Why We Are Radical
Radical is defined as:
- of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
- thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company.
- favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.
- forming a basis or foundation.
- existing inherently in a thing or person: radical defects of character.
We believe that self-love is the root or origin of our relationship to ourselves — that we come to this planet as LOVE.
We believe that we need an extreme form of self-love to counter the constant barrage of shame, discrimination, and body terrorism that are enacted against us every single day.
We believe that our society needs a drastic political, economic, and social reformation in the way in which we deal with bodies and body difference.
We believe that radical self-love is the foundation for radical human love.
We believe that radical self-love is indeed our inherent natural state, but that the systems around us have distanced us from that knowing.
We believe that our work in this movement is to move the world closer to a self-love that is fundamental, a powerful force for social, political, and economic change, and a way of living clearly inherent in all that we think, say, and do. We are radical on purpose!”
Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham exists to represent the marginalized and unify those who identify with it. This is a grassroots movement of love. We believe that radical self-love is the true way to view ourselves and others.
We reject and discard the social constructs we have learned.
All bodies are good bodies. There is no right or wrong way to have one. There is no right or wrong way to exist. We are here to celebrate differences and uniqueness, while providing safe spaces in doing so. We here at Beautiful Bodies of Birmingham feel we must be radical to insight change. The love within ourselves is the foundation for that change.
Trying is all that matters and we do that with full intent each day. We reject any notion that we must adhere to certain perceived societal standards. We know that self-love is the only way to combat body terrorism that kills millions every year.
We want to see bodies of age, bodies of size, bodies of color, disabled bodies, and queer bodies front and center in our media.
We demand the right of representation for ourselves.
What is Body Positivity?
“Body Positivity is a radical redefinition and reclamation of the body. It arose in response to a Western culture that recognizes only white, able-bodied, heterosexual, and thin bodies as ‘worthy’ and ‘beautiful’.”
–Caitlin of The Ellipses Project
Why is body positivity important?
Body positivity tackles many crucial problems in our community, including but not limited to: mental disease, drug abuse, racism, prejudice, homophobia, classism, sexism, transphobia, and low self-esteem. The University of Washington concluded after a study that self-esteem (a large component of body positivity) can be solidified as early as age 5. Self-esteem has been proven to affect every aspect of life and those with low self-esteem tend to make less in wages, have tumultuous relationships, and project their hatred on themselves and others. By promoting body positivity within ourselves and our community, we learn to tolerate and respect other people’s decisions, way of life, and physical appearance. All Bodies are Good Bodies; no one body can be “bad”. We are all made differently and we should celebrate that!
So, is it simply about loving yourself?
Though that is important, body positivity runs much deeper than that. It is all about loving and respecting yourself as well as respecting and tolerating those different from you. Too often we are programmed by others and the media to believe that there is only one form of beauty or way of life. Body positivity confronts these notions and reinforces healthier ways of living not only to benefit ones self, but for everyone. You cannot be body positive if you do not apply these notions to everyone around you! Remember, there is no wrong way to have a body.
Wait, so do I have to love everyone or find everyone attractive?
Not necessarily. Love whom you choose to love, but respect and tolerate those different from yourself. You do not have to find everyone attractive or appealing but you should be tolerant of others. You CANNOT be a body positive activist if you are disrespectful, discouraging, or degrading towards others. There is a difference between having a preference and being disrespectful. Having a preference is cool but Body Shaming is not.
What is Body Shaming?
Shaming someone for their body type & the act of discriminating against other body types.
“Ew he’s too skinny”
“She’s soooo fat it’s disgusting”
“She has small boobs and no butt, you know I love Thick girls”
“He’s so short, how does he even have a girlfriend?”
“She’s got a pretty face for a Big girl”
“She has nappy hair”
“You would be so pretty if you did __ “
“Maybe you should eat a salad instead, you could stand to lose a few”