NOBODY GOT MY BODY
TW: This Daily discusses body image, diet culture, and body weight
Summer is here, and people are no longer hiding behind their winter clothes. Yet, today’s conversation has shifted away from the typical body positivity movement to a more self-reflective and inclusive dialogue. Gen Zs and Millennials are lifting up distinct body image narratives that focus on perception, mental health, and broader acceptance. Today, we’re highlighting three movements that have gained traction in this new area of body self-reflection.
Dove’s new Reverse Selfie film is part of their Confidence campaign tackling digital distortion and its effect on Gen Z girls’ self-esteem, which has seen devastating consequences due to increased online presence during the pandemic. Announcing her Dove partnership through a naked Instagram post, Lizzo speaks out about the difficulties of living in the social media age and the importance of helping Gen Zs and Millennials recognize that what they see online isn’t a reflection of reality. Gen Zs are increasingly living online through social movements, online hangouts, and private fandoms–now more than ever, brands need to help them navigate a digital world that continues to create a distorted view of the human body.
A popular movement focused not on an ideal weight, but instead on accepting and normalizing bigger bodies, the Fat Acceptance Movement has seen a resurgence as many consumers’ weight shifted during the pandemic. In a strong pivot away from the popular What I eat in a day video that often showcases influencers on diets or counting calories, #whatieatinadayasafatperson focuses on showing the regular diet of people that have typically not been included in these trends. Amassing over two million views and gaining attention from BuzzFeed News, the movement’s focus is on accepting all body types, even those that aren’t small or medium. With the #fatliberation hashtag collecting over 42 million views, Gen Zs and Millennials break down body-shaming barriers, question what body positivity means to them, and normalize language around fat bodies they have helped create. It’s no longer about fitting in but making sure the “in” fits everyone.
Consumers are tired of hearing they need to “love their body,” instead opting to recognize that it’s O.K. just to feel neutral about it, a movement regaining traction as the Body Neutrality Movement. With celebrities and Gen Z and Millennial-focused shows discussing personal and social acceptance of diverse bodies–whatever that may be. Body Neutrality is a natural reaction to the body positive movement, often focused on skinny and white body types, and provides an opportunity to remove the pressure on consumers to feel positive about their bodies. Instead, it’s a chance to feel relieved that there is no requirement for how consumers should (or shouldn’t) feel, an idea gaining over 170 million views.