Body neutrality is the new trend that defends a healthy way of relating to one's body.
Last update: July 08, 2022
Body neutrality is a relatively recent movement that has emerged as an alternative to body positivity. The latter defends that all bodies are beautiful and that we should love them as they are. On the contrary, body neutrality does not seek to celebrate the body, but to accept it as it is, without forcing us to love it.
The culture of body positivity has received several criticisms, as it is normal to be dissatisfied with one's physical appearance from time to time, and this is not a bad thing. But by constantly repeating ourselves that we should love our body, we are likely to feel discomfort sooner or later until, one day, we don't even want to contemplate it.
Some specialists have even pointed out that body positivity can be detrimental to mental health. As a result of the above, body neutrality has gained more and more strength.
Unlike the first one, this movement does not claim to love the body at all times, but rather to accept it and abandon the expectations and anxiety that can derive from a partial appreciation of it.
La body neutrality, therefore, eliminates the pressure generated by the constant attempt to love the body, resulting in frustration if expectations are not met.
What is body neutrality?
The term "body neutrality" was coined around 2015 in response to body positivity, when bloggers, celebrities and some specialists began to dissociate self-esteem from physical appearance.
In this sense, body neutrality invites to accept the body without feeling obliged to cultivate love towards it at all times. Instead of focusing on physical appearance (claiming that all bodies are beautiful), it promotes functional recognition of the body.
In other words, beyond the physical aspect, the body is capable of great actions such as running, hugging our loved ones, giving birth to a child, taking us to many places in the world, giving us pleasure, among others.
Body neutrality and mental health
The purpose of body neutrality is to establish a healthy relationship with yourself. Various specialists have expressed the mental health benefits offered by such an approach. We present them to follow.
Judge yourself less
To the extent that we acquire a less critical mindset about physical appearance, we will stop judging ourselves and others.
Body neutrality prevents us from being too hasty in judging others and allows us to develop empathy. Likewise, it helps to adopt a friendlier attitude rather than a competitive mindset.
When we decide to accept our body for what it is and for what it is capable of doing, appearance-related stress levels will decrease significantly. This will help us feel more relaxed.
If we constantly think that our body (or our relationship with it) is not living up to expectations, we are likely to feel frustrated and moody.
By accepting it, without the pressure of having to love it, we will enjoy a better mood, more often than we imagine.
How to practice body neutrality
1. Talk to yourself
Being neutral towards your body doesn't happen overnight, much less does it seem natural at first. A good way to start is to talk to yourself about your body. Some ways to do this are as follows:
- Recognize the strengths of your body, with phrases like "my arms are strong", "my legs can pedal for a long time" or "my brain thinks very fast".
- Accept the "defects" of the body and try to overcome the emotional burden that follows. For example, "my knees don't bend easily" or "my body doesn't fit comfortably in restaurant chairs". This will avoid hiding or shaming these aspects.
2. Avoid talking about the body of others
Comments on the physical appearance of others are very common. Although it is not intended to offend, a Sometimes it is possible to hurt another person by emphasizing certain aspects of their body, such as thinness or height.
To cultivate body neutrality, It pays to avoid conversations about physicality and divert the conversation when such topics arise.
3. Body neutrality: adapt your diet to your well-being
The notion of intuitive nutrition goes perfectly with body neutrality. This is based on the assumption that the body knows the right amount and the right food for itself.
In this sense, body neutrality does not provide for a specific diet. Yup can choose a meal plan that makes them feel good.
4. Indulge in the sport you enjoy
All bodies benefit from physical activity. However, the fitness industry has focused on weight loss, physique shaping and fat burning.
Accepting body size and shape will prevent us from engaging in sports we don't like, but which we perform anyway to burn fat and calories. On the contrary, body neutrality invites you to choose the activities of your liking and to stop when you are tired or in pain.
It is not possible to do just the body neutrality approach from one day to the next. Like any process, it can be long and slow. However, the benefits are numerous and rewarding.