In the last few years the body positive movement has become mainstream, as more fashion brands begin catering to plus size bodies. However, the larger size bodies being gushed over are usually hourglass figures - and mostly white - where fatness is in the ‘right’ places. The levels of fatphobia in the movement and society is rising with no real change happening to alter the daily lives of people who is meant to serve. As we’ve noted before, the commercialisation of the once radical movement is further marginalising fat-identifying people.
Fighting back is Ashleigh Shackelford, the director and data futurist at Free Figure, an Atlanta-based revolutionary organisation taking on mainstream white supremacist beauty standards. “The body positive movement centers the narrative of ‘self-love’ and moves away from shame without centering fat people over a size 14,” Shackelford tells Dazed. Their opinion is one shared by many fat positive campaigners: the current movement is not radical and is, in fact, creating a new standard of beauty for fatness. This is, as Shackelford explains, “pushing more expectations and violence on those who never fit the standard to begin with”.