Body Positive Terms to Know

I'm starting a series on body positivity. Not sure how much or how long I'll write about it. For a while, I wasn't sure I wanted to speak to it at all, but figured that there were people in my circle who would never hear the likes of it if I didn't speak up. 

This first week, I'm just going to be giving you some resources as well as some definitions so you're not confused in the weeks to come. 


Sonya Renee Taylor //

“Racism, sexism, ableism, homo- and transphobia, ageism, fatphobia are algorithms created by humans’ struggle to make peace with the body. A radical self-love world is a world free from the systems of oppression that make it difficult and sometimes deadly to live in our bodies.” 


Diet Culture: A society that values weight and size over health, and believes health is equivalent to being thin. 

Body Currency: Coined by Jes Baker in her blog here . Put simply, it's the idea that we believe we have to be thin to achieve happiness and worth, and because of this, we invest all of our time and money ($60 billion a year) into the diet industry. 

Body Positivity:  Body positivity is acceptance and appreciation of all human body types. It is rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image, and be accepting of their own bodies as well as the bodies of others. NOTE: this phrase has become somewhat damaging, because like all movements, it became exclusive. Even though the ideas it represents are good, it became a movement run strictly by 'small-sized' fat people, excluding bigger fat sizes, AND while it was pioneered by women of color, it got overrun with white feminists who tend to take over movements and then exclude, through privilege, people of color. Lastly, it became exclusionary by often representing  only one shape of fat body: the hourglass. Women who were fat but still maintained a hourglass shape, not featuring women that were fat on the bottom, not the top, or fat on top with skinning lower halves. At it's most basic, body positive became too vague a word that leaves out bigger issues and questions such as racism, ableism, and gender. Which is why Sonya Renee Taylor talks about...

Body Liberation: This is about body freedom. Liberation from any outside standards: society, other's, yourself. 

Fat Acceptance:  This is the term originally used for the body positivity movement. Of course, because it was a term used by marginalized people (the fat), it was overrun with a comfier term. For more on Fat Acceptance vs Body Positivity, you can read about it on this blog post here

Fatphobia: Fear of fat. Fear of obesity or obese people. 

Systemic Oppression: Mistreatment of people within a social identity group, supported and enforced by society and its institutions, solely based on a person's membership in a social group. 

Ableism: Bias in favor of able-bodied people.

Patriarchy: A hierarchical-structured society in which men hold more power. 

Internalized sexism: When the belief in women's inferiority becomes part of one's own worldview and self-concept. 

Cisgender: A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth. 

Women of color: A political term to unite women from marginalized communities of color who have experienced oppression. 

Privilege: The idea that some people in society are advantaged over others. 


Books to read:

I've linked the books to where you can buy them from a local, indie bookstore. SUPPORT LOCAL. SUPPORT BRICK AND MORTAR. Or we will lose them. 

Jes Baker's

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls


Sonya Renee Taylor's

The Body is Not an Apology

Ijeoma Oluo's

So You Want to Talk About Race

Virgie Tovar's

You Have the Right to Remain Fat

Lindy West's


Samantha Irby's 

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life

Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole's

Intuitive Eating

Sarai Walker's 


Linda Bacon's

Health at Every Size

Katy Bowman's

Move your DNA

Taryn Brumfitt's

Embrace Yourself

To watch:

Embrace: the documentary (available on Netflix)