Body Positivity or Body Neutrality?

Body Neutrality and Positivity

Over a period of time, we’ve all seen influencers and activists talk about body positivity with the assertion that all people deserve to have a positive body image, regardless of how society and popular culture view ideal shape, size, and appearance. Are you unable to resonate with them? Or maybe, loving your body as it is right now is really challenging and you wish to do it your way? Don’t worry, body neutrality will help you.

Difference between Body Positivity and Body Neutrality:
Body Positivity, in simple words, means enjoying the body you have and not beating yourself up over changes that happen naturally due to aging, pregnancy, or lifestyle choices. This is to mainly influence mental health and well being of an individual.

Whereas, Body Neutrality refers to feeling neutral in your body and knowing that your body, appearance, and weight do not define your worth or how you feel about yourself. It may come as a task to love your body all the time, over that, accepting it the way it is. However, you need to know that no matter what body shape and type you are, you are to be respective and appreciative towards yourself. Body Neutrality still isn’t about focusing on your body, your weight, or what you look like – which is what body positivity promotes.

body positivity and neutrality
“The most powerful thing anyone can say to us is what we say to ourselves.” — Christine D’Ercole

Has Body Positivity lost its roots?
Many people create content to fight against the “blatant discrimination” that “fat bodies, bodies of color, disabled bodies, trans bodies, and other bodies” face in society. But, outside this mainstream media, body positivity focuses on appearance. With body positivity, it seems like we can either carry on feeling negative about our bodies, or use body positivity to develop self-love. But is that the only way to love yourself which is by accepting how you look? Think about it!

Three Reasons why you might prefer body-neutrality:

  • You don’t have to focus on your appearance always!
    Who sets the beauty standards anyway? Rather than focusing on the appearance, we should focus on what our body can do. Body neutrality focuses your attention away from your appearance. One needs to remove some pressure from appearance and focus on other personal attributes.
  • Less pressure
    Do you too, feel anxious when asked to wear a bikini, over that, feel confident in it? Do you end up feeling guilty for not loving your body enough? Body neutrality is for you. There’s no pressure to be always positive about your body. Popular culture tells people that they are flawed—but then demands that they have a positive attitude about it. Eliminate that pressure, and just..live.
  • Your body can do amazing things!
    When you eat an extra donut or add that extra splash of heavy cream to your coffee in the morning, you satisfy your body by eating intuitively and practicing body neutrality. It helps you recognize the abilities and non-physical characteristics of your body.
Body Neutrality and Positivity
“Taking a neutral perspective toward your body means moving away from the idea that you have to cultivate love for your body or make an effort to love it every day.” – healthline.com

How about accepting both positivity and neutrality?
Both neutrality and positivity can be practiced simultaneously. You may not be able to say “I love my body” but you could try to find a middle ground. Body neutrality is not the opposite of body positivity. It’s simply a different way of accepting your body.

Some days, body neutrality is a welcome relief from self-consciousness. Other days, seeing a body positive Instagram post may lift your confidence.

Accept your body, your way!
Do you want to stop feeling excluded by the “beauty standards”? Not sure how to accept your body? Well, do it your way! Optimize your anxiety and your environment. Just be kind and respectful to your body. It’s why you exist and all it needs is respect.