You’ve probably heard of body positivity – but what about body neutrality? The body neutrality movement turns much of what you’ve probably heard about body positivity on its head – in the best way possible.
It reminds us we’re so much more than our outward appearance, and that self-love doesn’t need to be conditional on our bodies.
Let’s explore exactly what body neutrality is plus some must-follow accounts of those leading the conversation around the body neutrality movement.
What Is Body Neutrality and How Is It Different From Body Positivity?
The phrase “body positivity” has become so commonplace you probably can’t so much as scroll your Instagram feed without coming across it. And at face value, that’s a beautiful thing!
An increase in acceptance and love for our bodies’ unique shapes and sizes is a move in the right direction. So why the need for this body neutrality movement? Well, a few reasons . . .
The body positivity movement originated to promote acceptance for our bodies. Specifically, it was started by and for historically marginalized bodies who didn’t look like what society centered as the “ideal” body type.
Unfortunately, as body positivity became “cool,” and highly marketable, the fitness and diet industries co-opted the movement and once again centered white, thin bodies as emblems of “body positivity” – missing the original point of the movement altogether.
Additionally, the body neutrality movement takes a more realistic approach, recognizing that we’re not always going to feel good about our bodies – and that’s okay!
In fact, we can exist without the constant focus on “fixing” or accepting our bodies. (This in itself can seem pretty radical for those of us who have been hyper-focused on our body’s appearance ever since we can remember.)
Here Are 5 Amazing Body Neutrality Accounts to Follow:
Intrigued? Ready to dip a toe into the body neutrality movement? Wondering where has this concept been all my life!?
To explore the body neutrality movement further, there’s no better way than to learn directly from some of its thought leaders. Here are just five (of many, many more) incredible body neutrality creators and authors to shake up your Instagram feed in the best possible way.
A leading voice in “simple body confidence,” @Tiffanyima’s content gives us permission that we don’t have to always love or apologize for our bodies. She’s vocal about eating disorder recovery, ditching body shame, and boldly dismantling common diet culture myths.
Creator and CEO of the Become Project, @Bethanycmeyers is a body neutrality advocate and works to give the fitness industry a much needed shake-up.
You’ll find body-inclusive fitness tips for all levels and abilities on both her page, plus candid talk on body neutrality and her own eating disorder recovery.
With an unapologetic directness, @Zabrinamotwani calls BS on common diet culture rules, and challenges lingo like calling exercise “fat blasting” or “calorie torching.”
Zabs is an outspoken advocate for healthy at every size (HAES) – the movement reminding us that despite what society and media would have us believe, weight is not the be all and end all for health.
She’s a must follow for the reminder that size doesn’t determine our worth, and that thinness doesn’t equal health.
Lindsay and Lexie of @Beauty_redefined are twins, both have their PHDs, and are also the co-authors of the book More Than a Body, the main message of which is exactly what you’d think – that we have to start viewing ourselves as more than just how we look on the outside.
With their impactful quotes and tweets, they remind us just how much time is wasted by focusing on our appearance as the determinate of our self-worth.
Ayla (the genius behind @Eatingsensibly) has a smaller following, but don’t sleep on this incredible body neutrality account that shares thought-provoking quotes and highly entertaining reels in equal measure.
Each will make you seriously rethink everything that the diet industry has taught you about weight, size, healthy eating, stretch marks, thigh gaps, you name it. She’s also published her own book on body neutrality called Body Neutrality: The Liberating Practice of Accepting Your Body Exactly as It Is.
How Different Might Life Be If We Weren’t so Focused on How We Look?
There’s no denying our society has taught us to obsess over our appearance in all ways – whether it’s telling us we need to be photoshopped to be smaller, that our booty should be more lifted, or that stretch marks and curves are what makes a “real woman.”
Frankly, it can be a relief to duck out of the obsessively body-centric conversation altogether.
Just think – how much more brain power and energy could we devote to other worthy causes? How much more could we just plain relax and find inner peace, if our appearance wasn’t constantly taking up center stage?
If you know it’s time to give yourself a little time off from body talk, getting neutral might just be the most positive thing you ever do.