It is hard to scroll by all the images and text posts online urging you to “accept your body”, to “love yourself”. Many want you to join in the campaign to promote body acceptance, but the entire idea is problematic for numerous reasons.
First and foremost, it promotes the idea that there is such a state accepting yourself. It promotes the naive dichotomy that you either accept or not accept yourself. This simply is not true- human emotions and how we perceive ourselves are far more complex. What the “love yourself” campaign promotes is that if you love yourself, you will be happy- this is not true.
It puts unwanted pressure on people- people are already pressurized by the media and by society to change themselves, and now there is added pressure that they ought to accept themselves. People become increasingly more depressed and confused: people that may no longer ask themselves “what is wrong with me?” now ask “why can’t I accept myself?” People find themselves frustrated that they do not live at peace with themselves.
This poses a few questions- what does it mean to “accept” yourself? How do you know if you have accepted yourself?
I think, and I may be wrong, that it is unhealthy to tell people to love themselves and to accept themselves. Why? Because it is perfectly normal to have insecurities: it is perfectly normal to one day love yourself and the other not, it is perfectly normal to feel good and bad about yourself, and it is perfectly normal to believe yourself to have flaws. You can simultaneously accept and not accept yourself. You should not feel pressurized to uphold a facade of “body acceptance” just as you should not feel pressurized to change yourself.