The Body Positive Part II

Victoria (Image: BBC / Love Productions / Richard Ansett)

Continuing with Episode 1 for the moment, Body Positive exponent Victoria decided to challenge the other women in the group to put on their swimsuits or bikinis and to go with her into the nearest town centre, to raise awareness of what The Body Positive movement is about. Passers-by were asked if they wanted to write on the visible naked parts of the body to show their support. Surprisingly, many people did. Babs, who truly dislikes her overweight body, bravely took up the challenge and was overwhelmed with the support they were given.

So to Episode 2. The Body Positive (BP) debate hots up as a discussion about childhood obesity draws gasps from the BP supporters at the thought that children in Primary School should be taught about healthy eating and exercise! Apparently this will cause them to obsess about food and could lead to eating disorders. One housemate, Sarah who is the director of the charity Obese UK, quite rightly worried about the drain on the NHS of obesity health issues.

Also respected geneticist Dr. Brian Yeo, gives the housemates the results of a DNA test showing that some people are genetically predisposed to excessive eating, or crave food. This had a good effect on Jed, who worried about Type 2 diabetes and encouraged him to be tested.

Watching this episode, it became apparent that there was more to Victoria than met the eye. First impressions were that she was an extremist in the BP movement, she was constantly insisting that she was happy as she was, and tried to get others to feel the same way. She was roundly criticised in the media, branded as ‘dangerous ‘, and amongst housemates, some of them found it unbearable.

As the episode went on, it became obvious that she is using BP to deal with her own deep insecurities about her body, it was very much about ‘those who shout the loudest’ . In other words, the more she went on about it the less convincing she became. She may eat, as she claimed in Episode 1, ‘what she wants’ but she was the only one who was eating in just about every shot, crisps, cake, always unhealthy stuff. If she eats like that to prove a point that’s ‘cutting off her nose to spite her face’ territory, it’s unnecessary and unhealthy. But if she is eating like that because it satisfies a deep-seated insecurity or trauma or whatever, then she needs to admit it to herself.

By the end of the episode everybody seemed to have accepted the different views and people’s right to hold them. There was genuine feeling when it came to say goodbye.

Whilst it’s true that we shouldn’t discriminate against people who are overweight or obese, it is important to realise that it’s the impact on health that is most important. When Victoria was asked whether she would prefer to be fat or lose her mobility through diabetes, she refused to answer the question. That indicates that either she hasn’t thought about it (slightly unbelievable!) or she doesn’t want to think about so as not to compromise her views. Either way, the conclusion has to be that her views are subversive and dangerous, and are extremely unhealthy.

Courtney (Photo courtesy of bbc.co.uk)

The opinions expressed in this post are mine