Have you ever heard of Body Neutrality? As the term itself explains, it is about developing neutral feelings towards your own body. It is a further step to self-acceptance.
In the last few years, different types of bodies have been “normalized”, including various “imperfections” such as abdominal folds and stretch marks; more and more plus-size models have appeared in advertising. Also, influencers have started to show themselves honestly as they are, not retouched. So what is behind all this?
It started with Body Positivity
These changes have started thanks to the Body Positivity movement. The Body Positivity Movement (BOP) is about overcoming unrealistic and discriminatory beauty ideals. In other words, it is about the constant urge to improve oneself to conform to a shared beauty standard. The BOP was formed in the USA in 1969 out of the Fat Acceptance Movement, the oldest social movement dedicated to the rights of overweight people.
Meanwhile, the BOP has become a global phenomenon thanks to social media. On Instagram alone, there are around 11 million posts using the hashtag #bodypositivity. In its origins, the movement’s demands go far beyond self-acceptance and body image issues. Social justice, diversity, and intersectional anti-discrimination play a major role.
If you think that until a few years ago, there was only room for flawless bodies in the media and advertising, Body Positivity has already changed a lot for the better. You can see models with stretch marks, cellulite, pigmentation, and similar “flaws” in advertising, who are no longer always glossed over, and more and more people are standing up for their actual appearance in the world of social media.
However, Body Positivity has been increasingly criticized for trying to force ‘positivity.’ Similar to Toxic Positivity, Body Positivity tries to force feelings that are not there. Moreover, Body Positivity focuses too much on appearance and superficial beauty, although these are not the only characteristics of a beautiful person.
From Body Positivity to Body Neutrality
How often do your moods and actions change depending on how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with the way you look? Body Neutrality encourages us to move away from obsessing over our body image and to stop allowing our appearance to dictate our self-worth. Instead, It is about respecting our bodies without making positive or negative judgments.
For example, appreciating our bodies for keeping us alive every day is healthier and more meaningful than criticizing ourselves for every stretch mark or weight. Remember that your body is your friend and an integral part of you.
6 steps how to shift the focus
Of course, human beings have a sense of beauty. However, Body Neutrality advises you to stop seeing your body as a beauty object. It’s great if you really like your figure as it is, but we all have these days when we don’t like our arms or legs enough, and it’s hard to love ourselves by all means. There is nothing wrong with Body Positivity; it’s just self-deceiving in those moments. Body Neutrality can be a much more helpful approach, as it allows you not to like your body and still find it to be ok. If you don’t know where to start in developing a healthy attitude toward yourself, following these simple rules can serve as a helpful guide:
- Try to have a neutral self-dialogue by avoiding judgmental terms about your appearance and incorporate this neutrality into your observations (for example, when you look at yourself in the mirror). Instead of wondering if the pants don’t flatter your figure, you could ask yourself if you feel comfortable wearing them. If you don’t, just choose another pair of pants.
- Avoid topics focusing on appearance, figure, weight, or calories in conversations with family or friends.
- Regarding social media, ask yourself which profiles benefit your mood and self-image. For example, do you follow people (influencers) who focus exclusively on (retouched) looks and fake smiles? Maybe you should just take a break from them and only consume media that does not constantly focus on supposed body ideals, thus reinforcing the struggle with your appearance.
- Choose what you eat based on how you feel and what you want to eat rather than on what you are supposed to eat to optimize your weight.
- Choose activities you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a sweaty sport. It could be walking the dog, dancing, or walking. So don’t judge your activities by how many calories they burn, but by how good they make you feel. Days when you don’t feel emotionally or physically up to the physical activity are fine. Just take a break instead of forcing yourself.
- To give yourself some valuable “me time,” start setting aside some time each day for some self-care. Adding skin care activities to your routine will help you look and feel refreshed daily – pick the right products that can help you achieve that.
It’s on this last point that FitLine can definitely assist you because we’ve developed the perfect solution to freshen up your skin for spring. Following the three fundamental skincare steps of washing, nourishing, and moisturizing will provide results. To remove makeup, sweat, oil, and dead skin cells from your face and leave it feeling revitalized and fresh, consider combining FitLine Cleansing Lotion with FitLine Tonic. Try FitLine Skin Activize Serum as the following step to rejuvenate your skin and stop premature aging, and FitLine Skin 4ever as the finishing step to moisturize your skin and leave it looking smooth and radiant.
It takes commitment and hard work to change how we think about ourselves, but it all starts with small steps. Taking care of yourself is one approach to moving forward with integrating Body Neutrality in your life.