Money for thinness—is the body positivity movement going backward?
In The Guardian article titled “Ozempic has won, body positivity has lost. And I want no part of it”, Rachel Pick recalls a situation wherein a relative casually advised the use of the new type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic, to reduce their appetite for further weight loss because the relative just assumed that Pick must not be happy with their body after a glimpse of their body shape. The truth is, Pick was happy with their body before hearing this unsolicited advice. In retrospect, Pick realized the problem of the current body positivity movement lies very much in convincing us to feel better about ourselves, rather than educating people to regard and treat others with respect regardless of their body sizes. With this realization in mind, Pick urges readers to rethink the goal of one’s weight loss: are you doing it for your health? Or are you doing it because of others’ fatphobia?
Ozempic may not be all the rage in Hong Kong right now, but a lot of us still internalize and spew pejoratives such as “fei jai” and “fei po” in our daily conversations without understanding or caring about the insidious damage it does to how each one of us sees and feels about ourselves. Being fat becomes almost an unthinkable shame.
A quick search of the keyword “weight loss” on Google yields an alarming number of articles about weight loss methods targeted toward women. On YouTube, it’s not difficult to see innumerable videos of body transformation and exercise regimen, also mostly featuring females, telling you that you too, can achieve this skinny look with abs if you follow their methods and work hard enough. What’s worse is that Instagram—Y2K’s favorite social media platform, is often flooded with targeted reels featuring thin or muscular influencers exercising continuously to bombard our senses, to construct in us an urge to strive for that capitalist aesthetics of thinness. While all these help promote an active lifestyle, this constant seeing of visual confirmation of others’ progress only creates more pressure and may set us up to failure because the truth is, everyone’s body is unique and built differently—the same formula doesn’t work on everyone, and no one should feel pressured to change one’s body simply because of other people’s opinions and standard.