One life, one body. That’s all you get. Well, “all” would imply it isn’t much but is that the case? In considering aspects of the body, even doctors cannot consider it all. Each corner of our body holds significance. All of it is on purpose and designed to contribute to the living, breathing, vessel that you are.
Defining Body Neutrality
Imagine a sense of body that is fleeting. How is anyone to be accepting of their own, or at the very least comfortable within their skin? This is the problem that the concept of body neutrality addresses. People of all genders, origins, shapes, and sizes suffer from unhealthy or poor body image. Body image is related to and can highly impact self-image, which is a way that we view ourselves relative to the world around us.
It’s not merely whether we feel we look good in a certain pair of jeans or not, or it’s not feeling confident in a photo. Body image can be deeply rooted within us, and a product of our past environments.
Body neutrality first appeared online during a wellness retreat in 2015. It has since been understood as the resilience to establish and maintain a healthy body image using sheer tenacity toward self-love, despite any outside factors.
However, it is not rooted in a false sense that you love your body every second of every day. This is the stuff that revolutions are made of, and if you haven’t experienced difficulty in this arena yourself, spoiler alert: It is so important, and you should care.
Body Neutrality Versus Body Positivity
We’re lucky to witness a time in history where there are distinctions between movements to help people love their bodies. Within this realm is the body positivity movement, which is remaining positive about one’s body despite all costs. A movement that was once brand new and revolutionary has been upstaged by a more attainable idea: body neutrality.
The difference between body neutrality and positivity is that neutrality provides the space to be quite neutral. Rather than a constant celebration of the body, even on days where you feel at your worst, it’s the idea that it is okay to have days where you are not feeling it.
For some, this feels like a more doable approach to becoming okay and happy with the body they have. It’s not about dismissing the inevitable negative thoughts we have about our bodies, but instead the endeavor of facing them head-on.