While scrolling through instagram today a post by @bodyposipanda caught my eye about body positivity in relation to disabled people and I realized it is ridiculous that I have never once talked about that topic before because isn't the whole point of fight like a warrior about loving your body, despite whatever illness you carry within you and how it affects your outward appearance? How can I talk so much about loving your body and never once mention that this is not just restricted to people who have eating disorders or who feel insecure about their weight or appearance. EVERYONE deserves to feel this love. In our society, there has been a lot of push to make women with curves and thighs and hips feel good about themselves, which is amazing but there is always a group of people left behind; Left to believe that because they need oxygen tanks or wheelchairs or because their sickness has caused them to lose weight, they are not allowed to feel good about themselves because, somehow, they have failed. But if eating disorders are not seen as a choice than how can we view chronic illnesses or disabilities as a choice.
Our problem is not that we have learned to love our bodies, we need to continue on this path of self-love but we also need to learn how to view every single body as equally beautiful as the next. Learning to love your body by putting down the bodies of others is not what it means to be body positive nor is it what a true warrior does.
I want to emphasize that this is not an easy task because our society has a history of pushing groups who seem lesser into the margins and, once they are there, it is hard to remove themselves from the shadows they have been placed in. I admitted above that I did not even consider body positivity for disabled people a topic because it is not something widely discussed. We often see body image campaigns including a range of body sizes and skin colors. But where is the girl in the wheelchair? Or the girl with a neck brace? It is important to break out of our comfort zones to try and include those who sometimes we do not think about into our lives. Despite the name “disabled,” people with physical impairments continue to prove just how able they really are. It is time that body positivity expanded to readily include those with disabilities. It is time that the image of beautiful encompass all those with braces and tanks and all kinds of other accessories. It is time to make a change.
Here is the link to the post: