We’re barraged day after day by oppressive messages that certain bodies are more valuable than other bodies.
These messages are based on body hierarchy, a system that ranks our place on its ladder depending on our unique human characteristics. Some we’re born with; others change as we live. The list includes body size, gender, race, class, age, ability and health status. Body hierarchy is built on the belief that there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to have a body.
The solution to poor body image isn’t to fix our bodies or even to just try harder to love what we see in the mirror, making our body the problem. It’s to dismantle what’s driving it, the root cause, this system that ranks some bodies as better than others. When we embrace body diversity the system will crash and body image will be a challenge of the past. Ultimately, by celebrating the uniqueness of each human body we can create a kind, just, compassionate world for every body.
The pressure to measure up to the American beauty ideal — thin, firm, smooth and young — is greater than ever before. Redefining beauty isn’t about choosing to participate in beautifying or not. Instead it’s about creating a cultural shift in how beauty is defined and how our self-worth as women is defined.Read more →