We talk a lot about how we can be inclusive of gender, race, and class in our workplaces these days (and even then, not enough)--but what about what we teach our children about their bodies and self-acceptance?
The body positive movement made waves on instagram and social media in the past few years as folks of different shapes, sizes, and abilities made making their different bodies visible a radical act. And while instagram and the body positive movement in pop culture has helped many folks who struggle with self-loathing and body hate find the strength to accept themselves, we haven't made the leap to school environments or workplaces just yet.
Body anxiety and dysmorphia exist for boys and girls and women and men alike. Centuries of colonialist thought in the West and throughout the postcolonial world has insisted that beauty norms and body norms center around whiteness, and are the reflection of white patriarchal values. Thin bodies, narrow hips and waists, light skin, straight hair, blue eyes; muscled torsos, tall bodies, strong arms, flat bellies; all of these are hammered into our psyche day in and day out, and despite our awareness of media influence on our young people, we still continue to leave body consciousness out of our daily dialogue about inclusion and equity.
We created this pdf to help you on your way to understanding the complexities of body diversity and body positivity--this is for beginners! There is so much more to discuss, and we haven't even begun to talk about disability rights, trans* rights, and so much more. We hope this begins to get you thinking about your body consciousness and how you can effect real change at home or at work or in your class room.
Until next time,