Wear Your Voice campaign aims to correct how the body positivity movement fails women of color
Wear Your Voice, an intersectional feminist magazine which centers the voices of Black and Brown queer women, femmes, trans, and non-binary people, has just launched a campaign in an attempt to tackle some of the less discussed issues within the mainstream body positivity movement.
Late last year, the magazine published an article entitled “The Body Positivity Movement Both Takes From And Erases Fat Black Women” which served as a jumping off point for a much larger discussion of issues within the movement that the magazine sees as problematic. This month, they kicked off a campaign called #BodyPositivityInColor to go deeper into the ways body positivity relates to Black and Brown women, femmes, trans and non-binary people.
Editor of the series Sherronda J. Brown writes in the opening piece entitled “How Mainstream Body Positivity Has Failed Us”, “White supremacy’s concept of humanity provides the standard to which all bodies are compared in order to determine their value. A standard which dictates that a human body should have the ‘appropriate’ number of limbs and digits that are used in ‘appropriate’ ways, the ability to see and hear and speak and think clearly, legs and feet that are used for walking and running, and proportionate height and weight according to white Euro-American beauty and body image standards.”
So far, the series has explored why there will be no revolution for everyone unless fat Black women are liberated, the ways “white Euro-American beauty standards” serves white supremacy and oppresses Black and Brown women, and how celebrating Black hair functions as a revolutionary act.
Black celebrities and models such as Gabourey Sidthe and Stephanie Yeboah have been able to gain traction discussing body positivity on social media, but in the larger imagination, the body positivity movement is still linked to white women like Tess Holliday and Rebel Wilson, both of whom also made anti-Black statements in the past few years. A simple Google search for body positivity does not create results that speak to how Black women and others are marginalized by the movement, and this is one thing that the series hopes to help change.
We encourage you to head over to Wear Your Voice and participate in the conversation, a conversation that is vital to Black liberation and vital to addressing long-standing issues in the larger American society.