Body positivity and body neutrality are two movements that categorize how you view your own body.
Have you ever felt insecure about your body after a day at school, work, or scrolling through your social media?
This is very normal! Millions of people struggle with their body image.
This is one reason the body acceptance movement has taken the world by storm. People are learning to accept their body and even love their body the way it is now.
Body acceptance may seem self-explanatory; however, it is broken down into two major ways of thinking. These two categories consist of body positivity and body neutrality.
In this article, we are going to look at the major differences between these two ways of thinking. I will also explain my own thoughts on the two terms as a Registered Dietitian.
So let’s get into it.
Body positivity is a social movement that focuses on the acceptance of all bodies.
This idea celebrates all bodies regardless of size, shape, skin tone, and strength.
The movement celebrates self-love while focusing on:
+Loving your body and all its “flaws”
+Confidence in yourself
+Encouraging the acceptance of all bodies
+Fighting unrealistic body standards
This movement has had a major impact on the way society and the media view body image.
We can partially thank this movement for the change in the way businesses and the media advertise their services.
Models for clothing outlets, sports equipment, and even nutrition have adapted a more diverse population that better represents our society. Which is amazing!
However, it’s unlikely to jump straight from hating your body to loving it, but you’ve still got to respect it and take care of it. Here’s how you can do that with body neutrality.
Body neutrality is very similar to body positivity but has a few key differences. Body neutrality means that you do not have a positive or negative way of thinking about your body.
This way of thinking encourages people to think about their body in terms of nonphysical characteristics and accepts their body as is.
Body respect is considered an individual relationship with a person and their body that separates their worth as a person from the appearance of their body. It also does not encourage having an opinion on another person’s body.
The main focus of body neutrality is the idea that YOU are more interesting than the story your appearance tells.
Some of the benefits of body neutrality include
+Acceptance of your body where it is now
+Appreciation for what your body does instead of how it looks
+Discourages conversations about your body
+Encourages you to think about how you feel
Body positivity and body neutrality are both wonderful movements and are definitely better than the diet culture that has surrounded us for quite some time.
With that being said, body positivity may not be realistic for everyone.
Body neutrality focuses on not adding value to yourself or taking it away based on how you look.
This can be a great practice for anyone and encourages separation from the idea that we have to label our bodies as positive or negative. Our bodies can simply just exist as is.
To recap, loving your body is always a great thing; however, if you do not love where you are at right now, that is okay!
Our bodies do so much more than just physical traits. Our bodies are responsible for allowing us to breathe, walk, talk, sleep, and live.
If body positivity seems out of reach for you, body neutrality may be a great way to accept where you are right now.
If you are looking for additional support with how to navigate your body image, please reach out to me through my contact page, and let’s chat!