Posted by Natalee Wheeler on March 25, 2020
We’ve spent a lot of time focused on body positivity, but what if you just can’t figure out how to be positive about the way that you look? Sometimes we just can’t be body positive, no matter how hard we try. And that’s okay! Body positivity is a great way to love your body and love yourself. However, sometimes it isn’t realistic to be totally confident and positive about your body 100% of the time. Enter body neutrality.
So, what is body neutrality exactly? Body neutrality is about “being” without passing judgment or harboring strong emotions about how we look. Body neutrality is about appreciating the things your body can do for you and move you through the world in a joyful way. Body neutrality is about practicing mindfulness and opening the door for body acceptance.
Here are some other components of body neutrality:
- Importance of feeling healthy, as opposed to attachment on outward appearance
- Encourage curiosity and exploration of what makes your body feel good
- Maybe it’s a dance class, a run with your dog, or getting a massage.
- There are so many ways to nourish our bodies, including the food we eat, but also the daily rituals we engage in.
In the end, body neutrality is a movement that encourages and inspires body respect. It isn’t realistic that someone can be positive about their body every single day, but there is always room to appreciate our bodies for what they do. Through body neutrality, we can create an environment for people to think of their body and appearance not as things that define their worth, but aspects of who they are that can bring joy, curiosity, and nourishment. Happiness and success don’t depend on whether someone feels attractive or not.
Create a list of things or people in your life that bring you happiness and make you feel good about yourself. When you are finding it hard to practice body acceptance, use this list to reflect on other things in your life that can bring you positive feelings and boost your mood.
Option: Here is a template for a gratitude list that you can use to keep track of the positive people and things in your life!
Sometimes friends might not understand how you feel about yourself. If you find yourself struggling with body acceptance and express this to your friends, explain that it might be okay for you to feel this way. Don’t let someone pressure you or invalidate your feelings when you are struggling. It is okay to feel every range of emotion and work through these feelings, especially if you can share it with a close friend.