The Weekly Cheek
The Weekly Cheek

Episode · 8 months ago

63. What's wrong with body positivity?


In this episode, we discuss the issues with the body positivity movement and how it has been co-opted by thin women. We talk about the concept of body neutrality and our personal experiences. 

Find us online at and on socials @cheekmediaco

Hello, I'm Christ and Parison Otto and I'm hard a focuson and where co founders of Cheek MEDIAC. This is the weekly Cheek podcast. Taking a doing a photo shoot in launderie and like catering to the male gays. You could perhaps say yeah, no, non student starch as canceled. I mean it's just absurd that we are not in marginalized bodies and it's hard for us to shop low rises back those like Oh, low rises a sin. Before we start this podcast, I would like to acknowledge that we are on stolen and unsee the lands of the Yago and turable people here in the Brisbane region and pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging. Yep, welcome back to the weekly cheat. Welcome back. Today we're talking about a cause very far over my heart. We hate it, we hate it, but it's something that we know that our followers want us to talk about. Well, I think it sprung up when we were a few weeks ago we did an episode where the central question was, like what is something Feminie, like a part of the famine's movie that you can't get behind, like basically something that you oppose, even though you can sider yourself to be a feminist or all progressive. And one of the things that came up that I shared like one of the sticker, whatever the fuck instagram talk for things, the responses. That's not really instagram dog. I reply this went before instagrams and ants love that we received and then I posted on our stories and we got heaps of messages about it, because I think that what we're Gonn talked that today. I don't think is talked about very frequently. So essentially, I shared, like this person was basically like I can't get behind the body positivity movement, and I agree with that. But when I when I shared this answer, I also put a pole beneath saying like agree, disagree with that answer. Right, and influx of messages, a lot of people saying like I don't understand how you could oppose body positivity, and I don't replied on it. Is because I was heaped and I sometimes I'm just not in the zone to explain or get into it because it is a long conversation. Essentially, what we're talking about today is the body positivity movement, it's problems and the idea of body neutrality. M So I'll take it away. ha ha ha. I was like fuss back. I don't know, because my son to say that's what I prevenge. Yeah, that's really done so because we attempted to write a sort of short ebook years ago. Yeah, before cheek on this topic, bondy neutrality is something that's really not talked about and I think that people rarely delve into the central issues with the body positivity movement. Yes, you want to start with what the problems body positivity? Well, I'm I want to start on a more positive no, that's all right, we hate that around the other it's very unlike me. For anyone who's listened to any episode of the PODCAST, I'm shocked. They always know that. I'm usually the one to be like well, I hate this and this is the problem with that, and me to be like, oh, but what about you? Like that are no. So the body positivity movement was initially created by and for people in marginalized bodies. Yes, so, larger bodies, black bodies, for people of color, people with disabilities, like bodies that are not accepted in the main stream. So I think the initial idea of body positivity and like back when I remember like the first time I had an interaction with body positivity. I think it was quite a nice thing. Yeah, like you know, it was a reaction to like this push to be a skinny white model looking woman. It was like the antidote to that...

Kate Moss quote. Oh, what is it? Nothing taste as good as skinny feels. Yeah, which is the most ridiculous I've ever heard. Anyway, like the certainly, have you ever had a McDonald's chip? I would. I was hoping you would say that I love McDonald's chips. Anyway, a couple, if I fell into the trap. I don't even like them that much. I like KFC better. Oh, queen, that's so predictable, disgusting. Check out one of our really old post on cheek where we, I ranked the take your way chick. God, we was so baby back then. I can't only we used to do that. No one will give it a fuck about that sort stuff. We pressed it. Now and now we talk about right culture. Yeah, anyway, you can talk about both. Okay, Queens, it's okay to be silly's on, I'm gonna I'm just in a silly gooving. What the fuck am I? I sound like an elder millennial when I talk like this. Wow, no, I'm not an Alderney, so I'm not offended by that. You just like what's your Harry Potter House and how do you feel about the world moist? Do you know? I was scrolling through tick Tock because obviously tick tock has a very like has a hatred of millennials. Oh God, you're so apressent, queen, and myself, and there was this like I was just scrolling through and these this woman who actually follow I like her content. She was like, Oh, like, it was like a Vlog. It was like me and my boyfriend going out today. We're in our matching Varsity hogwarts jerseys and I just I fucking scrolled so quick because I was like, I don't want the other ones. It sounds like a fucking couple of half a past me. One of them was the hopple puff at las passing. So they're in over here you are sil in. Yeah, I got hoff half a buff on potamore. God, that is so embarrassed. I know, I don't know. We actually I'M gonna I'M gonna advise you to edit that out. Ha Ha ha, sorry. Mean I gender born in Ninety eight I just made the class. Just made it. Anyway. So, back in the olden days, when body positivity was more olds and days, like three years ago, you know, it was birth in like two thousand and fourteen. Yeah, really, that this specific term. Yeah, the movement has been around for decades. So, okay, it just wasn't called body positivity. Right. It was like pushing back against fact Fatphobia. That's where it started, right, but I read. I'm sure there's lots of different okay, anyways. So I guess you could say back before body body positivity became a Hashtagh, I think it was, it did have definitely like good elements and I think a lot of people who were, who were are in marginalized bodies probably gravitated towards it quite strongly. But I think it's since has been co opted, yes, by scream white women, yes, who are doing my favorite, I mean maybe the most obvious version of this is when you see a thin white woman meeting every beauty stand under the sun, who post a too photo post one is like a before and after and it's showing. Usually everyone knows this when they've eaten a meal and they push their stomach out m to the point where it's like, you know, a role. It's like a fold and bending over so much that they're basically like a you. They're basically, I said, hunchback of Notre darming themselves in order to get one singular role, to be able to post a HASHTAG body positivity post. Yeah, the movement isn't for you know, you're co opting it exactly. That's the biggest issue, I think. Another one is when we see on ticktock and things like. I'm sure a lot of people see these sort of videos where women will say, like no, it's not possible to have a flat stomach because that little pouch is like your uterus Um. What. Yeah, what are we talking about? Yeah, because that's like a body positive like trying to be encouraging about having like a stomach. No, like, let's not talk about I don't know how to criticize it in an effensive right. Only okay, because it's a uterus. Yes, like some people have fat there, some people have a uterus. They're some people it's completely flat.

Like I think it's just like it's these weird words of encouragement where it's like that's not the point of the movement. At all. No, it's like, oh, it's okay because there's a reason for it. That's what it is. It's giving it a reason. Yeah, and I think that a lot of the back like because I'm not, I'm really not on that side of Tick Tock, because all a lot of that is on Tick Tock. But I'm on the side of Tick Tock where people react to that kind of stuff. Congratulations, you are better than every so much. I've made it, and I think that when people do, when you know people in like larger bodies or women of color are responding to these skinny white women on ticktock who were like buddy positivity when they're like size six, I think the backlash to the backlash, like the the critiques that the Skinny White Women would come back with is like, well, like we're aren't I allowed to have us in insecurity as well? Aren't I likely? Like, of course you are. Yeah, of course you are, like you could be the hottest person in the old and the least secure person in the world and like, I'm not saying like too many extents women are all oppressed by the patriarchy, some women to a much greater extent than others. Based on, you know, range of factors exactly. But it's not like it's not your space to be in and your you are taking it from from what? From people who it is actually for, because I think the point is that when you take up that space, it feeds into the beauty standard more exactly, and you're just saying like now this is a tender, because that's the content that gets popularized. Yeah, because again we're just uplifting and elevating that standard again and again, because the people in minority groups who are supposed to be the represented bodies in that sphere, only getting fed your content because you meet the Algorithm sense of standard a beauty as well. It's like it is just this awful, evil vicious cycle that keeps going on and on and on, and I think that, like body neutrality, in my opinion, is what I would prefer to like. That something that I would prefer to subscribe to, and I think it has been a bit of a reaction to the body positivity movement, movement getting out of hand, perhaps, you could say, and it's more like you know, I mean it's quite obvious in that what it's called like being feeling neutral towards your body, like it's just a body that I used to like live in and it's like the body that allows me to like do this and that and move around the world and do the activities that I like to do. Yeah, it's actually the aim of the game is to not think about your body as anything other than a device for your fucking brain to be transported, basically. Right. But then again, is there in your view, is their power to or is their substance to feeling attractive? I mean, it's everyone's a different opinion. Like, for me, I feel like you're the you are the only person I've ever met that I believe has achieved body neutrality. Well, thank you, Queen I, but I've never met someone who's just so like, I've never think about it. Yeah, it's not very common, I know, but this is what I'm saying. Like I would find it very hard to move into that space because I think that we're also socialized to think about our bodies all the time and I don't think that's value. I don't think it's helpful. But for people who are in marginalized bodies, who achieve body positivity, right, HM, is there a benefit to that over body neutrality? Do you think that's just a product of an environment where we are trained and constantly aiming towards feeling hot or feeling like should we should we be aspiring to that which one is preferred not to get into a dangerous space here. Well, I have a hot take on this go on that I think might be unpopular. Okay, I have no se something and I like, I don't really I don't know if it's my...

...right, okay, to say this, but I will. Okay, so, before I've just noticed the lot of like a lot of rhetoric around body positivity and like feeling good in your body and kind of like the reaction to pushing away diet culture is things like taking a doing a photo shoot in launderie and like catering to the male gays, you could perhaps say, and I don't know how I feel about that, and I don't know that that truly is, like, is that really escaping everything that we're trying to fight by subscribing to, you know, body positivity or body neutrality or like rejecting Diet Culture? See, this is interesting because I feel like this this is like an intersection of a few different beliefs, right, because, for example, a few weeks ago on the pub well, talk about this antifeminist ideas and you were at like we had a bit of a challenge about me saying woman don't deserve to be sent dudes because their works of art, right, yeah, but then you were like, well, it is empowering and like it's an act women do. Right, so, and then on the other side of the coin, we also did an episode abouts less barber and Emily Radakowski, where you are sort of talking. We we disagreed quite sit like quite significantly, yes, about you know, me saying, can you post like a sexual photo and it not be for the mail gays? And but how to determine intent and are we objectifying ourselves and always sexualizing ourselves in Blah Blah, blah, blah black the episode was called, is it feminist to objectify yourself? I think so. But this is what it gets confusing for me, because you're saying, you know, when we're going for like lingerie photos and blah, blah, Blah Blah. But that's confusing because you're saying on one hand, you're saying on one hand, well, we should be able to send nudes. It's not problematic at all. It's empowering. And the second point is, but it's for the mail gays and we shouldn't do that. So how does that work? How does that fit in here with your view, chase? You? Well, it's because I see like sexy launderie as specifically pandering to the mail gays, just the idea of yeah, and that's my personal opinion. Like, I can see that. I mean I don't receive very much lauenerie in like queer spaces. That's really interesting. I've never thought about that before, but I don't know certain I don't know enough about queer spaces to know if I agree or disagree or even have an opinion. Yeah, I don't think I'm invited to have an opinion. No, no, what you straight, Hannah? Like I don't like Lauenderie was created for the mail gays. But but at the same time, like how many women ask men for nudes? I don't know. I think like se can you for it? Nine nine percent of Dick picks are unsolicited. Right thought. When we think about like that, I I can't get the difference through the LAUNDRE and nude. But what? But what? Okay, what about in like relationships between two women. Do think there's a lot more likely to be nudes and or laundre? One I don't know, because I actually think that there's been a movement towards landre being for the individual. Do you? Yeah, HMM, I get but I also think that, like, I don't I think you'd be surprised. I think a lot of people in relationships that aren't heterosexual would be interested in buying Laundrei if we wouldn't be the sort of Landre that we see in fucking honey bird debt. Yeah, but also because no one buys from there because they don't pay their workers. Yeah, I was gonna say, well, let them go to the toilet. Yeah, but I what I think is that we are moving away from that lacy Philly Shit and into a different sphere as well. But, for example,...

I've had people buy Melandreid in the past and I've been very offended by that because it's not a gift for me, is it? Yeah, I was. I don't like that. Yeah, I just yeah, I don't know. I just think that like it does become. It's just a question that I've had. In something I have noticed that like the idea of like own your body and like be sexy, however you look, and like be you and embrace yourself. Like I just feel like that rhetoric has been tied so tightly with like conforming to the male gays. Yes, but isn't body positive? Isn't body positivity saying if you don't have that body, you should still feel that way you're in your body. So I think it's like that's I think that that isn't that saying if you don't look that way, it's okay, you can still look hot to men? No, I don't think so. I think the aim is, if your body, because I think if body positivity is about looking at marginalized bodies that don't fit the gays right, saying ignore the gays, you need to feel this way about yourself in your own body, regardless of that. HMM, and not aim for that. Yeah, because I don't think it's asking you to change. I don't think it's asking you to appeal to the male gays. HMM. I think it's saying we're disregarding that and we're moving towards a space where we can all feel like this, regardless of the body that we're in. And how do we teach ourselves to feel this way without meeting that stereotype and without having to aim for that stereotype? I. How do we take away those barriers? Yeah, so, I don't think. But, but I think that the run on effect is that if the more women, the more the more people generally that feel that way about their body, the more that it deconstruct deconstructs the purpose of this the beauty standard. Yes, so I think then it adds threat to the modeling industry, to all these industries that aren't size inclusive. I think that it breaks down what they are and who they were present and and I think that they probably should feel scared and threatened by the idea that they're not going to be the ideal soon. Yeah, I think for me, and I don't want to put as usual, and I always say this, but I don't want to put any like individual blame when I'm saying when I'm talking about like the idea of reclaiming your body or embracing yourself when you're not the beauty standard, I'm not saying like you're not lad where Laundre A. I just think it's like it's just I think it's like part of the process to moving to the next level and for me I just feel a bit weird that it's kind of I think it's almost been capitalized upon by like I see. I don't know, it's just a weird a thought that I had that I don't know is it's not fully formed, but it's just like a thing that I'm like, that's interesting. But I also think the question is, like I don't really like laundre myself, do you know? That's the thing. I think it's like it's based on what an individual finds company for themselves. What I don't I don't like when other people gift unless it's like a an agreed thing. Yeah, I don't find it like nice to be gifted that sort of thing because I'm like, well, this is just you creating a fantasy and projecting it onto my body and that doesn't and I know that's much for a lot of people that might be like the most ridiculous thought ever and they love it. But I think comes back to our personal opinions of Laundre and help makes us feel. But the other thing is like I can understand how all laundrey empowers some people, but I don't see how it would be empowering if you didn't even pick it out. Yeah, so true, like if this, I've ever seen a man have nice vundering Jesus it. I can see how someone would like, want to pick out their own outfit and find that empowering. Absolutely, but that's how I feel about every day when I pick clothes, like it's like I want to pick something I feel good in. Yeah, and something's working. Some things don't with laundre. It's just like I just don't like I feel like I'm acting outside of my own character, like I feel like I'm being put into place into someone else's idea of what's hot. Yeah, and it's. But that, again,...

...the reason I don't want to. Like, I I kind of got you're saying, but I just think it's probably because of my personal opinion on Lunder and how it makes me feel. Yeah, it's just something that I've seen online a lot that I'm like, MMM, is that really achieving? I don't know. I just think it's interesting that, like the way that the mail gay is, like does subscribe to that? Yeah, and instead of being like well, that's I guess that does likely in perfectly into why I prefer the idea of body neutrality for me personally, because instead of like, for me, to some extent, and obviously everyone can have their own interpretation, but to some extent body positivity is being like it's okay if you're not x Y and said, you're still hot, so it's okay, don't worry, you're used to look good, even if you're not skinny, that's okay, you still look good. But for me it's kind of just like being hot is not interesting to me, like I'm don't I don't feel drawn to that. I don't care. Yeah, like I don't want someone to say, oh, but you're a pretty too. I just want to be I just want to make the point that it's like I it's not something that I care about nor think about. It's kind of like don't think about elephants. Yeah, that's the vibe of you're not getting even it's okay, like that's what I get from that, is, like it's just room reminder. So I get what you're saying, but I think, I think the central messaging of body positivity, if acted on correctly, is lovely. Yeah, because I don't think I'm this is just absolutely honest. I will never get to a place of what it neutrality? Never, yeah, in my entire life, I will not, because I am not you. One Week I am mind, I am and have always been, obsessed, hmmm, with feeling hot. And I don't, and I don't think I ever have. I might one day, but I don't, and that's just the truth. But I can't walk past the reflection without being like, oh, it's my belt, like is, is everything in place? Like I'm and it's not. I think is. It's like, I don't think the word is vain, like I can't not look in the marriage. But it's more because I'm like Pimple, Oh, it's not me looking. Oh, I look good. Sometimes, maybe one every fifteen days, I'm like, Oh, I look nice today, but on the whole it's like me checking that everything's okay, like put together, making sure my churt is tucked in, making sure that, oh my God, my hair looks really like. I just need to know and I and I need to know how I'm presenting to others. Okay, so, and it is sort of neutrality. Do It bilitating? Yeah, it is debilitating because again, as we say, how much time could have been spent starting a revolution of I'm not wondering if the pimple on the center of my forehead is as right as I think it is. Right now, you see that it's not. I'll see, but thank you. But it is one of those things where it's like, I personally know that I was raised around comments about my body constantly and my weight and my size. I'm six foot two, so I've always been very conscious of my physical space that I'm taking up and I struggle with that sort of thing, eating all these sorts of things. So I get the a lot of us will never get to body Neutralie, I would fucking love to know what it feels like to be able to walk through the world and look for one day and not think about it. Hmm, I think that the majority of US suggest wired, at least for the near future. Maybe when I'm seventy. Yeah, cool. I hope that as I get older, I move. I think that's what what has to happen and I think that when especially women, wouldn't it goes the other way. It can just become more debilitating with age because you're so scared of aging. Yeah, I hope I lean into that. Yeah, I try to, but for me, like body, the reason I've achieved body neutrality and but I guess it's like never a hundred percent. Depends on the day. But it is because of it's because my I would never say my body is a marginalized body, ever, but I have. I'm like muscly and there's not very much representation of people with my body type. And even though, like when I was younger, I was like, I'm so I'm like so much bigger than like all of my friends in you know, bigger my skinny friends, I suppose, is more what it... more accurate, like a big calves, like I always had like big shoulders, big arms, etc. And I'm quite short and I have really big feet, which I used to hate, m long toes. I've embraced that. Now you have lovely long toes. That do I thank you. We have always the same feat. Well, my foot is a men's size thirteen. Wow, queen. So like I have struggle with shoes of for a long time. I don't really own many shoes. We are both very stable on the ground. No, I'm not. I'd never push us over. I'm always afraid of heights and I say it's because I'm further away from the ground that everyone else. Well, do you know? Do you know what, though? What? So, my partner is six three or six four. I stood on these boxes to like get up at his level and I was like wow, I am so far from the guy, I am so scared, like literally, the perspective is so different it's crazy. Yeah, anyways, I am as like, obviously I actually really love my height now, like I've come to love it, but I think about this every day. Like we watch movies and everyone's like, Oh my God, Adam driver, like you know, all these people are such big men the rock. I'm like the same height as these guys. Yeah, like put me in a movie with then the fucking look tiny. Yes, after those like perspective to I would be like kind of stand way back. I'm pretty sure that like I could pick Zach effort up and throw over my shoulder. If I tried. You probably could, queen. Thank you. Anyway. Back to it. Anyway, back to it. So my and then like everything that I had been, everything that like had made me look different. As a kid, I don't want to say that I don't want to pretend like I was insecure even in I school, but I was aware of the fact that, like I did look different to a lot of the other girls at school anyway, but everything that made me different when I started powerlifting, everything that had made me like look different made me like stronger and like like very competitive. Yeah, power lifting. So it was that kind of arc that helped me move into body neutrality and also, like People's obsession with commenting on my body. Like, and I know again, I don't want to compare it to you know, people in like plus size body will get comp you know, comments all the time about how they should lose weight, ball or but it's not, definitely not comparative. But people would react to me like I was like, I don't know, like a zoo creature really, not to be dramatic, but people be like, Oh my God, wow, what are you doing? You was swimmer or like. They'll just like have a conversation with me and then I'll they'll be like so, what do you do for fun? What are your hobbies, and then I'll eventually say I'm a power from they're like, Oh, you're a power if that's why you have big muscles. It's just like, excuse me, out what? And so my reaction to that is just like what get me on your own business, like just fuck off. Yeah, anyway. So, yeah, I guess everyone's journey is different, but that's why I personally prefer body neutrality, because I prefer to like think about and, like, as a person who still enjoys a lot of different types of exercise, I prefer to think about what my body can do. Yeah, for me, then like what it looks like. I got are. It's also really hard to find clothes, which really annoys me. Tell me about it. I've never been I think I've found one pair of jeans in my life that have done not done me dirty. Incredible Queen. I only wear to stretchy clothes, stretchy only. Yeah, no, nonstrial stretch as canceled. I mean it's just absurd that we are not in marginalized bodies and it's hard for us to shop. That's the thing. I mean average close ties with and you know what, we can share clothes. which is really fucked up, is during out difference. Oh yeah, we were the same size on these. We found out of the other day. Yeah, because I had my period and I blood through my armies, but we had to do an interview, so I got a pair of Christian Sunday's and they were perfect romantic. So Romantic, just Tiam, but I think that's an important anecdote. It is, because otherwise people be like, how do you know that he hit chatting? I we could have gone to bonds together anyway for a little shop. We would never did. That story is more realistic and our shopping together something leisurely do. Yeah, I also, this is something I noticed when I was observing Jen's Ed's,...

...not in a creepy way, the other day. Is like, even though we appear to be moving forward into this like progressive world where we're like more accepting of everyone, the fashions are getting less inclusive, in my opinion. HMM, like the shit that people wearing now. And it's not their fault, it's the fashion industry, obviously, but you know that this like root, like weird like swing back to the two thousand. Yes, and like last year or like in two thousand and twenty, it was like a hint of like white UK vibes, but they see it is gone. Why? UK? Like the turn of the century? You, two thousand? Yeah, like it was like the turn of like because you know, I see that everyone. I just never thought about I guess. So when? So, back in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine. I don't know if you remember. I don't. Um, I don't remember happening, but I know I know about it. Everyone thought that all the computers were going to cry. I remember this. That's why UK. So what's the fashion? Well, it's like it's just what they call. It's like two s fashion. Let's turn of the century fashion anyways. So, but this year we've gone like serious, like low rises back those like Oh low rises a sin, those skirts that are like just a rectangle, that like have no shape. I know those are back. They're so short too, because when I try to because I'm very long, when I try to put those on, I swear to God all lips around. I mean it's not good. I can't wear them. I mean I couldn't even get them over my thighs and they get no stretch. Like this shit is the like the least inclusive stuff I have ever seen. They wearing belt dresses. Yet remember, Gabriella and HSM to every dressers belt dress'm pretty sure every single dress you was a belt dressed, though. I mean, at least that's more inclusive. Dresses are not more inclusive, they're fucking disgusting. If you didn't find us a completely insufferable come back next Wednesday for a new episode. Could also find this on instagram at Cheek Media Co or line. Cheek Mediacom donated. Yes, that's the one. That's the one.

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