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Body Positive Movement and Health

Andrea Pereira


This is a social movement focused on accepting all bodies, regardless of size, shape, skin tone, gender, and physical abilities, challenging current beauty standards.




Regarding different body sizes and weights, this movement is over 50 years old, started in 1969 by an American engineer named Bill Fabrey. He printed and distributed a text published years earlier by Lew Louderbach about the prejudiced treatment given to people with obesity, sensitized by the problem faced by his wife.

All over the United States, demonstrations were growing for greater acceptance and less prejudice against people with obesity. From the 1980s onwards, this movement was already spreading throughout the world, reaching London.

After the 2000s, these manifestations of support and acceptance of people with obesity spread worldwide through the internet and digital media. At this moment, we have a greater adhesion and dissemination of the free body movement in Brazil.

Despite these digital communities being a source of inspiration and acceptance for some people with obesity, some researchers believe that prejudice and pressure for a thin body have also been fueled by the internet and digital media, leading to digital bullying against people whose standard of beauty is not, considered perfect.

In the health area, obesity is a chronic disease associated with others, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, bone, and joint problems, whose treatment is based on a balanced diet, regular physical activity, medication, and bariatric surgery. However, there is no need for a body considered thin to improve quality of life and health because reductions of 5-10% in weight already help a lot.

In my opinion, the two areas can go together to reduce prejudice, increase knowledge and demystify concepts of beauty without turning a blind eye to the consequences of obesity on many people's lives and without demanding extreme weight loss.

Health and body positive movement must share respect and empathy, without radicalism, not bringing benefits to our main focus, which is to help and inspire people with obesity.

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