Dr. Rupak B. Ghimire
MBBS, MD, Dermatologist & Hair Transplant Surgeon, Aavaran Skin Clinic
I think like everything, the idea of body positivity is influenced by our social construction which sadly focuses more on one side of the equilibrium i.e., plus size. As a doctor and a health enthusiast, I believe it is us shaping our body more than the other way around. Eating healthy and maintaining weight has got very little to do with vanity and a lot to do with health, at least for me. I wholeheartedly believe that as a society, we must be creating more awareness about obesity and being underweight and the dangers associated with them.
Glorifying a certain body type irrespective on which spectrum it falls is wrong. No matter how much the other person weighs, I for one, do not believe that people have the right to comment or body shame them. Opinion should be given only if asked for or in a safe space constructively. Even if it’s a defense mechanism, it’s their body and their way of life. The only relevant way to mark comments on other people’s bodies is by being a part of the solution, not the problem. Rather than commenting on someone’s shape, constructive and well-informed discussion about its impact on health would be more appropriate.
Fitness Trainer, Para Powerlifting Coach
Body positivity is not size specific as the notion of body positivity is to encourage people to have a positive body image despite the shape, size and appearance of their body.
It is up to people and their mindset how they view the term “body positivity”. If a healthy person starts seeing it as an excuse, s/he is ignoring its long term adverse health effects. There are chances of people perceiving body positivity as a comfortable space. For instance, if the doctor suggests an obese person to lose a few pounds because of their health condition such as diabetes, thyroid or chronic disease, such people should not use body positivity as an excuse to stay away from regular exercise and fitness. They should work on their diets and push themselves towards an active and healthy lifestyle. Same goes with the person who is facing health issues from being underweight.
I would suggest people to prioritise their health first. It does not matter what shape or size you are, the most important thing is to keep your body in good health. If there are no external risk factors involved such as chronic disease or eating disorders, people need to get out of their comfort zone and start a fitness routine. Everyone should accept their body as it is but they also need to be careful and to be aware of their health issues. Sooner you start living a healthy lifestyle, happier you will be with your body, mind and soul.
Program Development- Ullens Education Foundation
For some reason, people have this misconception that it only includes people of large body size and forget to include people on the leaner side. Girls who have trouble gaining weight are stereotyped as much as someone who easily does. But it’s not just stereotyping, it’s their reflection of self-image as well.
When a teenager doesn’t appreciate his/her appearance, they will start spending more time fixing what they think is wrong. But most importantly, this self-image issue will be the reason for the decline in a lot of school activity. And this is the reason why we constantly need to remind people that they are gorgeous.
Personally, I had my own struggles with my body size. In the initial years of my life, I was the smallest kid with a heart defect who loved swimming. But my body used to decline my desire to get into the pool of water as my lips and fingertips would turn blue within a few dozen laps.
Post-surgery, my body drastically got bigger, probably because my body hit puberty before the normal age as of my friends. I was going through all these changes along with a big scar from an open heart surgery. Over the years, I have had to lose my sporty self for the treatment, bed rest and what not. I have had to relearn to move accordingly again and again.
Not everyone wants to share their stories of why they are the way they are. Some days laziness is absolutely required, some days being on a detox diet is as necessary specially for people in recovery from anything. And if they want to label it as being lazy, they should be allowed to.
Body positivity is to accept oneself and others the way they want to be, nobody wants an unhealthy body, everybody is doing their best in this regard. They should be allowed to.
Dr. Mohit Karki
MBBS, Sports Nutritionist & National Powerlifting Coach
Giving in to what the body craves occasionally or sporadically can definitely benefit one as it uplifts the mood and is an emotional response towards food. But saying that, making it a daily thing under the shadow of body positivity isn’t the right way to go and could lead to adverse health issues.
In some cases, people who embrace body positivity may have had body dysmorphic issues, and have generally tried all the fad diets and workout routines. But maybe due to lack of discipline, commitment or consistency, they always find a way around it. In other cases, we have people with inherited or acquired metabolic disorders who despite putting in all the effort in nutrition and exercise, don’t always get the required outcome.
Body positivity leads to being comfortable in your skin, and this sometimes leads to people not maintaining or building a healthy relationship towards food and exercise. Make sure that you trust your body and find comfort in whatever you can adapt to in terms of making changes to your diet or exercise regimen and finding small victories every day in your journey to better health.
Some people seem to use body positivity as a way of defense from adhering to a healthier lifestyle and making the changes they need to improve their current state of health.
Body positivity should be embraced as it is individualistic but at the same time, you must pay proper attention to ensure that you are healthy. This includes cardiovascular as well as organ health. You should also make sure that you are at no risk of co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension which would degrade your quality of life.
Clinical and Sports Nutrition Consultant & Founder of Nutrimantra
We are told at a young age regardless of gender that we must be a certain size to be attractive. If men don’t have enormous muscles or a six pack, they are considered “weak”. When it comes to women, if you are not blessed with a tiny waist and sharp features, forget about being considered a head turner.
Body positivity is a movement or belief that all humans should have a positive image about their body. People need to try and spread this movement because many young people suffer from eating disorders and low self-esteem as a result of poor self image.
If you have a difficult time loving your body the way it is, you are likely to suffer from some form of eating disorder. It is not only society that can be the trigger, it could be your own family. There are so many cases where families are responsible for creating low self-esteem and low confidence when they make comments without thought or are outright humiliating. In extreme cases it is estimated that 20% of people suffering from eating disorder can die if left without help or untreated. However, it is possible to overcome eating disorders. If you know someone who needs help, or if you are yourself struggling with self image issues, seek professional help.
Founder & CEO, House of Fashion
There has always been a debate about what is called a “perfect body” regardless of how we as an individual view ideal size, shape, or appearance. I believe, people should admire their body type and shouldn’t be labeled. These labels are completely absurd, especially, when people use the term plus size. Plus size shouldn’t exist. I have been trying for years now, to change the fashion industry norms or at least make society believe all sizes are beautiful. But, with the help of “En-Vogue 8,” we are considering including all individuals to be a part of something historical. Actually, it’s a small step towards a much bigger problem. We should change our mindset from ” I am fat or plus-size” to ” I am beautiful and I am fat”.