The initial goal of the Body–Image Movement was to love oneself no matter the size, race or colour. Brands such as H&M, ASOS and River Island extended their size bar to plus sizes and were adapted by many other brands. Various labels started innovating ideas to show body positivity and adopting plus size models with different races for their clothing line.
But like any other, this movement also evolved within years into something which again represented an etiological model of a perfect body image in the modelling industry. The forced self-love along with the societal image once again formed through the help of branding and social media. Manipulating and repurposing the whole idea of body positivity by the modelling industry grew bigger with the sole purpose of capitalising on segments.
The purpose of an ‘hourglass figure’, was to escalate the love for various body proportions, but soon narrowed down to females with only equal bust-waist measurements with a significantly narrow waist. This body type is far from achieving for a female having a desk job or teens that look up to celebrities and models who have adopted the body positivity movement, but themselves get their bodies built with various surgeries. This has surged anger in people who face criticism due to their colour and body type.
The challenges were faced when the movement was snatched from the individuals who desired a safe place to accept their appearance and instead made them feel socially rejected. The body image has now formed to take extremely demanding and non-affordable steps, pushing individuals to lead unnecessary and unhealthy changes.
The ‘thin – ideal’ is surfaced widely through all social media platforms. Ignoring the reconditioning in a single image of a celebrity’s social profile encourages extremely hazardous weight loss and eating concerns.
It is about time we push the toxic capitalist body image and boundaries, to take small steps towards acknowledging and accepting oneself. Radical Body acceptance is a course of feeling good in your own body, with no regards to hair, skin colour, size and race. Accepting that the idolised physical appearance, even if achieved is temporary and subjective to various aspects.
To promote self-worth and their value, many artists have taken a step to advocate people through songs such as ‘Perfect’ by Ann Marie, ‘That’s Okay’ by D.O. and ‘Alien’ by Lee Su-Hyun. These songs talk about how it is okay to be different from what the world claims to be ‘perfect’.
Many artists have spoken about how they felt inferior and faced mental illness just because ‘they had to fit in a perfectionist body’ and how they overcame into loving themselves naturally and also improving their mental health.
The body diversity project aimed to challenge cliché body perspectives imparted by the, by capturing 5 females from contrast race, body type, height and facial differences. Capturing females in two different concepts first was leisure meet-up at a café, and second capturing women in a working environment.
“Moulding oneself into a certain standard is adapted quickly than accepting own body appearance, affecting physical as well as mental health.”
Embrace me, is the first step to radical body acceptance will be to think there is nothing wrong with the way I am. It is normal to have different hair and skin colour from the celebrity I idealise. And I do not need to change my appearance to fit in society. This mind-set will be the initial stage to accurately representing society. Stop from an unfavourable comparison between myself and the idols I look up to.
‘Depart me from the echo chamber’. Lifting my face from the mobile screen and looking at the real beauty walking down the street. Working hard to build a career, some caring for families, some being independent and happier people are much more positive and beautiful set of diversity to look at and observe than the photo shopped images we see on our social media. Creating beauty standards will always reject some and accept which will have more advantage in capitalising.
Radical body acceptance explains how everyone deserves to be loved and feel beautiful in their skin. This movement will exclude the fixed standards of appearances and accept different profile which does not have any correlation to their worth.
Article Writer: Bhumika Kantharia
Management: JDF Academy London
Shoot Director& Stylist: Jumana Jaffar
Outfits: JDF Academy London
Accessories: Nazabi Collection
Photography: RMA Clicks
Editorial Assistant: Abhishek Khanpara
Editor in Chief: Jumana N Mohamed
Publisher: Supankan K.