Body Positive Cornell Initiative Hopes to Push Back Against Societal Stereotypes About Weight and Health
“I’m not accepting what I can’t change, I’m changing what I can’t accept,” activist and entrepreneur Sonya Renee Taylor said Sept. 20, at a Body Positive Cornell event, a University initiative striving to help Cornellians lead a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t focus on weight. “Our society tells us that we should be able to lose weight and keep it off, and always promises this or that diet as the solution,” Jennie Bernstein, Body Positive outreach coordinator at Cornell Health, told The Sun. The resulting detrimental effects including stigmatization of heavier weights and harmful behavior like “weight cycling,” the practice of losing and gaining weight repeatedly. Instead, Bernstein believes that taking the emphasis off weight and instead focusing on “improving health and lifestyle behaviors” is a better attitude towards our bodies and life in general, as weight doesn’t have a direct connection to health conditions.