Confidence is something a lot of artists struggle with. For some, it’s only a temporary feeling, a moment or a bad day for someone who is typically secure. Some hide shaky self-confidence behind a mask of bravado or even conceit. Others use their lack of confidence in their art. Building and maintaining confidence in the face of professional rejection or demoralizing side jobs is certainly a topic we will cover in the future. But this will never be a “body positivity” site.
“Positivity” is an overused, empty word.
If we are not careful, the only words that are going to remain in the English language are “positive,” “negative,” “triggered,” “shamed,” and “boundaries.” While there are certainly times to use each of these words, they are now so overused, reading or hearing any of them makes many people cringe. If we find it pleasant at the moment, it’s “positive” or “positivity.” Anything that displeases us in any way is “negative.” People experiencing PTSD episodes have a legitimate reason to tell us they’re “triggered.” Everyone else needs to find a new word to describe anything from mild revulsion to annoyance to being upset over something. “Shaming” used to describe a situation in which a person was subjected to an experience designed to make him or her feel ashamed. Now we trot it out anytime anyone criticizes or expresses a dislike for absolutely anything at all. You used to just be a guy who goes for redheads and brunettes. Now you’re “guilty of blonde shaming.” None of those words, or any term crafted out of them, will be used on this site.
The “Body positivity” movement is just a gentler way to tell thick/full figured women we don’t look good.
One of the key tenants of “body positivity” is that full figured/thick women are beautiful because everyone is beautiful. We are not beautiful because some people think thinner figures are attractive, and some people think thicker figures are attractive, and to some people, we are the ideal, the dream, or the “hot” girls. We’re just beautiful because it isn’t nice to focus on people’s looks and we’re supposed to say everyone is beautiful.
Try applying that to something else that you value in yourself. Suppose you consider yourself an especially intelligent person. You are particularly proud of being able to figure out how to fix absolutely anything from pipes to garbage disposals to cars. A friend you’re helping out remarks on how smart you are. You bask in the compliment. Then he adds, “…because everyone is smart. Everyone is equally smart.” Do you still feel complimented? Still feel like you stand out for being smart?
I prefer thicker figures. I’m attracted to thick men. Every once in a while I will find a slightly thinner man attractive, but my ideal is thick….and I hate overdeveloped muscles on men. The women I look at with envy, the ones I expect men to find attractive, the ones I think are beautiful, are almost all thick women. I almost never find thinner women enviable, and extremely skinny women are completely unappealing to me, no matter how many of them make the Victoria’s Secret runway. Other people having other opinions on that neither sways my opinion nor gives me the right to correct them.
“Body positivity” is too often used as an excuse for bad choices and behavior.
I once had a woman tell me that showing her breasts at work was an expression of “body positivity.” It meant she was comfortable with her body. Perhaps she is, but regardless of our feelings about our body, intentionally and willfully violating the company dress code just says you don’t respect the company dress code. It isn’t disobedience or attention seeking or lack of resources to buy proper workplace attire or simple forgetfulness for some people and noble social activism for others just because they scream “body positivity” when they do it.
Nobody owes me…or anyone else…the opinion that they’re attractive.
“Body positivity” not only says “everyone is equally beautiful.” It demands that we all find everyone equally beautiful, and treat everyone as though they are equally beautiful. As soon as someone declares themselves into “body positivity,” everyone else is expected to line up to tell them they are indeed beautiful, just like everybody else, and shower on the praise for everything from their new haircut to their bikini photo shoot to the pictures they posted in their old flannel robe.
The truth is, everybody does not find you attractive, and everybody doesn’t have to. It is perfectly okay if you’re a thin straight girl and some men like thicker women. It’s also fine if you’re thick and some men like thin women. Or if you’re a muscular gay man and some guys like thinner guys, or any other combination of gender, orientation, or taste you can put together. People are allowed to be attracted to who they are attracted to. Nobody owes you, or me, or anyone else, flirting or attention.
Genuine respect for other people looks a bit different than the forced “body positivity” movement.
Beauty in men and in women is subjective. Everybody has their own opinion about what is and what is not attractive, whether that’s politically correct or not. But just because you have an opinion, that does not mean it is an opinion that must be announced to everyone and anyone. You have every right to voice your opinion about what is and what is not attractive in a way that does not demean others. Nobody should be accused of “body shaming” just because they said they prefer muscular women over thin or curvy women, or thin men over muscular or thick. But remember that other people have the right to their own opinions as well, including the right to a favorable opinion of their own appearance.. If you do not like the way a specific person looks, if they’re not your type….you do not have the right to embarrass, humiliate, degrade, belittle, or in any way pick on that person. If you just cannot contain your unflattering opinion of someone else’s looks….that’s what your private diary is for. Leave the person alone, both online and offline. You do not have to treat everyone as though they’re attractive to you. You do have to treat everyone as though they’re a fellow human being who has every right to respect, dignity, happiness, and love, just like everyone else.