Written by Katie Crane (Staff Writer Intern)
The body inclusivity movement has been around for a while, but it has gained momentum in recent years because of its importance in today’s culture and society. It is a social movement that involves our perceptions of different body types, and it aims to fight against the discrimination and negativity that people of different shapes, sizes, and colors have experienced. It is clear that body inclusivity matters, and we are here to dive into why.
Body inclusivity matters because it is about acceptance for everyone. It helps us to understand bodies of different sizes, bodies with disabilities, bodies that are different colors, and bodies that are different shapes. Having visibility for different body types is important because when we can see more representation, we are more likely to be open and accepting to people of all kinds. When a person can see their body type being included, they feel more accepted. For example, they may see someone of a similar size and shape wearing a swimsuit confidently and become comfortable doing the same.
Body inclusivity matters because certain body types have experienced discrimination in several ways. This is especially true for individuals who do not fit the “norm” or “beauty standard” of being thin. They are told that they do not matter in our society, whether the message is intentional or not. In the fashion industry, stores often make clothes with a limited amount of sizes, usually stopping at size 14. Yet, according to a study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education, “The average size of an American woman is now between 16 to 18, with 67% of American women wearing a size 14 or larger.” Although this size range is a majority, stores lack these sizes and create an environment where women of larger sizes feel unseen and unwelcome. The body inclusivity movement fights against these injustices and advocates for all body types to be represented in fashion, media, and more.
Body inclusivity matters because it helps individuals to be body-positive. Being body-positive gives a person the freedom to love themself and feel confident as well as develop a healthy body image. In turn, a healthy body image translates into good mental and physical health. We can work on having a healthy body image by committing to doing things that make us feel good, such as moving our body, eating delicious food, and taking time to relax. We can also stop comparing ourselves to others because every single body, no matter what they look like, is capable of doing amazing things.
There is still a long way to go in reforming the body inclusivity movement to truly include and embrace all bodies, but at its core, body inclusivity says that all bodies are worthy of acceptance. We understand that bodies come in unique shapes, colors, sizes, and abilities, which is what makes them all so beautiful. Therefore, we encourage you to love all that your body does for you, to take care of your mind and body, and to promote diversity and acceptance for everyone around you.
“Stop spending all day obsessing, cursing, perfecting your body like it’s all you’ve got to offer the world. Your body is not your art, it’s your paintbrush. Whether your paintbrush is a tall paintbrush or a thin paintbrush or a stocky paintbrush or a scratched up paintbrush is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that YOU HAVE A PAINTBRUSH which can be used to transfer your insides onto the canvas of your life — where others can see it and be inspired and comforted by it.” –Glennon Doyle Melton