You do NOT have to love every part of your body – the movement from body positivity to body neutrality
Overall happiness with yourself and your body– how does that sound? Pretty awesome, right? We are all part of a culture that talks about the importance of loving our bodies while at the same time shaming us for our imperfections, but it is our imperfections that make us all unique.
The larger question is: Is it even possible to love our bodies in the age of social media where we are bombarded 24/7 with mixed messages about body image? We know curvy or plus size gals are often targets of mean-spirited cyberbullies (projecting their own insecurities onto others), causing, or contributing to harmful self-loathing and negative perceptions of our bodies.
On the other end of the spectrum, the rise of the body positivity movement has made significant changes in challenging previously well-accepted beauty and body standards. However, as the movement progresses, it shifts and changes its shape. Now, it has evolved into a new perspective called body neutrality.
Why should every woman not feel pressured to love her body unconditionally?
It is okay NOT to love certain parts of your body. While body positivity encourages individuals to fully embrace and love their bodies, body neutrality shifts the perception from full love to full acceptance. To prevent confusion, the concept of it is far from body negativity. In fact, it is the nuanced approach where one fosters a gentle and real approach to self-acceptance, self-love, and respect for the self and the complete body image – as it is.
No woman should feel pressured to be body positive all the time. Experts on the topic explain why body positivity is unhealthy sometimes. Read below an excerpt from one of them – Dr. Albers:
“Telling people to love their bodies when they truly don’t can teach people to further suppress their feelings. Suppressing emotions is linked with higher levels of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and sometimes, in the extreme, suicide.”
Why should you focus more on body neutrality or a combination of body positivity and neutrality?
It is okay to focus on accepting yourself and embracing your individuality – flaws and all. Such an approach is the best of both worlds. Yes, the body positivity movement revolutionized the way everyone thinks about themselves, but there is no need to feel additionally pressured to always love all of you. Body neutrality shifts the focus from appearance-based love to complete self-worth based on accomplishments, intrinsic qualities, and individuality. Remember: your imperfections and the size of your body do not define who you are!
Understand what the final goal is!
It is okay not to love every part of your body all the time. Practicing body neutrality instead of unconditional body positivity may be a healthier and more practical approach to dealing with body image insecurities. Embrace the individual journey and mark every little milestone along the way. Emphasize everything you like and do not like about yourself while embracing every part of it.
The middle ground beyond the field of the external – that is what you will find as you shift your body image focus. Realize that it is all part of promoting a balanced perspective. Be capable of appreciating your body for its resilience, functionality, and the experience it provides you. That is the key to ultimate body neutrality.
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