The beauty in every “body”

Marie Simoneaux

Every day, we hear “oh, they have a great body.” Well that’s nice, but does that mean there is such a thing as a bad body? To people who still think that, stop. There is no such thing as a bad body.  Bodies are the vessels that carry our beings from place to place. All bodies are good bodies — regardless of size, shape or otherwise.

Over the past few years, there have been significant moves towards body acceptance and the idea that all bodies are beautiful. There has been an increasingly publicized realization that women in real life do not look like the ones in the media. In fact, many women in the media don’t really look like they do on television or in magazines.

Jasmine Palmer, mass communication sophomore, said the body acceptance movement really changed her life.

“I was always so self conscious. I felt like I was the ugly duckling, waiting to grow up to be skinny and beautiful.  It wasn’t until I had graduated from high school that I started feeling ok with my body,” Palmer said.

In response to the body acceptance movement, more companies have made a wider range of plus-sized clothes.

“I remember reading a People Magazine article about beauty icons in the plus-size movement. It was the first time I had really seen big women being called beautiful,” Palmer said. “I was like ‘Oh, I can dress like that, I can buy cute clothes.’ It made me realize that I am beautiful too.”

However, there are still problems within the body acceptance movement. While it claims to promote positive image for all bodies, most of the movement has been focused on plus-size acceptance.

Some people call “skinny-shaming” a myth. Yes, the idea of the body acceptance movement is to break down the barriers of beauty that society has so long accepted, and that tends to be more towards the skinny-spectrum. However, you cannot claim that you are fighting body shaming if you are participating in it.

Brianna Smidutz, a nursing student, has been thin all of her life.

“Not beautiful thin, but awkward thin. I work very hard to eat the right amount of protein so that I don’t look like I have an eating disorder, but it’s just how my body works,” Smidutz said.

While Smidutz said she realizes the importance of living in the body that you love and a body that you can be happy in, regardless of size, the body acceptance movement has not increased her own love for her body. If anything, it has made it worse.

“I understand that loving yourself is key in this movement, but it’s just not happening across the board.  I get called anorexic and told to eat a burger or two. I get called a skeleton,” Smidutz said. “Phrases like ‘real men like curves, dogs like bones’ are just as hurtful as calling someone fat.”

The body acceptance movement has made great strides in challenging the popular conception of “beauty.” There have been an increasing amount of plus-sized models, clothing lines and body-positive media. In a country where the average sized woman is a size 14, it’s about time.

Every body is beautiful; there is no good body and no bad body. We’re all humans and we’re all beautiful.