Should Fashion Embrace Body Positivity?

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Eliana Flores, Editor In Chief

Teenagers around the world suffer from having a lack of self confidence. They hate who they are because they don’t have something called “a picture perfect body”. But, different teenage clothing brands such as Hollister, Aeropostale, Urban Outfitters, and Abricrombie and Fitch  have recently started having a curvy line for people who are curvy or plus sized. Why would this help with teenagers who have a lack of body confidence? This would help because it shows people that you don’t have that typical Hollywood “normal” body. But so to speak, what is normal. 

Hollister has had many campaigns, but not like they have been doing. Recently around 2015, Hollister has been having more inclusivity in their model types. The brand has been adding more curvy and plus sized models, as well as more genders and ethnicitys. In the early 2000’s the campaigns were very different. The brand was using more the typical thin, skinny model type (not that there’s anything wrong with being thin and skinny). There have been many other teenage clothing companies who have been doing the same thing as Hollister. 

A comparison from the 2000 Hollister campaign and the 2020 campaign

But what is body positivity, and what is diversity and representation? The term body positivity comes from a movement and a belief saying that all bodies are created equal and a positive attitude toward your body. Diversity in society means to be accepted no matter what race, ethnicity, gender, and no matter what body type you have. People, young girls need to believe that they are perfect the way you  are born. Representation however, is what you are representing. It could be beauty, your race or ethnicity or anything you would like to represent. 

An example of a body positive fashion campaign

But in the modern world, there is social media. Apps such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat highly influence teenagers into thinking that they are not pretty enough to be on social media. Social Media apps have a lot of filters that can alter your body and correct your imperfections. With all of these thin models posting pictures about their lives, and beach wearing clothes that sometimes plus sizes people can’t wear. It makes plus sized people sometimes think that they can’t fit into this world and can really hurt their self confidence as well as their self esteem.  By having a self image, often this can lead to eating disorders and in some cases depression or sometimes suicide. But people also take social media to publicize their voice by campaigning for what they believe in. In some cases this can mean body positivity. 

But what are the positives and negatives about campaigning for body positivity. Well Jessica M Alleva Ph.D. says that, Most of the women said that the advertisements made them feel happier about their own bodies. The models appeared relatable, and similar to themselves and the people in their social circle. The women felt inspired by the body confidence and self-acceptance that the models portrayed.” But the New York Times writer Kelly DeVios says, “The problem with today’s version of body positivity is that it refuses to acknowledge that no one approach is right for every person. One teenager might grow up to be healthy at any weight, and another might end up in the hospital. It left my own daughter afraid to approach me about a topic on which I have both personal experience and expertise. It left me feeling that I couldn’t voice the rational concerns I have about diabetes.”

But what do Dana Middle School Students think body positivity is targeted at? Well 8th grader Ximena Alfaro says, “I think that body positivity is meant for everyone.”

In my opinion, body positivity is something that people should really think about. So many people suffer because they have a lack of confidence in themselves. I was one of those people. I took people’s opinion and I thought that I was not thin enough to be a part of society and it almost resulted in an eating disorder. I think body positivity is a very important thing for teenagers especially to learn because now we have technology that influences our decisions and our perspective on what a perfect body is. There are many celebrities that actually influence the body positivity trend. These people include musician Lizzo, and celebrity reality t.v. family the Kardashians and Jenner clan. 

In the end body positivity is something that a lot of people represent and fight for. It is a great thing for people to learn. Body positivity should be represented in teenage clothing stores because teenagers don’t have to feel like they have to cover themselves. They should be allowed to feel like they are cared for. We should be able to wear what we want and not worry about what size we are. We were born this way and we should be proud of that. It does not matter what race, ethnicity, gender, or size you are, you are beautiful just the way you are.