Debates in Aesthetics 16 (1):13-28 (2021)

In this paper we track the ‘body positivity’ movement from its origins, promoting radical acceptance of marginalized bodies, to its co-optation as a push for self-love for all bodies, including those bodies belonging to socially dominant groups. We argue that the new focus on the ‘body positivity’ movement involves a single-minded emphasis on beauty and aesthetic adornment, and that this undermines the original focus of social and political equality, pandering instead to capitalism and failing to rectify unjust institutions and policies. As such, we argue that the ‘body positivity’ movement ultimately marginalises further the bodies for which it initially sought justice and acceptance.
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