On Saturday, October 6, a group of body-positive women got together at the second instalment of the All Bodies are Beautiful Meet Up (ABAB Meet Up) at Rick’s Cafe Americain, in Gardens.
Influencers, Palesa Kgasane, Thembi Matroshe (Jadore Thembi) and Meg Ringdal -blogger for Mind the Curves, were among the panellists of the day, discussing exercise as part of body positivity, fashion, body image and animosity in the body positivity community.
ABAB Meet Up was founded by bloggers, Oyama Botha and Tsholofelo Dumakude.
The body positivity movement has changed since inception. Having started as a “fat acceptance” movement, it’s now gone on to embrace acceptance of all bodies no matter the shape, size or ethnicity.
“The movement has taught me to adopt a very fluid perception of beauty, contrary to the very fixed constructions formed by society.
“I believe that body positivity should be read as a movement rooted in intersectional feminism as it not only advocates body acceptance but influences our attitudes on how we navigate the hyper-visual and gendered world with our bodies,” said Ms Matroshe.
Ms Kgasane added: “It’s not just about being big and proud but recognising that there are other groups of people who may have struggled with their body image, regardless of how ‘perfect’ they may seem to be,” she said.
All guests were in consensus that most South African retailers just don’t sell fashionable clothes made for their bodies and Ms Ringdal told the guests: “No one should change their body to fit clothes that were not even created for them.”
On the topic of exercise, Ms Botha shared that exercise was a part of holistic self-care and that people needed to steer away from judging a person’s health based on their physical appearance. “We need to be more conscious and kind when we give health advice as this is a very sensitive and triggering topic,” she concluded.