The Body Positive: Why You Should Start Dealing With Body Pride In Business
After the holidays: better to say “I hope you are disconnected” to “you come very dark”:
BY RRHHDigital, 14:45 – 03 August 2021
Why should companies adopt policies for empowerment, improved self-esteem and physical self-acceptance? Often times we see many of these activities related to skills and work capabilities, but many organizations are starting to recognize the importance of reflecting a diversity of physical bodies to avoid discrimination in work environments. Aspects such as gordofobia or objectification are part of the selection process and are linked to sex discrimination, that is to say the macho culture that objects to women and judges them on the basis of age, appearance or family situation. It is about “aesthetic violence against women”, a concept coined by sociologist Esther Pineda in 2012. But it also affects men and other groups, such as disabled people, LGTBIs, seniors, since it’s about intersectional diversity… Alares, a company specializing in personal care, gives a series of keys by which companies should begin to manage the positive body in their workforce.
Positive body culture is a response to body shame, that is, the act of shaming someone for their body. Bodily shame damages a person’s worth because of their appearance, which can cause deep wounds and painful effects on those on whom judgment falls. After the body positive, the trend is towards body neutrality, which tries to attenuate the constant debate on the body and to find a certain neutrality to leave behind the recurring importance which is given to the physical one. The physical aspect is strongly conditioned by unconscious prejudices. Our subconscious associates tall people with a life that is less healthy, more tired, and less persuasive. In this way, the physical aspect is wrongly linked to lower productivity, as is the case with other gender stereotypes and mandates. The teacher-researcher Jos Luis Moreno Pestaa carried out a study on bodily discrimination at work (year 2020), which corroborates the thesis of the greatest difficulty that adults have in finding a job, being themselves at work. and promote themselves, especially women. Alares works on the unconscious biases associated with gordofobia and physical appearance in general as a form of discrimination in the workplace. These prejudices are embedded in the business climate (as well as outside) and affect the selection and hiring, as well as the promotion and professional development of those who do not respect the imposed canon of “healthy appearance.” “. The blind CV is the first step in avoiding discrimination in employment. In order to promote equal opportunities, many companies favor the blind course, that is, a selection process in which photographs, date of birth, nationality, candidate’s name are excluded, as well as other personal data. Avoid excessive compliments and compliments on your physical appearance. Although in many cases they are done innocently as part of a good work environment, the main guideline to follow is to make a comment or opinion if the person receiving it so requests. If not, it is not necessary. It should be borne in mind that saying common phrases such as “I notice you thinner” or “you look great” implies assuming that the person looked worse before. Other more appropriate expressions would be: “you inspire more security and confidence”, “I am glad that you feel more proud like that”, “how lucky the customers are going to have with you”. And not only to mention physical skills, but also other skills related to work, such as empathy, good communication skills, flexibility and freedom from conflict etc. The case after the holidays: “you come darker”. Is it wrong to talk about someone who has sunk a lot after their days off? If only this comment is made, yes. The most appropriate thing in working environments is to express the wish that they rested on vacation, that they could disconnect and recharge their batteries. You don’t need to be obsessed with these kinds of expressions, but you should think about it and try to incorporate some that are also related to work. The positive body is all about diversity and inclusion. On many occasions, discrimination based on physical appearance can be linked to other aspects of demographic diversity (due to gender, sexual orientation, disability, age …), it It is therefore very important to reflect the diversity of bodies and appearances in the own model. In some cases, changes in physical appearance are related to the work pattern itself and are related to the increase in sedentary life, stress at work, etc. For this reason, it is necessary that companies offer services related to health and well-being. From psychology, to couching, to nutritional and sports advice and help for anyone who wants to work on their own relationship with food and body image. The focus should always be on health, both for people who want to initiate change and for those who want to stay as they are. Body positive allows you to reach new targets. Empowering people with different bodies allows us to reach new market niches and retain new customers. These potential consumers will feel more identified with the brand when they see themselves represented, made visible and with products or services that take into account its diversity. The fashion and beauty industry has been a pioneer, for example, in raising awareness of the importance of reaching new audiences. Body positive groups are common in North American businesses. Companies like Amazon include in their 12 affinity groups that of “Body Positive Peers” (BPP). Founded in 2018, this community seeks to cultivate positivity and acceptance of the body through a safe and caring community of employees. The goal is to end the stigma against plus size, especially when it comes to the intersections of ability, ethnicity, gender identity and race.
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