Do you love your body? Are you happy with what you see when you look in the mirror? Or do you like what you see? most women91% are unhappy about their bodies. ResearchResearch shows that body dissatisfaction can be a risk factor for the development and maintenance eating disorders. However, it is possible to feel unrealistically positive about your body and not achieve this goal. This can increase the stress for someone already feeling devalued, anxious and negative.
How can we make our bodies more comfortable and help our clients accept their bodies? Let’s examine three areas of body acceptance—body positivity (or body-positive), body neutrality and body liberation—to uncover ways to cultivate a healthier relationship with our bodies.
Body Positivity & Body-Positive
A positive attitude towards your body is important. social movementWhile challenging the present, this focus was on acceptance of all body types, regardless of their size, shape, skin color, gender, and abilities. beauty standardsAs an inevitable social construct. This movement is more about how the body works than how it looks. This social movement was born out of the 1960s fat acceptance movement and was developed by and for marginalized people. It promotes unconditional body love regardless of your appearance. However, it has become more popular in recent years. termIt has been co-opted and commercialized, often leaving out the people it was intended for.
Remember that having a positive image of your body is not the same thing as being happy with it. A positive body image, body confidence or body love is simply how you feel about yourself. External influences, such as social media, can influence how we feel about ourselves and our bodies. These external influences can have a positive or negative impact on us regardless of how we view others.
Although it may sound ideal to be positive about your body, if you fake it or force it, it can seem disingenuous. A body neutrality is an alternative if being positive is not possible.
What if you can’t love your body every single day? Your body doesn’t have to be loved or hated. Taking a body neutral approach prioritizes the body’s functions and achievements rather than its appearance, viewing the body through a neutral lens. There is no need to judge, but there is also no need to be forced positivity. Loving your body isn’t a prerequisite for loving yourself. Accept that body love may not be possible and realistic. Many people find this approach more natural.
Body liberation means that we are more than our bodies. It promotes inclusion, body autonomy and fat acceptance. It’s the freedom from systems of oppression, including weight stigma and size discrimination. This creates a safe space for all of our bodies to exist. A person’s self-worth is separate from their body and not determined by their appearance. This helps all bodies live without discrimination and judgment.
All bodies are worthy and deserve respect. Body liberation allows for the removal of social and political oppression that treats certain bodies as more worthy, more healthy, and more desirable than others.
These are the three areas of body acceptance:
- Body positive: “I love my body.”
- Body neutral: “I do not love or hate my body.”
- Body liberation: “I am more than my body.”
Challenging beauty ideals, learning to accept your body shape and focusing on improving fitness and quality of life instead of changing one’s weight, shape, size and appearance are crucial steps toward attaining a healthy body and body image. The power is within our hands to alter how we view, feel, and perceive our bodies. These are some mantras that can help you shift towards body acceptance.
- I am worthy to be treated with respect and kindness
- My appearance (weight, size and shape) does not determine my worth.
- I am slowly learning to accept who I am.
- I will value my body for all it does.
- I won’t criticize my body.
- I will not compare my body to other people.
- I will not bully or abuse my body.
- I will not let others criticize, bully or critique my body.