What is Body Positivity?
Body positivity is the practice of actively embracing, loving, and taking care of the body. This practice exists because in the patriarchal society we live in, everyone, but women especially are taught to hate their bodies. Why? Part of the reason in my opinion is because it fuels capitalism. Think of how much the beauty industry makes as a whole. This includes hair, makeup, plastic surgery, dieting products, and much more. It’s also a type of control over women’s bodies. It has been ingrained in not only American society but much of Western culture as a whole.
A recent study by York University found that Kim Kardashian’s body type, what many people call “slim-thick”, has been a negative influence on how many young women between 18 and 25 see their own bodies. The study discusses how the “slim-thick” body type caused even more weight and figure dissatisfaction in women than the “thin-ideal” of the past.
Kim K has an hourglass figure. She has a smaller waist, but a larger bust, butt, and thighs. Her powerful influence on American society means that her body type has been widely advertised as the “ideal”. However, this becomes harmful when Kim K’s body type is perceived as one of the only ones that deserve recognition or praise.
As quoted by the NY Post, researchers discussed how in 2021 alone “The hashtags #thick, #thicc and #slimthick have 6.2 million, 3.4 million, and 1 million posts on Instagram respectively, and the hashtag #slimthicc has 134 million tags on TikTok.”
The beauty industry thrives on promoting competition and body dissatisfaction. Stressing the “slim-thick” figure as the ideal makes women feel like their bodies, as they are, are not worth as much. This is of course the opposite of true, but as a woman, I can say it’s a very powerful negative mindset that has been instilled in American women.
Kim K’s Heavy Editing
It’s even more ridiculous when you realize Kim K herself feels this pressure. So much so in fact that she is actually ingenious in the way she presents her own body. The NY Post says she has been exposed on numerous occasions for heavily editing her body in the pictures she posts of herself. Even Kim K edits her body to fit the norm that she set.
The bottom line is this “slim-thick” figure is not only unattainable for nearly every woman, but Kim K herself doesn’t even have the exact “slim-thick” figure she presents to the world. The study calls this “appearance perfectionism“. The writers cite that this phenomenon has caused eating disorders, self-esteem issues, unhealthy weight-control methods, and anxiety in the young women studied.
Have you ever had trouble with body positivity? Do you think society is shifting to being more body-positive than it has in the past?
Source: NY Post