body positivity & educating others

Today’s post may seem a little strange with these two topics lumped together in one – but I thought they were relevant (okay, let’s be real here: they’re both related topics all the time), Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.38.52 PMparticularly in relation to Vine personality Jack Johnson and a little thing that happened on Twitter last night (right). Johnson tweeted:

I feel like I’ve seen a lot of girls use this “Body Positive” thing to post slutty (sic) pictures and not get called out for it (insert monkey say-no-evil emoji here) … But the true intent behind the campaign (the whole “Embrace who you are” notion is dope 🙂 … I’ve seen people not use it for its intended purpose is all I’m saying. And these are just facts.”

“And these are just facts.” Cue me cringing and falling to the floor, foaming at the mouth. Okay, okay, I’m exaggerating. I had no idea who this guy was – my friend sent me a link to the initial tweet and naturally, I got heated and the natural questions came to mind: “Why do people worship people like this?!” Thankfully, my aggravation was alleviated by singer Halsey’s responses to Johnson’s tweets. In a nutshell, she emphasizes the fact that it’s not anyone’s place to judge how someone presents themselves, and that body positivity is for everyone, contrary to what Johnson said in his reply to her.

Body positivity is for everyone – it’s a way for all individuals to be proud of who they are, whether they wear a crop top or a turtleneck sweater. That’s its intended purpose. Many people, no matter their body type, can feel insecure – and the concept of body positivity is so important to prove that everyone can flaunt their stuff no matter what and no one will judge them. Outwardly stating that an individual is a “slut” just because they are wearing clothes that show some skin is pretty rash, y’know (ugh note to society: please stop slut-shaming people, especially women). They are just confident in their skin and confidence is the key thing that is emphasized in the movement to embrace who you are. People who even post selfies/any types of photos of themselves are pretty damn brave in this world where some consider taking pictures of yourself a bad thing/a threat to society/a “millenial disease”. A selfie/picture of oneself in the way they CHOOSE to present themselves can be pretty damn empowering! Be who you are, young ones. FLY FREE. DON’T LET SOCIETY RESTRAIN YOU FROM BEING THE BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES YOU ARE. YOU ARE NOT AN OBJECT. YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON.

It is so sad when body positivity is twisted into a slut-shaming vortex of horribleness and doom.

Ever since posting those tweets, Johnson has received a lot of flack from fans and non-fans alike. Which is understandable – anyone who says something akin to controlling how people should present themselves can cause ripples in typically calm waters. However, it is clear that while Johnson is all for body positivity, he is still wholly uneducated in the topic. Hey, I kind of even give him props for trying to communicate with Halsey.

However, Twitter is known to be home to the nastiest sharks on the internet. While I’m all for calling people out when needed, when people are young and clearly do not know what the heck is going on, you’ve got to sit them down (metaphorically, not physically in this case) and talk to them. I applaud Halsey for doing that! Sending threats and ultimately demonizing an individual is not the way to get your point across. You just make them jump even further away from the truth and avoid any conversation in the future or get apologies rooted in annoyance.

Be kind. Be understanding. Don’t jump the shark. Don’t demonize someone and drag them through the dirt when it is clear all they need is someone to sit down with them to help them comprehend what the heck is going on.

(People who are actual human garbage, unchanging, and uncaring are a different story, though.)

tl;dr: I will commend Johnson for one thing: he is a positive individual and is all for it, he just needs to be more educated on the subject. Body positivity is for everyone.