The Roaring Times

The Student Newspaper of John H. Pitman High School.

The Roaring Times

The Roaring Times

The Problem With Body “Positivity”

The Problem With Body “Positivity”

Body positivity – a social movement that promotes a positive view of all bodies, regardless of size, shape, skin tone, gender, and physical abilities (Wikipedia).


Body positivity sounds like an amazing movement to stand for because being able to love yourself is so important but in actuality the vast majority of it promotes unhealthy eating habits, exclusion of smaller body types, exclusion of male bodies, deception, and obesity. 


Social Media 

Over the last few years social media has played a huge role in the massive spread of body positivity. As a result, many groups of people have become body positivity influencers. These influencers usually post about their day-to-day life and struggles with their body image and encourage others to love their bodies no matter what. Although this sounds like a great sentiment and there are some good body positivity influences the overlying majority of them are not what you think. 


Tess Holliday 

Among the most popular body positivity influencers is the American plus-sized model Tess Holliday. Tess Holliday rose to fame during 2011 and has had a mainly plus-size fanbase since then. Holliday uses her platform to promote “fat acceptance” and has created a movement called #effyourbeautystandards. Holliday claims her movement has helped many plus-size women learn to accept and love their bodies. Alongside these claims Holliday promotes eating whatever you want and how much you want and not complying to social beauty standards.


The Word “Health”

Plus-size or skinny, eating whatever you want is never a healthy option. Allowing your body to eat whatever, whenever enforces and encourages horrible eating habits that can lead to serious health problems. Letting your body eat certain things that are considered “unhealthy” such as ice cream, candy, donuts, or fast food is totally okay as long as you eat in moderation. Same with food that is considered healthy such as fruits and vegetables, but that is not what Holliday is promoting. Instead, she is promoting eating disorders. 


Unfortunately, due to this mindset, many plus-sized influencers have passed away in recent years due to heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diabetes. These problems are more commonly found in larger individuals. With this many people have started to wonder about the health of certain plus-size influencers, but Tess Holliday herself has coined the term “Health” as a negative word. In response to a comment on Instagram mentioning the word health Holliday responded:


“I definitely appreciate your kind words & I’m sending you all the love back 💕💕 I would just ask next time we not put the word healthy in there, because that’s such a loaded word with negative connotations attached to it. (Also again, thank you!! 🙏💕💕)”


Although the word health can be used negatively in order to make fun of someone’s weight, this is simply not the case in this situation. Many fans are genuinely concerned about the state of these plus-size influencers and rightfully so after the number of unfortunate deaths. 



On January 4th, 2024, Holliday posted a Tik Tok sharing a new inflammatory diet she is on and in response to a comment stating, 


“Eating homemade meals more often than not helped me feel healthier. Restaurant food now makes me feel terrible (minus a good steak).”


Holliday responded,


“Same!! Except I don’t eat steak haha” 


No mention against the word health. As long as staying healthy is convenient for her she has nothing against it, but she has already fed her fans the idea that they should eat whatever whenever.


Holliday also claims to be against social image norms but falls to every other beauty standard that isn’t being skinny. Holliday has a beautiful face, wears makeup, has long hair, shaves her body, and wears popular clothing trends.


Holliday fed her fans unhealthy ideals and ran away when they finally caught up to her health, but left fans addicted to the ideas that could lead to death.


The Other Half 

The most vocal voices in the body positivity movement are usually the plus sized portion of the community but where does that leave everyone else? Oftentimes most of the smaller sized people in the community are ignored because many believe they are skinny, so they have nothing to “complain” about. Same thing happens with men in the community, because they are men, they cannot “complain”. Although this “complaining” isn’t really complaining but rather a vent about their own problems. 


Various times when a plus-sized creator posts the comments are filled with unnecessary hateful comments, but alongside those are unnecessary comments bringing down skinny people to uplift the plus-size community. Most comments are along the lines of, “At least she has meat on her bones unlike the deathly skinny models”. 


When a man posts about his body image, he is ridiculed by other men and women who claim he is a man and cannot be affected by our society’s beauty standards. 


Attacking people for their body image is never okay and it’s especially wrong when it’s used as an attempt to uplift others while tearing down someone else. Body positivity is about accepting all body types no matter what, that includes smaller and male bodies.


Colleen Christensen 

A health influencer who actually cares and takes both sides of body positivity into account and promotes eating in moderation is Colleen Christensen. Instead of telling people to eat whatever whenever, Christensen creates videos explaining that eating food is okay as long as we take into account what that does to our body physically and mentally.


Christesen is all about intuitive eating which is a non-diet approach to eating that focuses on the body’s responsive cues of satisfaction and hunger. Intuitive eating promotes a way healthier idea that allows the ability to eat what you want while still listening to body cues in order to not overeat or undereat.


Body Neutrality 

Body positivity’s motion sounds amazing at first but as we have seen, it isn’t as amazing as it sounds. A great alternative to still feel good about your body is body neutrality. Body neutrality encourages the idea of appreciating the functions of our body rather than the physical appearance of our body. 



Not liking the way you look is totally normal for humans, but we must remember that in the end our body is what gives us the ability to live and experience what the world has to offer so it’s important to keep it healthy. Skinny, plus-size, male, female, trans, whatever. We are all people and shouldn’t judge each other over our physical attributes.