“Power of Positivity” ??? The Shame/Blame/Game

It. Is. Not. Positive. To. Shame. People. For. Being. Overweight. Bigger. Heavier.

**I’d add in some of those emoji clap back hands, but I’m too old and not cool**

What am I talking about in this post? Hang on … I’m off to grab my java ~

Photo by K. Aren Henry Miller

Backstory to why this is bugging me:

It is possible to be both a fan of something and also loathe some of the work they put out that is damaging and dangerous to others.

I used to be a puppet of both the psychology industry and the higher education industry. I chose part time in both so I could also raise my kids to the best of my ability. Then again, I ran a side gig as a life coach that turned into a full time gig when I just couldn’t take the hypocrisy any longer. (That’s another story for another time).

When I broke the strings of the puppet masters, it was as if a veil came off ~ I saw the infallible truth of the extremely profitable industry that the positive psychology movement created. It was helping people. 100% It was also hurting people and that, when I brought it up … was ignored. I was ghosted. Some of the big wig leader types were even dismissive and rude.

Why?

Money.

What makes anyone who is getting rich quick, ignore those who say, “wait a minute … slow down … have you done enough research on this thing that the everyday person is going to not understand or be able to use?”

Then ~ there were people who never dug their heals into the original source work but saw the quick tag lines and thought, “this is enough, just use these same key phrases and fuck the research. We don’t need evidence, just … cute hopeful tag lines on a meme and we’re golden.”

Maybe their intentions were pure. Maybe.

I used to teach this stuff ~ for years. I also bought into it whole heartedly. But it wasn’t supposed to be the end all solution. It was supposed to help balance out the negative, bad, sad, not always dark side of the psychology.

MOST people still believe that. MOST people will absolute put people over profits.

I believe strongly in fair market values, profits, celebrating one’s financial success and creating something new for the masses. I do.

Just … not at the expense of an entire population of people who are told to feel bad about themselves if they don’t change.

Never when it means shaming and blaming someone for their body, size, wallet, status, or culture.

Then, this movement that’s been in the financial fire (in a good way) is hurting people.

Charlotte Louise @inkhoneypub at 5 weeks. Exactly how this industry felt to me after two decades. Beige and a little dirty.

This is where this is going …

It was a hard pill to swallow, knowing that a lot of what I was buying into and teaching also wasn’t working. In fact, some of it was actually hurting people. It was blaming people. The minions who latched on for profit and celebrity status did not care who they were hurting. I did.

I do.

Others in our field …. do. We care how this stuff is being used.

Then again, we understand human nature. This is part of that.

It’s why I got off the endless couch and started writing this, while cleaning up who I align with. I broke up with the industry. That will take some time to adjust to.

95% (I made up that number but wanted to be hopeful) of the people in the game are nice, authentic, genuine and caring.

It’s the 5% that are stinking up the joint with the usual suspects. Greed, ego, need to be famous, feeling untouchable and protected by the big bosses w/big names. Sounds so very cliche doesn’t it?

I’m just giving you the whole chapter so … here goes.

Into writing a chapter on PP several years ago, as part of my mission to help heal those damaged by the toxic positivity movement, I saw an article on “the Power of Positivity” page ~ NO IDEA who started it or ran it ~ but I found out … which explains some of it.

Before I continue ~ I will say … 75% of their memes and messages are pretty great.

But … they fail those who are totally fine with being the size that they are.

They synthesized the dangerous diet industry with positive psychology and had a boom-baby that’s extremely profitable.

The thing is ~ and here is where I channel my inner Lizzo, ’cause SHE is doing the Body Positive Industry the right way

JUST because someone lives in a bigger body, does NOT mean that they are unhappy, or less capable or less intelligent or less … anything.

~Me… being ALL shouty …

LOVE THE SKIN YOU ARE IN AND LEAVE HEAVIER PEOPLE ALONE

That’s the diet industry for you. “You must feel really bad about being overweight so we’re going to charge you to feel a little LESS bad about yourself” ~ I’ve been part of that circus for FIVE decades so I speak from a first person point of view.

Yeah, I was a child when I was first body shamed. Yes, I’m an elderkin now, and STILL body shamed for being a human being.

I’m a fecking Viking (by heritage) … I’m never going to be a pixie size waif. Same goes for millions of humans.

I’ve been a size 4 and a size 14 … I was the same person inside and out … bigger is not a disease.

Wait? What? I took this personally? Honey … it’s ALL personal. To all of us. All the time. Everything is subjective and everything is personal. All of it.

You’ve Got Mail, 1998

Where is this coming from?

In an article originally published in 2019, but shared again yesterday on their Facebook page today, they [The Power of Positivity] showed a bigger girl, in spandex w/her belly hanging out, head hanging down and slumped into the corner of her shower.

The post was bad enough. The comment section … was fecking awful!

Their title and message was, ~ I’m paraphrasing with dripping sarcasm of course …

“Oh honey, you feel bad because of how you think about yourself” I paraphrased with snark ’cause I’m not done growling at it yet.

NOTHING gets me more fired up than body shaming and body blaming.

Know who needs to be shamed and blamed?

Society ~ society has caused a billion dollar Bermuda Triangle of Self Hate and Self Loathing.

The body dysmorphic disorders are on the rise.

The eating disorders are on the rise.

The way our younger generations have endured a social media attack on the way they look so that they HATE their actual appearance … is on the rise.

https://thebodypositive.org
thebodypositive.org

NOT because our chubby bits, wrinkles, freckles, lady bits, curves, cellulite or skin is out of wack from the plasticity of a Barbie doll but because the social pressure to be inhuman is OFF THE CHARTS AND YES, I’M YELLING!

This is just another attempt at the “health and wellness” industry to fat shame people into feeling fecking horrible about themselves.

It Serves no purpose ~ it is dangerous to those who are actually trying to become healthier and yet another ploy of the diet industry to pull people feeling bad about themselves ~ thanks to social pressure ~ to seek yet another failed attempt at changing IF they even feel bad about being heavy in the first place!

When I clicked on the article, they were selling a diet industry gimmick. The thing that drives the most overweight people to the yellow brick road of failing followed by therapy or dangerous practices.

When they say they “released weight” from their bodies ~ it’s how people speak down here. Losing weight wasn’t organic or spiritual enough for them.

Toxic Positivity is so damn dangerous.

OH and here’s a secret ~ it’s no secret ~ IF you don’t love yourself just the way you are, you will NOT love yourself as a skinnier version of you ~

You MUST fall madly in love with that body that you are in right now, AS IS. Only then, will you be blessed with changing it up as you see fit. Not until then.

SO will be the backlash in condescending and patronizing messages I’ll get from commenting on it.

I looked to see where they are ~ Asheville, North Carolina ~ negative on the heavy people ~ the land of “curvy mountains, not people” in my “natural, organic, perfection of human thinness”

I say that … because I also live in Asheville, North Carolina ~ for the moment. I’ve been here long enough to know and see that thinness = success and that equals popularity and in-group acceptance.

I USED to like this PoP page but today ~ I know that it is one of the thousands of culprits that goes against everything I work to clean up.

My job cleans up the damage done by the job of the dark side of the positive ~ psychology.

The diet industry almost killed me in my young twenties and the people I was surrounded by were embarrassed by that. Not helpful. Embarrassed.

I was shamed by being ashamed of the body I was in because I was convinced (brain washed) even back in the 70’s and 80’s that I was not worthy.

Now I see social media taking over and making it that x infinity.

This notion that positivity and perfection seeking are always going to just make people fucking feel bad about being human because NOBODY can live up to these unrealistic standards in today’s world.

Instead ~ follow @jameelajamilofficial

To follow real people with real bodies and real life experiences. **in case you don’t know Jameela ~ she is an award winning brilliant actor and survivor of an eating disorder ~ yes, she is stunning ~ yes, she is healthy about it.

Published by happinessnoir

Writer | Advocate | Free Range Female | Change Agent | Essayist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: