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Understanding Body Neutrality vs Body Positivity in 3 Easy Steps

body neutrality vs body positivity

Why Most women in our society are conditioned to feel ashamed about their bodies…

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Let's Talk Body Neutrality vs Body Positivity

1) The differences of having a body neutrality vs body positivity outlook 

2) What it means to be body neutral 

3) Practical ways to improve your self image. 

It is time to call out our society's double standards, and start treating women as human beings.

Society perpetuates unrealistic beauty standards, which can cause self-doubt and low self-esteem in women. We need to change the way we think about our bodies, there is no need to feel ashamed if your body is different, whether that's size – color – ability. Let's talk about what this means – and how to combat it!

You're not alone in this!

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Society often puts unrealistically high standards on women's bodies, and women tend to set unrealistic goals for themselves.Society places too much emphasis on a person's physical appearance and judging someone based on their body type is one of the worst things that can be done to someone. But it happens daily even in this modern age. 

Because of these traditional gender roles and expectations, women are constantly under pressure to be thin. This can lead them to feel like they have failed when their bodies do not conform to what society deems beautiful or perfect—this can make them very insecure about themselves and less confident and insecure.

One size fits all is bullshit! 

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Reminder

When you buy a one-size-fits all cover up or shirt, it's not going to look the same on you as it does someone else. And when something doesn't feel good—it rarely gets worn. So why do we apply a one size fits all to beauty and health standards!?

The Weight Loss Machine 

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The weight-loss market is a $61 billion industry, and losing weight tops the list of New Year's resolutions every year. Have you had that resolution on your list ? I know I have. 

Obese people are frequently blamed for their condition, have been the victims of cruel jokes and violent threats, and suffer from workplace discrimination.

The media perpetuates the belief that being overweight is bad by showing characters as unattractive, unsuccessful or lacking self-discipline when they are overweight. – This is just not true! 

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WTF is going on…

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Focusing exclusively on losing weight can create a negative cycle of low self-esteem and mental health issues, preventing women from focusing on other underlying issues. 

Research has shown that weight discrimination is awful for a woman's mental health. One study found that overweight women were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, while another determined they also had lower levels of self-esteem and body satisfaction

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A study found that obese women are less likely to receive preventive care, such as cancer and heart disease screenings.

Thought provoking question – Why do you think this is? 

All of these factors can contribute to a feeling of worthlessness and isolation.

Body Neutrality vs Body Positivity

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Body neutrality embraces the following beliefs:

It is okay to acknowledge that your body isn’t perfect, but

Our external appearance should not be the primary factor determining how valuable others deem us to be. Feeling good about the way we look, as well as feeling bad about it, is a choice. We are always worthy of love and acceptance no matter what our appearance may be—we get to decide that for ourselves.

Our bodies deserve to be treated with respect – by ourselves and by others – no matter how they look.

Some people practice body positivity, which means accepting and valuing one's own body regardless of its shape, size or abilities. The central concept is the idea that beauty is socially constructed and should not be used to judge or limit a person's worth. The Body positivity – movement challenges unrealistic body ideals.

Body positivity has been criticized as excluding people of color, transgender or nonbinary individuals. It is also argued that it’s a movement about white thin beauty standards. Some people feel that body positivity causes a stigma of living up to an unrealistic standard. This can also push people into trying to feel something they don’t, rather than accepting themselves as is.

The body-neutral approach is one that values all bodies equally, whether you think yours is beautiful or not. It centers on the idea that your value and happiness are more than skin deep—you’re so much more than what you look like! The body-positive approach says  I am beautiful no matter what: period. 

Body-neutralism, focuses on appreciation of what the body can do rather than how it looks.

Body neutrality doesn’t mean that you never feel good about your body. It also isn’t centered on appearance; it embraces a middle-of-the road approach by accepting both the positives and negatives associated with our physical form at any given moment.

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Body neutrality recognizes that even though your body is important, it isn’t the only thing that defines who you are as a person.

Your body type is largely influenced by your genetics and it’s impossible to change so why fight that aspect of yourself. 

When you don’t accept your body, it can cause negative emotions and mental health issues like eating disorders. 

Which road should I take ? Like we said it's not a one size fits all! 

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For people who find inspiration in positive thoughts and affirmations, body positivity might be a good way to rewire negative thinking. Body positivity can help dissolve the ideas we picked up from society or childhood—.

A benefit of body positivity is that it challenges diet culture: the harmful idea that we should only love our bodies if they conform to an impossible standard.

If you find that positive affirmations feel like a demand for positivity or happiness, body neutrality may be more realistic and authentic.

It can be hard to feel positive about your body if you don’t really feel that way. Telling yourself ‘I love my body!’ might seem fake and not in line with how you actually think or feel. But instead of vowing to hate your thighs forever, try the opposite approach: tell yourself “I accept them.”

This takes away any implication of whether something is good or bad. It can make it more attainable. And that might be where you're at right now. 

Body neutrality, by helping you to approach your body with less judgment and more acceptance, can also be a valuable first step toward working through any negative feelings about yourself.

Body neutrality allows you to dig deep and ask yourself how you came to adopt unrealistic beauty standards. It breaks from the nagging inner voice by giving it no attention at all. Tell that bitch to SHUT- UP! 

However, body neutrality can prevent you from seeing the beauty in yourself and your body. And while the “good vibe only” approach of a lot of mainstream acceptance could be good for beginners making their way out of diet culture, it might not always address deeper issues we have with our bodies.

Encouraging people to love their bodies when they are uncomfortable in theirs can make them feel worse. When we push down our emotions, it makes us more likely to develop anxiety or depressive disorders and sometimes even suicidal tendencies.

It's okay to embrace a little bit of body positivity and a little bit of body neutrality at the same time—you can apply them where it makes sense.

Placing body-positive affirmation statements in places where you will see them often is one way to ensure these messages become a part of your everyday consciousness. This is a good thing at times. 

These statements could include:

I feel confident. I am sexy. I love my ass! 

I am excited about my appearance today.

My body makes me happy.

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Take up arms against social media to take back control 

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To be more body positive online, you might consider taking selfies that highlight your favorite activities rather than only posting flattering pictures at your best angle. This will help other people see it's okay to like themselves no matter how they look.

Mindfulness can help us achieve body neutrality.

Mindfulness trains your mind to focus on the here and now. It helps you experience life without judgment—so instead of recalling what your body used to look like, or comparing it with other people's bodies, using this strategy will help you feel comfortable in your own skin.

Here are some examples of body-neutral statements we can use:

  • I accept my body as it is: I appreciate its strengths and weaknesses.
    What can I do today to honor my body?
  • My body is strong and deserves respect.
    I am thankful for my body because it allows me to do many things. All bodies are different, and that’s totally fine!

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The tools for building self-esteem around your body (and in general)

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No matter what your weight, race, ability or sexuality, you are wonderful and amazing just as you are. Building up your self-esteem can be challenging—but these tips will help:

  1. Focus on the things that make you happy, and let go of what doesn't.
  2. Do not compare yourself to others and their accomplishments, bodies or abilities. Your path is your own, so be proud of who you are!
  3. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself and avoid those whose energy is draining.
  4. Treat yourself with the same respect you'd show a good friend, and talk to yourself supportively when you fail or make mistakes.
  5. Make sure that you take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Perhaps it means going for a walk, getting enough rest—whatever works for you. Spending time with friends/family or taking breaks to relax are all effective ways to boost your emotional wellbeing. This can be considered a form of self-care, self- acceptance and self-love and more. 

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We hope you learned more about Body Neutrality vs Body Positivity!

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