women diet and diet more and work out and work out more trying to be thin and ‘beautiful.’”

 

“I think that everyone should be confident about their bodies but I am one to struggle with this topic. I used to be very confident and not care what people thought but as time went on and I got older I have struggled more and more. I stopped looking in the mirror as much as I used to because I have been ashamed with the way I look. When other people make fun of the way some people look it makes me very self-conscious because they could be thinner than I am and then I feel judged or think how do they see me. Even though people say things to me it doesn’t change my opinion or anything. I would never wish this struggle on anyone no matter who they are.”

 

“I agree and disagree with both sides of the argument. I think that body images and loving yourself is great, but at the same time you and only you have complete control of your body; no one else. It’s up to you if you want to make that change to your appearance. Yes I’m aware of how this can take a toll on your determination and or mindset, but being able to push through that provides mental and physical strengthening of yourself.”

 

“I think the Body Positivity Movement has great potential because it allows people to not only feel accepted, but allow them to feel like they’re enough. I’m the kind of person who keeps their shirt on at the beach, and steers clear of crop tops and shorty-shorts. I feel like the BPM makes people feel better about wearing things that they wouldn’t have been comfortable wearing before. I like how in the past few years companies like American Eagle and Aerie have extended their lines to include people who aren’t sizes 00-06. I think this is the most important part of the BPM: Inclusiveness.”
“I believe that being body positive is great and that more people should be inclined to be body positive; however sometimes people are genuinely concerned for people’s bodies as they may be obese, which is not healthy. Oftentimes people are worried for people’s health and well being, however, they just convey how they feel in the wrong way and it may be interpreted differently by some people. Being body positive will not keep you a healthier person although it can boost your mental wellbeing.”

 

“Personally, body image hasn’t been a problem in my life since I mostly eat healthy and run a lot. Concerning the body positivity movement, I think that the idea is well-founded, but it is sometimes used to justify unhealthy lifestyles. I understand that there are different body types that gain and lose weight differently but no one should be put on a pedestal for being unhealthy. By unhealthy I mean that a medical professional has expressed concern for your health due to your weight, not that someone looks unhealthy. Additionally, I think the body positivity movement should work both be applied to both genders in that both men and women feel societal pressure to look like a model.”

 

“I believe the body positivity movement is both good and bad. It’s important to encourage people and make them feel happy with themselves, but you also need to push them forward and make changes if their current bodies are unhealthy. If used well, it could improve the lifestyles of many in our country. If used poorly, it can enable problems and let them continue to exist.”

 

“I think body positivity and body image is a very important but touchy subject. I have always been insecure about my body and I know that a lot of my friends are too. Society teaches us all of these bad habits saying that we have to be skinny, have a pretty face, small nose, big lips, thin legs, etc. This is just not the case. Who you are as a person is not defined by your body. No one has the right to spread hate or shame you for what your body looks like. Every single person is uniquely beautiful and everyone should learn to love the unique things about them. It is very difficult to love our bodies when people are constantly nagging at you about your appearance. Being body shamed especially by people of the opposite gender can be detrimental to somebody’s mental health. Body shaming can cause all different sorts of mental disorders such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc. It is very important that we don’t let these things take over our minds. Body image is a hard thing to understand and we need to try and learn more about it for the mental health of ourselves and others.”

 

“I believe that people can have their own opinions on this subject. People can be positive about their body, but still want to work on it. That is up to any single individual, but I think this movement may be putting out the wrong message. Instead of being happy with one’s body as is, they can make their own decision to be happy with their body while working on it at the same time.”

 

“Personally, I think that every person is beautiful in their own way. I know people don’t think that, but it’s true. You don’t have to be muscular or attractive to find someone, all that matters is that you are proud of your own image.”

 

“Body positivity has helped with my mental health tremendously. I have struggled with an eating disorder and I am currently trying to get over it. The acceptance of all bodies has helped me love myself.”

 

“My experiences have been good and bad. I used to be of a larger mass in 7th grade, and I did get some criticism from it. However, I have lost some of the weight and don’t hear much about my body or weight anymore.”

 

“I think the body positivity movement is a great and empowering movement that is changing societal beauty standards, especially for women, and normalizing NORMAL bodies. The main argument against the movement would probably be the “health” issues that come along with it, but what people don’t realize is that there isn’t just one way to look healthy. The movement is supposed to encourage people to accept themselves just the way they are, not to promote obesity or unhealthy lifestyles. Personally, and fortunately, I have never struggled with an eating disorder or anything else that so commonly result as a cause of society’s unrealistic beauty standards. But, I know so many people that have and I see the pain it puts them through. Fortunately, my best friend, who struggled with an ed, has taught me so much about it. I have seen the tremendous struggle she has gone through and continues to go through everyday because of it. I’ve seen her go through hell which is why I have such a strong opinion about the body positivity movement. All bodies are normal. All bodies are beautiful. And all bodies MUST be accepted.”

 

“Body positivity is neither a good thing nor a bad thing. People should feel comfortable with their bodies and not allow for society to influence them or the way they look. I have had friends who struggled severely with eating disorders which were caused because of body shaming. This should not happen to anyone whether they are obese or have eating disorders. People should be respected for what they look like.”

 

“I agree with the bpm to an extent that makes sure the people embracing themselves are healthy and not condemning their health over societal views. Embracing yourself is good and I think being positive in yourself is very good for people mentally. Like I wish I was body positive, and I think other people are strong for being so confident. But it can only be to an extent where you’re physically healthy.”

 

“I’ve been called anorexic my whole life. It used to affect me but I have learned to not listen to the negativity in your life and don’t keep the people in your life that makes you upset for who you are.”

 

“I have struggled with body image for as long as I can remember, the world is still not an accepting place. I have struggled with food due to the fact I don’t see myself as a model on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I want to see myself in the mirror, not the girl I want to see.”

 

“Body image is an integral part of society. No matter what, society will always judge people based on their appearances and a large part of that is body image. Even through we have movements like the Body Positivity Movement, it is a natural human instinct to judge people if not publicly.”

 

“I agree with Evanthia’s article when it says the Body Positivity Movement can be seen as something that just makes people more self-conscious in a way because it forces them to think about themselves. If you don’t like the way you look, push yourself to change; if you don’t want to put in the effort to change then don’t. I’m not going to make fun of anyone for it. I really don’t care.”

 

“I feel like girls especially get body-shamed by the opposite gender.  I’ve seen it happen on social media such as Tiktok, Instagram, and Snapchat.My friend would often get body shamed because of her appearance. People said how ‘gross’ she is and how she won’t be able to find anyone, but I’m so glad that she was able to prove them wrong. When someone tells her something negative she doesn’t cry anymore… She boosts herself up and tells them that it doesn’t matter what they think all that matters is how she looks at herself.”

 

“I don’t really have any stories on this topic, I think this is an issue that a lot of young girls struggle with because girls think they have to look a certain way to be able to “fit in” and girls should not think this way. Because it is not about what you look like on the outside but it is on the inside of what matters most, and this is something that I feel like a lot of girls and guys forget. You see all of these girls and celebrities posting on Instagram and they might look a certain way but at the same time it could just be from a really good angle where you might not be able to see their “curves.”  If everyone ate the exact same thing every single day everyone would still have different bodies and I think that is something that you have to remember, that God made everyone unique and different and that is the beauty of it. Everyone shouldn’t look the same way or else everyone would be boring. So you just have to tell yourself that God made you for you and no one else and everyone is beautiful in their own way no matter what their body looks like.”

 

“Recently there has been a very specific body type that has been recognized as what girls should look like to be considered pretty. Since I don’t follow that body type I would doubt my self worth and think that I wasn’t good enough. I think every body type is different and there shouldn’t be a beauty standard for anything especially your body.”

 

“It affected me a lot during quarantine, my body image was so bad I started cutting calories drastically and pushed myself to workout every morning and created bad habits for when we went back into soccer season because now I don’t eat a lot and I’m always fatigued.”

 

“As a female high school student body image is something that I think about a lot. Constantly comparing myself with friends and people I see on social media. The sad truth is that this is becoming a norm. There are very few people that I know that don’t struggle with their appearance, girls and guys. A lot of focus is on girls because it seems more common but guys struggle with it just as much. I see it with my friends and their constant need to go to the gym, eat more, eat less because they don’t look like the guys they see on social media.”

 

“I have been called many names such as stick, boney, unhealthy and have been told many things such as “Do you ever eat?” or “Why don’t you go up to the trees where you belong” because of how skinny I am. I feel like those comments change a person’s attitude towards themselves, and it certainly has on me.”

 

“I’ve been called chubby before, but I don’t sit down and be sad because people don’t accept me. Throughout the years I’ve started to eat healthy and workout as much as I can to change this. I don’t agree with this body positivity movement because trying to give acceptance shouldn’t be what we are doing (unless there is an actual medical situation that you can’t do anything about). BPM is somewhat telling people they can stay who they are and not change, but there is no motivation with that. I find that a certain type of criticism will motivate people to change into the body that they want, because it is possible.”

 

“I think body positivity is something that should always be encouraged. While I can understand both sides of the arguments, I feel that the movement overall is extremely positive and can relate to so many people. Body image is an issue that more people struggle with than they let on. Both boys and girls feel the pressure of society every day when they look in the mirror, and I think it is important that there becomes less of a stigma over the movement and It is talked about more.”

 

“I think the body positivity movement isn’t good because it encourages overweight people to be content, even though the healthiest thing for them to do is lose the weight. I know people think that mental health is just as important as physical health but physical health will kill you. If you take away the stigma towards overweight people then they won’t find motivation to lose the weight, and if they lose the weight then they will feel good about their bodies anyway.”

 

“I think that the body positive movement is overall leaving a better impact on our society than it is being harmful. I think it has helped so many people out there who struggle with the way they view themselves. It has helped them gain more confidence and finally accept that they are perfect the way they are and that they shouldn’t change just to be accepted in the views of others.”

 

“After reading the article, I take the side of Evanthia. I believe that this concept of acceptance towards an unhealthy way of life is very harmful. While yes, it may be very difficult for some to get healthy and lose weight, it doesn’t change the fact that their acceptance leads them down the wrong path. I believe that accepting a problem gets rid of the motivation to fix that problem. Personally I have never experienced this but I do know people who have had problems with this. My opinion is that acceptance of an issue doesn’t help solve that issue. Obesity in America is rapidly rising, which is why this idea of accepting it is only making the process worse.”

 

“Everyone has a choice of their lifestyle and it’s up to them how they want to live it. There is a huge difference between someone telling you that you should lose/gain some weight then yourself wanting to achieve it. If someone comments on your body then that can really affect mental and physical health because it’s like you feel forced to do so and it’s not something you want to do. This can lead to starvation or overeating.”

 

“Body image has not affected me as much as a lot of people I know. I haven’t been through it but seeing my friends go through it I think it should be a big movement and I love how people embrace what they have. I don’t think this movement is said to be unhealthy. It is encouragement to be happy with small progressions and loving yourself in the process of becoming a healthier person.”

 

“I think that people who are against body positivity are taking a very close minded approach. People at this school are unbelievably privileged, and do not have to face the lives that most Americans do. Cheap food is usually unhealthy food, so obesity has a strong correlation with poverty. Additionally, lots of it is genetic. I am sure that if the people who spoke out against body positivity were genetically predisposed to be overweight, they would change their opinions. It is incredibly damaging for young people to be told that body positivity is a bad thing, and it needs to end.”

 

“These are normal things and it took me so long to truly realize this fact. Now that I have, I’m less concerned about my body and ways to perfect it and I’m more focused on being nice to my body and feeding it while staying healthy. Loving yourself and everything that comes with you is so much better than having societies ‘perfect’ body because in a few years, that ‘perfect’ will change again and again and again.”

 

“I think body positivity is something that should always be encouraged. While I can understand both sides of the arguments, I feel that the movement overall is extremely positive and can relate to so many people. Body image is an issue that more people struggle with than they let on. Both boys and girls feel the pressure of society every day when they look in the mirror, and I think it is important that there becomes less of a stigma over the movement and It is talked about more.”

 

“I’ve been called chubby before, but I don’t sit down and be sad because people don’t accept me. Throughout the years I’ve started to eat healthy and workout as much as I can to change this. I don’t agree with this body positivity movement because trying to give acceptance shouldn’t be what we are doing, unless there is an actual medical situation that you can’t do anything about. BPM is somewhat telling people they can stay who they are and not change, but there is no motivation with that. I find that a certain type of criticism will motivate people to change into the body that they want, because it is possible.”

 

“Unhealthy habits and behaviors shouldn’t be encouraged but people shouldn’t feel uncomfortable if they have a healthy body but don’t necessarily have the body the media is saying they should have.”

 
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