Body positivity: that is one of many buzzwords of the moment. In a culture that has long profited off of shaming people — especially women — for their bodies, we are now embracing and celebrating bodies of all types.
While this movement got started on social media with smaller influencers and average users, it has gone mainstream in the last few years. Even Victoria’s Secret has ditched the all-waif angels and opted for a more diverse crew.
Love your body. Embrace your “flaws.” Enjoy being in the body that you’re in. These messages are everywhere. But there’s a problem.
What if you both love your body and want to make some changes?
When Body Positivity Goes Sideways
Toxic positivity is real, y’all. And it is invading the body positivity movement.
What started as a way of validating women and giving them space and permission to embrace aspects of themselves that might not be reflected in the mainstream media has in many ways transformed into another way to bully us ladies. Only this time instead of making us feel bad about jiggly thighs and bellies, it makes us feel bad if we aren’t completely in love with absolutely every aspect of our appearance.
Be positive — OR ELSE!
Sometimes body positivity takes a toxic turn. Focus on establishing a healthy relationship with your body, even if that means a little surgical assistance.
This just isn’t realistic. We can love others without loving everything about them. And we can love our bodies and still want to change things.
Take your average mom, for example. Pregnancy and nursing do a number on your body, but the fact that your body is able to grow and nurture a human being is incredible. Many women enter motherhood empowered by what their body is able to do but also unhappy with the way parts of it now look. One does not cancel out the other.
Is a Mommy Makeover Body Positive?
That all depends on how you frame body positivity. If you look at it as an all or nothing situation, a mommy makeover doesn’t pass the sniff test. But if you look at it as learning to love your body, a mommy makeover is just a tool in your toolbox.
Look at it this way: if someone has depression, you don’t just tell them to get over it and be happy (or at least you don’t if you are a good friend). You encourage them to look into therapies and even medications if needed. Basically, you steer them towards getting the tools they need to manage their depression.
Expecting someone with body insecurities to just think their way out of it isn’t acknowledging the complexity of the issue. They need tools. This can include things like therapy and exercise and lifestyle changes. But you know what else it can include?
Plastic surgeries that actually address the issues they are self-conscious about.
A postpartum mommy makeover can be the “treatment” a woman needs to stop fixating on the parts of herself she doesn’t like and find joy in her body, her life and motherhood. It isn’t selfish or weak, and it doesn’t mean she is setting a bad example. Sometimes, mama has to put herself first.