Media perpetuates idea of body negativity

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe just aren’t active on any kind of social media), many of you may know of the body positivity movement perpetuated by gorgeous women of every body type and color, from model Tess Holiday to actress Gabourey Sidibe.

Both have been revolutionizing the fashion and film industry, shattering the stereotypes that only slim women can model and only thin women can have sex scenes and be desired in movies.

They push the envelope and set the bar higher for women everywhere, including myself, to unapologetically, recklessly love and adore your body.

If any of you are like me, you probably can’t watch the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show or pick up Vogue magazine without feeling ugly about yourself. And this is OK to admit; it doesn’t make you insecure or weak, it makes you, like me, angry that there is not more representation of bodies in the media — like mine — that are celebrated.

As a mixed, curvy, sometimes-frizzy-haired (with thick eyebrows) woman, who has scars and stretch marks, it is impossible to find a woman to point to in a high-fashion magazine and exclaim, “Hey, that’s me!” And that’s depressing.

The same goes for men. My boyfriend is lean, pretty lanky and gangly. He also doesn’t look like how the industry expects him to look, like Channing Tatum.

According to, 91 percent of women are reported as being unhappy with their bodies. This is due to a slew of factors, one of them being, obviously, media portrayal. In reality, however, only a mere 5 percent of women naturally possess the body type portrayed in the American media; that is: tall, thin and white.

These unrealistic standards have also affected men, too. About 25 percent of average-weight males feel like they need to bulk up.

These numbers are disheartening and dangerous. The media has a responsibility and an obligation to show bodies of all sexes in all forms of all ages, because this is the real world and real life, and everyone deserves to be celebrated no matter how they look. But media aside, we also have an obligation and a responsibility to ourselves to radically appreciate our God-given bodies. Confidence is the key to sexiness.

Women — if you have a body, you’re already beach ready, and don’t listen to the haters and the naysayers.

Men — if your hands work and your arms hold the person you love, you’re already strong, and don’t let anyone tell you or try to convince you otherwise.

Our bodies are temples, and it’s time we start looking at them as such.