“I think it’s really important for girls and women to see somebody they feel connected to”, says Paloma Elsaesser in her recent interview with i-D magazine. Paloma, or Palomija on Instagram is right; the body positive movement must be powered by action, not politics.
We’ve been writing lots and lots about the body positive movement because it’s real, and happening all around us, and there are lots of angles to observe. One of our most popular pieces was the one about Zara’s “curve” campaign that showed no love for curves in the advertising creative, a misstep we’re seeing more now that brands are trying to capitalize on body positivity.
OG body positivists are getting a bit concerned about the movement now that it’s become mainstream, which is of course what their ultimate goal always has been, because the genuine celebration and acceptance of real bodies is inching further and further away from the centre of our conversation.
If we’re busy talking about Zara and their avoidance to cast curvy models in their advertisements, what we’re not talking about is how beautiful, strong and healthy curvy bodies are — slim, muscular, round, thick and sinewy too.
I was speaking with a girlfriend a few weeks ago about body positivity and models like Iskra and Paloma. We’re both in our 30’s and have thighs and hips for days, we’re both genuinely curvy and voluptuous women. Both her and I agreed that our confidence in our bodies, and our likelihood of wearing bikinis and midriff-bearing tops, has shot through the roof since the body positive movement. And we’re full-blown adults!
I am so grateful that this conversation is happening today but I have to admit I’m envious of the younger women who are growing up with body positivity as they develop — I can only imagine how different my youth would have been if I embraced my body from the beginning.
Like, Paloma said, the power is in the picture — the simple act of seeing a body that you connect with has the power to give you strength. The body positive movement must remain all about action because that’s what will lead to acceptance and love.
Griping over body politics will do nothing but keep us in the same (judgemental, toxic) place.