The Holiday Season can be Stressful for Many People with the Pressure Around Food, Family and Work Gatherings, and Beauty Stereotypes. We Share 7 Activist Profiles of the Body Positive!
Photos: IG-modernadepueblo, IG-miss_rizos, IG-behindthescars_, IG-bopo.boy
LatinAmerican Post | María Fernanda Ramírez Ramos
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Leer en español: Body positive: 10 creadores de contenido que desafían las imposiciones de estándares de belleza
The end of the year season is usually full of celebrations in which we consume more alcohol, desserts and typical Christmas's dishes. At the same time, it's common for us to be surrounded by messages that encourage guilt over eating. For this reason, it is common to find articles that promote strict diets or tricks to "enjoy Christmas and New Year while taking care of your figure". Likewise, it is a season in which there are more meetings with family, colleagues, or friends who have not seen each other for a long time. This environment often encourages receiving comments about our physical appearance or life, which can make us uncomfortable.
All these situations can increase anxiety and stress during the Christmas season. Therefore, although it is essential to maintain healthy habits throughout the year, it is key to understand that there are social imaginaries that need to be critical and rethink. Terms such as body shaming, fatphobia, body neutrality or body positive are being debated a lot on social networks and the media.
In general, beauty standards tend to have a marked macho component. In other words, women are more exposed to receiving messages about how they should look to be accepted. This is how certain characteristics are associated with what is "desirable", "good", "deserving of love" or "beautiful". So, imaginaries are created about the dignity and value of each person based on how they look.
Fortunately, more and more people are questioning those hegemonic beauty standards and talking about the value of diversity. All people are worthy and of equal value, regardless of how they appear. We tell you about 10 activists and content creators who help us reflect on these issues and rethink why we shouldn't be ashamed of our bodies, feel guilty for enjoying Christmas dishes or following the beauty standards imposed by the market.
1. Moderna de pueblo
Through comic strips, Moderna de pueblo makes us reflect on various everyday situations. Many of them are aimed at rethinking the relationship we have with our bodies, how social networks affect self-esteem, and why it is important to change behaviors that negatively impact our relationships. With humor, he seeks to normalize situations that had been taboo or were not expressed out loud.
2. Tiffany Ima
After recovering from eating disorders, Tiffany decided to share her story to encourage others to change their body image and accept their body. "I believe in a lifestyle of movement and health focused on feeling better, not looking better", is one of her mottos.
3. El cuerpo que somos
It is a group of 6 psychologists and therapists who teach courses and workshops, and produce content on social networks. They define themselves as a "social movement that questions high beauty standards because of their psychological and emotional impact." They share experiences and reflections of people from all over the world who have worked to improve their perception of their body image.
4. Mujeres que no fueron tapa
It is an activist group with a feminist focus that seeks to transform the social imaginaries that generate oppression for women. "Our objectives are to show the way in which mass culture reproduces and builds gender stereotypes and mandates; distorting and hacking it; and building other narratives, expanding the voices and stories of women that are built outside those models and impositions", they point out on their website.
5. Miss Rizos - Carolina Contreras
Beauty impositions are not only macho, they are usually racist as well. In this way, certain traits, generally Eurocentric, have been privileged and others have been pointed out as ugly. Carolina has worked to vindicate curly hair and the Afro identity.
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6. Behind the scars
The photographer Sophie Mayanne created this photographic project with which she intends to show scars or physical features that are normally considered defects or rarities, but which are actually normal and totally acceptable. "It is a photographic campaign that celebrates scars of all shapes and sizes, and the incredible stories behind them," says the website of this project. Their goal is to photograph 1,000 people.
7.Megan Jayne Crabbe
She is an activist, writer, and model who promotes acceptance of the body and its transformations, as well as healthy self-esteem. She is also known as Positive Panda and writes for Unedit magazine. Her book, released in 2017, is called "Body Positive Power: How to stop dieting, make peace with your body and live."
8. We Lover Size
It is a digital community in which illustrations and life stories are shared, reflecting on self-esteem and the feelings that are often experienced when "social standards" are not met. For this reason, it is also a space in which diversity and "departing from the norm" are claimed.
9. Sarah Nicole Landry - The papaya birds
Sarah is a content creator and mother of 4 who shares her experience of motherhood and embracing body transformations. She vindicates self-love, self-confidence, the right to feel sexy and beautiful, and the need to challenge beauty stereotypes that demand not having a belly, stretch marks, or hanging skin.
10. Stevie Blaine
Men also suffer from social impositions of beauty. Stevie shares reflections on how stereotypes affect male bodies and vindicates other possible masculinities.