Bo-Po trends: Are they really as empowering as they seem?

Neon Moon Lingerie Body Positivity

Body Positive trends should reflect the collective of women fighting for their right to flaunt what they've got and not feel ashamed of it, right? Not everybody within the community sees particular trends as helping the bo-po movement. Let's take a look at 3 bo-po trends that have gone viral recently, the positives and the negatives.

1. #hipdips

You babes in the feminist world and body positive community may have noticed the birth of a new Instagram bo-po trend. If you haven't heard yet, let Neon Moon introduce you to, the "#hipdips".

The new bo-po trend has recently emerged within the community as Instagram influencers and users have brought the term to life with a heap of self-love (yay!). The hip dips (or violin hips as the beautiful body feature has been referred to before) are another name for the indentation on a woman's hips. As some have been led to believe, losing weight is the answer to getting rid of those hip dips. But that couldn't be further from the truth, as the hip dips are formed due to the structure of your body (such as your pelvis) in combination with your gluteus medius (muscle on the outer surface of the pelvis), and are not related to your weight (so you're still beautiful babe no matter how much your hips dip!).

Blogilates Hip Dips

Instagram / @blogilates #hipdips

Many people involved in talking about #hipdips on Instagram weren't aware that the trend was a "thing" until hip dips recently went viral. Influencers such as Liv of @livjadefit expressed how she had never realised hip dips were an "issue" even though she had noticed them on her body before now. Personal trainer Kelly-Marie of @kellybakewellpt has even had her clients asking about how they can banish their hip dips since the trend. Does this mean that a trend created to appreciate a part of a woman's body, which wasn't an issue for some before now, could potentially be damaging to the recovering and body positive communities? There has been a disliking towards the topic of hip dips, as there has of many of the other bo-po trends that have flooded our Instagram feeds in the past year.

2. "Before and After" photos.

The "Before and After" photos that even still today are posted by many influencers and Instagram users, receive mixed emotions. Many people found the photos to be inspiring and empowering. Others found them to be the opposite as you're comparing yourself against what you used to look like, which led on to bo-po and mental health advocate Lexie Manion @lexiemanion creating the campaign #boybottthebefore in retaliation to the trend. This encouraged many women on Instagram to repost their photos with the captions "I am so much more than a before photo". Other comparisons of photos which you could argue are damaging include those where influencers photograph themselves in certain poses and lighting, and then place that next to a natural image of themselves which was taken seconds apart. Does this highlight how you can look with the "right angle" when the focus of body positivity is to celebrate how you really look? (which is amazing, of course).

BoycottTheBefore

Instagram / @lovedatmydarkest

3. #DontHateTheShake

The trend that everybody adored was founded by bo-po babe and anorexia conqueror Megan Jayne Crabbe, a.k.a @bodyposipanda, which was a dance called #DontHateTheShake. Megan's dancing to Beyonce was infectious and made women feel so good that it went viral. There is now even an Instagram account dedicated to amazing women shaking their incredible bodies and owning it (@donthatetheshake). This particular body trend seemed to hit the nail on the head and get it right. Could this be because it didn't highlight one particular area of aspect of a women's body, but was more about celebrating a woman as a whole?

BodyPosiPanda DontHateTheShake

Instagram / @bodyposipanda #donthatetheshake

So what is different about hip dips, and the Before and After photos? Megan's #DontHateTheShake came after the New Year, a time where there is a "New Year, New Me" feel and society is ready to make a change, which is maybe why Megan's challenge made women feel so good because it had the opposite effect of already celebrating how amazing you already look.

You could argue that many bo-po trends, such as hip dips, can help those overcome their issues with their bodies. Trends can make those struggling realise that in fact their body is supposed to be this way, and they're beautiful the way they are by seeing those going through similar struggles. There is also the argument that body positivity has lost what the community originally stood for with these trends that draw the focus away from the real reason the community was started. Body positivity was born to say "eff you" to diet culture and kick beauty standards up the arse by women who were angry that society made them feel unworthy. But has the community now changed? Is body positivity now about what an individual can gain, rather than a community of plus size activists supporting each other? Influencers such as @chooselifewarrior have expressed their concerns of this. Do the recent bo-po trends resemble just that?

What's your take on bo-po trends? Do you find them to be empowering, or damaging? Let us know in the comments below.

We believe that the most important opinion of your body is your own. If the mainstream doesn’t think you’re fabulous, fuck em’.

Hayat - CEO & Founder, Neon Moon