Wartburg women are embracing a national trend call The Fat Acceptance Movement, and it encourages young women to be proud of their bodies.
Dr. Penni Pier, director of women’s studies, said this movement sends a powerful message that humanity needs to be more accepting.
“What we need to be doing a better job of is teaching our young people and ourselves to love our bodies for what they are,” Pier said.
Founded in 1969, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance first brought the movement to light.
Pier said the major issue stems from holding one body type as more desirable than another.
There are all sorts of different shapes and sizes of people, and Pier said there is no way a body type held by a small percentage of people can be the standard to which we hold ourselves to.
“The idea that you’d single out one body type and say that that’s more desirable than another is problematic,” Pier said.
Natasha Willey said media plays a huge role into how society chooses to view their bodies.
The issue becomes bigger, Willey said, when viewed by younger women that compare themselves unfairly to the images they see in the media.
“They can’t be themselves and they feel like they need to be this girl that doesn’t exist in the real world,” Willey said.
Ella Newell said similar movements are finally bringing these issues to national attention.
“I think there is a lot that should change and I think people are starting to notice that,” Newell said.
The movement is motivating people to open up about this issue and motivates people to have a higher self-image, Willey said.
Willey added that this movement is also helping people to rise above the negative words of others in regards to their weight.
“It’s your body and your life,” Willey said. “If somebody can’t accept you for that, they’re probably not someone you want to be around.”
Pier said these movements have always been around. However, with the rise in eating disorders, they’re getting the recognition they deserve, she said.
These movements are also helping people to understand the importance to have talks about body image with one another, Pier added.
“We need to have these conversations in a respectful manner in which we build people up rather than tear them down,” Pier said.
Willey is hopeful these movements will continue to gain more momentum.
Pier said there will be people who will degrade these movements and say it encourages people to be unhealthy and overweight.
Pier said a person’s size has nothing to with a person’s overall health.
“Healthy isn’t a size, it isn’t a number, it’s a way of life,” Pier said.