I like calling out the bad guy. When it comes to naming the bad guy, I'm a fan of pointing to...
Big bad FOOD companies are making money charging for cheap food. Big bad DIET companies keep convincing people to buy more diets even though they don't work. The big bad BEAUTY industry makes money off making women feel bad about how their body is now.
This is important mostly because a lot of women I know feel defeated by these industries. We feel like high quality food is expensive and hard to find. We can't quit our "addiction" to cheese puffs because they're designed to make you crave them and eat more than your body needs. And, as long as the diet and beauty industry exist, we'll all feel too much shame to change our behavior.
I get up in arms (not literally... I do the occasional push up) about the injustices we have in our society because, well, there are a lot. And often, there's a lot of cash to be made off these injustices. But do companies just sell things because they're money-grubbing and they don't care how they can make a buck? OR do they do it because people want to buy these things? Is it the chicken or the egg?
Could it be the egg? Could consumers change what they're buying? What we choose to see and believe doesn't have to continue to be the same.
The thrust of uplifting food docs that I've seen often suggest that we can change the world by "voting with our fork." And when it comes to body positivity, I think we can vote with our clicks, our views, and our purchases.
1. Unfollow and stop looking at websites for companies and ideas that make you feel bad about yourself
I've done this. When I started following a bunch of yogis because I love yoga, I had a few too many skinny white girls doing crazy contorted poses in pants that I couldn't afford. Now, every time I see a skinny white lady telling me that having the body of my dreams is just one green juice cleanse away, I'm one click away from unfollowing her.
2. Monitor what you look at and what you agree to look at on the internet.
In the 2.0 world, it's kind of cool how much we can control this. I mean have you read that Target article? Have you ever noticed how the web sites you visit affect the ads you see on Google and Facebook? Ever pinned something on Zappos and suddenly you keep getting advertisements for sensible shoes? It's kind of creepy but what you choose to look at affects what comes to you (but please tell my boyfriend that the engagement ring ads are simply because of my demographic not because I've been looking at engagement rings).
With services like Hulu, you can actually tell them an ad is or isn't "related" to you. I love that I can give feedback to the app and click (hell) "no" when that question pops up. I will acknowledge that any advertisements that include puppies get a (hell) "yes."
3. Start following and clicking on information that makes you feel good about yourself.
Say what you will about millenials or Shark Tank or whatever but every business these days seems to have dreams beyond their products. I mean there's period panties you can buy that give away feminine hygiene products to girls in need of them.
When it comes to body positivity, there's A LOT of awesome people out there who are selling ideas, products and lifestyles that are not the status quo. Exposure to more diverse bodies makes us more comfortable with diverse bodies.
Not to be too cheesy, or should I say "cheese puffy," but be the change you want to see in the world. What you click, what you follow, what you buy helps us to change the market.