If you’re a regular Start To Stitch blog reader, or you’re a member of our fantastic Facebook group, Stitch Sewcial, it’s likely you’ll have seen me talking about my own experiences with body positivity. I have documented my experiences of body dysmorphia and my mental health struggles, and like many in our wonderful community, sewing provided a focus and an escape.
But vitally, sewing my own clothing opened my eyes to the glaring issue that STILL plagues the fashion industry: people who have never met us are designing clothes to fit bodies they’ve never seen, based on UK sizes that were first standardised in 1951.
Society’s beauty standards have created a world in which people are constantly over-critical about their own bodies.
It is no wonder that many of us, women in particular, suffer from mental health struggles such as body dysmorphia and low self-esteem. We have been taught to accept a warped concept of beauty that is based on one’s weight and body shape. Those clothing designers who have never met us have no idea what our bodies look like and work on the assumption that if a person weighs a certain amount, then they must look a certain way.
Let’s break the cycle and preach body positivity!
I am sure if you’re reading this that you, just like me, want to break this vicious thought cycle. Clothing should be changed to fit our bodies; our bodies shouldn’t be altered and hated in order to fit into our clothes.
In order to change the way we feel about ourselves, and indeed about other people’s bodies, we need to learn more about body image and body positivity.
What does the term ‘body positivity’ actually mean?
The term ‘body positivity’ has been used all over social media in the last year or two, especially on the highly visual, and often body-critical platform, Instagram.
According to Wikipedia, the term refers to the “acceptance of all bodies, regardless of size, shape, skin tone, gender, and physical abilities, while challenging present-day beauty standards as an undesirable social construct.”
The ‘body positivity’, or ‘bodiposi’ movement aims to challenge the unrealistic ideals of physical attractiveness that society has developed over the years. Instead of creating negative and self-critical views about one’s body, the movement encourages positive body image and the idea that ‘beauty’ is a made-up concept created by society. It preaches that this construct shouldn’t determine one’s confidence or self-worth.
Want to learn how to become more body positive?
If you are looking to learn more about the body positivity movement and start a journey to a more confident you, the following book recommendations may be extremely beneficial to you.
Body Positivity Book Recommendations
Sewing. pattern cutting, teaching, tea and Jelly Babies!