What Do Students at Rocky Think about Body Positivity? 

Kyrie Capezza, Reporter

In the generation whose parents were raised hearing language like, “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” and “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” there has been a major shift in people’s mindsets surrounding weight, food, and body image.  

In the 1960s, writer Lew Louderback sparked innovation through publishing the essay, “More People Should Be Fat.” Louderback addressed the way society treats overweight people by sharing his anecdotes of fat-shaming in the workplace. This essay inspired changes in the way that people view health, with the creation of the NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance) following. The NAAFA advocated for the health at every size model, which measured health by things such as blood pressure, heart rate, or cholesterol, rather than body size.  

In 2021, the advances made following this movement have changed an entire generation. There has been a lot of discussion concerning this new wave of acceptance for all kinds of bodies. Whether this new wave of body positivity is a good thing is not without controversy. While most of this discussion has been among adults, teenagers here at Rocky Mountain High School are ready to talk about it. 

Rachel Crossman, a freshman at Rocky, argues that the body positivity movement is helpfully impacting people. “It is astounding that so many people are coming together, building this connection, and spreading positivity to the world; I think it’s making a huge positive impact on today’s society. It is a big movement but, in this case, bigger is better. It would be amazing if more people could join in this impactful movement.”  

Body positivity has drastically changed people’s lives, and to Crossman, this is a wonderful thing. “I think for the most part it’s really cool to see people’s mindsets on body image, but I think there are lots of boundaries and lines that shouldn’t be crossed. The difference between body positivity and body shaming is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s incredible what people have done to increase popularity today with body positivity, but a lot of people are still hurting because of the impact of body shaming that others have done to them, or they have done to themselves. The mind is a powerful thing, and it’s important that we treat these thoughts and actions wisely and with caution.” 

Some students, however, have brought up potential concerns. Kelton House, a junior, shares that the body positivity movement fails to include the behind-the-scenes. “We only see a model or actor after they put in the work. People want to be as fit as they desire, but once they realize it’s a week/month/year-long process, they give up. In the end, it’s all in the mind.” 

Another student, Rosalie Gray, shared a similar sentiment with a different concern. “The body positivity movement has had positive, but also negative, impacts on our modern-day world. For instance, the positive side of it includes seeing the love of every body type and insecurity.” Gray continued, “Teen girls like myself struggle with loving our insecurities, but seeing on social media the love people have for their own insecurities really helps [to] boost self-esteem. But the negative impact includes that the ‘body positivity movement’ doesn’t include girls that seem perfect online. By this, I mean that, personally, when I see a pretty girl on social media, I assume she has no insecurities or imperfections. Many of the population think the same thing, and they comment on her appearance. It’s almost like this girl is shamed for the way she looks, and people turn this “loving everyone” to loving “people who don’t fit beauty standards.”” 

Though the body positivity movement remains a contentious issue, the progression of the fat acceptance movement of the 1960s, to the modern-day “Body Positivity,” has set the path for a more open conversation about health, body image, and beauty standards.