The other day as I was scrolling through my For You page on TikTok - like I usually do for hours before bedtime until I pass out with my phone on 5% battery – I stumbled upon a video of this adorable red-haired woman excitingly showing her outfit of the day to her
I liked the video, clicked on the comments, expecting to see positive encouragements, and the first thing I read is: “Omg mid-size body representation *heart eyes*”.
Here’s the problem with that: there are no hashtags on this woman’s post that indicate whatsoever that her outfit is meant to promote body positivity or claim to show any kind of representation.
So then, what makes the user believe they have the right to comment on a person’s body when they clearly didn’t give them the platform to do so?
Regardless of whether the comment was positive or not, this user didn’t stop and consider the fact that not everyone that isn’t skinny has willingly put their face word as representation for that body type.
For all we know, the TikToker might not even think of herself as “mid-size”, so imagine the shock she could have felt reading that comment. She might now start feeling insecure just because that user has pointed it out.
While we’re on that topic, what even is “mid-size” and is it necessary to create a new term for referring to someone who is somewhere in the middle between plus-size and skinny?
The issue that comes from the body positivity movement is that it has infiltrated everyone’s social media, and there is no escape from body commentary. I’m sick of scrolling through my Instagram, looking for funny and entertaining content, only to have that hashtag shoved down my throat.
I don’t think we are accomplishing anything by continuously posting about body positivity. In fact, I think it is enabling the idea that people’s worth is attached to their size, confirming that this is the first thing that people will make an opinion about when they see you.
The movement is also centred around the idea that, to begin with, people have insecurities about having a non-skinny body type and that they will only like themselves by seeing posts from influencers who tell them they should get over it.
What makes you think I feel insecure at all in the first place? And do you really think an Instagram post of you in a bikini is going to change my entire perspective on my own body type?
As a person who has dealt with many body image issues and unhealthy food relationships in the past, I only got over my size insecurities once I stopped caring about my body completely.
I focused on building a healthy relationship with my mind and working on my inner beauty to find what makes me feel good rather than what I look like.
The irony is that these “body positivity” posts are actually what triggers past toxic mindsets because they remind me that even though I have stopped caring about what my body looks like, it hasn’t stopped other people from doing so.
I don’t randomly come up to a fat person in the middle of the street, and thank them for their contribution to the plus-size community just because they are existing as a human. All I would get from that is a big “f*** you!” in response, which is understandable in that instance.
So it is completely baffling that people have the impression that this is acceptable to do online just because the social media rules are different.
So the next time you feel entitled to comment about someone’s body type or weight change – simply and respectfully, mind your own business!