Our idea of "body image" is evolving

The recent momentum of the body positivity movement and the groundbreaking efforts of the courageous models and activists have contributed to changing attitudes toward body image. Body positivity has become more mainstream and, although many men and women still struggle with negative self-image, it appears things are finally starting to change for the better. The fashion industry and society as a whole still have a long way to go, but there have been small yet meaningful strides toward increased diversity and inclusivity. Many people have come to perceive a curvy figure as the “ideal” female body, rather than a stick-thin physique.

However, critics point out that merely replacing one ideal with another doesn’t solve the true issue of pressuring people to conform to societal expectations rather than encouraging them to accept themselves for who they are.

Some critics of the body positivity movement suggest that, although the movement has helped promote positive progress and social change, the obsessive focus on physical appearance has a harmful effect on the objectification of women and society’s unhealthy obsession with focusing on physical appearance rather than inner character.

But, the body positivity movement has helped millions of people feel more confident about embracing a healthy conception of body image.