'Being' over body

The time has come to progress from ‘body positivity’ to ‘body neutrality’ — from accepting our body flaws to defining them as per our own existence

Being over body

'Move over the body positive movement. We have a new term on the block called 'body neutrality'. The body positivity movement encourages you to love and feel good about your body, no matter what it looks like, and emphasizes the idea that everyone is beautiful. Body neutrality, on the other hand, simply proclaims that everyone 'is'. Body neutrality stresses a lack of attachment to how exactly your body looks at any one moment, and discourages spending time fretting about your physical self.

What is body image?

Body image is not only how we look at ourselves in the mirror, but also how we look at ourselves within our minds. In fact, the body image is about:

❋The way you see yourself (Perceptual)

❋ The way you feel about the way you look (Affective)

❋The thoughts and beliefs you feel about your body (Cognitive)

❋The things you do in relation to the way you look (Behavioural)

Why are we our own biggest critic?

Criticism comes easily to most of us. We all have an inherent negative bias that feeds off our insecurities. Most of us worry about how we look and are perceived in the public eye based on our physical attributes.

Body positivity was a movement that began harbouring on the fact that all bodies are beautiful and equal. The movement tried to challenge the conventional beauty standards that our society sticks to, for example, thin, fair, curvy, well-built, tall, or even a preference for certain races. This entire movement has helped in improving the body image, and enhancing self-confidence of millions out there.

Even though this is a great movement in itself, it often talks about self-love, accepting one's own flaws and even developing liking or accepting the flaws. This can be extremely perturbing for someone who may identify as transgender (not comfortable in the assigned gender at birth) or even those with physical disabilities. Telling yourself you must and should love your body can create a sense of pressure for some individuals even despite the usual amount of awareness.

Body neutrality is for everyone and can benefit everyone because it particularly resonates with people who find loving their body something of a challenge. Body neutrality encourages you to look beyond physical appearance. It speaks of breaking the habit of having an association of your body with your sense of self-worth or being. It empowers you to appreciate the basic abilities of your body, as it is a mere vessel for your being, and value it for what it does, instead of stressing upon flaws others have pointed out, or worrying about how other people see you.

When you respect your body and care for it by giving it the fuel, rest, and movement it needs, you'll probably notice improvements in how you feel and function.

Body neutrality is about being HAES: Healthy at every size without adhering to the labels. You can be healthy and not want to be a certain way or size. You are more than just your body. After all. Beauty isn't the only trait worthy of value.

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