Body Neutrality | I Don’t Have to Love my Body to Accept it.

Body Positivity is a current trend pushing women to explore and love their physical bodies. A few years ago, Lady Gaga encouraged a “body revolution” encouraging people to fiercely accept their bodies, flaws and all. A body revolution morphed into body positivity sounds like a hell of a campaign, and as the product I am – I signed up and went hardcore.

No chips, no fried foods, more veggies, weights, cardio, to celebrating non-scale victories, and I even went vegan all to jumpstart this body-licious engine. I began to see my body as a machine and I worked hard. My favorite victories thus far, include: not wearing summer cardigans to hide my arms and publically wearing my first bikini in 2015.

I was on top of the world. It was “cool to be confident” in with your weight… cool to be fat, curvy, plus-size and we could show off. And, as third-placed Gryffindor, I like to show-off. I was quaffing down the #loveyourbody rhetoric without a care in the world and I really enjoyed not having to “think thin” when posting for the Gram.

But as I pranced down the street and glanced briefly at my reflection, I’d moan over my weight-induced breasts, my food belly and sigh. When I would confidently walk into a local boutique or trendy chain brand and still struggle to find clothes that would compliment my non-proportionate body, I would groan.

I didn’t like what I saw and that prickly nudge of love and appreciate your body was irritating the F out of me because there were moments where I didn’t love my body and I felt guilty.

And now that a couple years have passed, that feeling is still there. I don’t love my body in that special way that I see others do. I actively try to not think of my body. I don’t love my body but I fully embrace it.  I am keenly aware that my having dimples in my booty, thunder thighs, and lacking a concrete jawline doesn’t make me less of a person. It doesn’t make me want to hide or impatiently wait for autumn to slide into sweater dresses and leggings to hide my deeper curves. I still “like” to work out and I might be overly invested with my looks… Kanye shrug.  BTW can we put a moratorium on inserting comforting/compliments like “you’re beautiful” when stating facts, like “I’m fat?!” (s/o to my girl Nai for that trinket!)

Let me be clear

I’m no longer ashamed that my body has failed me and that I’ve failed my body. I accept it. However, that doesn’t mean I have to love it.

I know, it sounds like I’m running from the basic tenets of self-care, which is often linked with self-love. But, guess what, this IS my self-care. I’m pulling away from what I consider an asinine mentality that I should be coerced into a specific feeling of awe, amazement, and pure happiness to love this body in that special way.

Coerced may be a strong word, but dammit that’s just how I feel. I’m tired of hearing that I should love myself or that I have body dysmorphia because I’m not excited to be a curvy but not fully plus-size woman and that I shouldn’t be focused on losing weight, but feeling healthy and happy (and that brussel sprouts are heaven – news alert their bleh!).

Stop telling me how to feel!

This is me saying it out-loud, fuck body positivity. I’m tired of constantly thinking about my body, debating if an outfit is flattering (I LITERALLY LOATHE THE PHRASE, “Flattering to your body type”), or just trying to perk myself up and stalk through the streets with a sweltering confidence that I don’t actually feel.

Let me repeat, I have accepted my current body. I recognize that certain habits like preferring Cheeto Puffs to broccoli didn’t help the situation ( I meannn thoooo!!) Also learning from my OBGYN that my being on birth control for the past 6 years has knocked my hormones out of balance and my body refuses to let go of the weight. I understand these things, I can rationalize these things, I accept these things, and I want to change these things (hello, Serenity Prayer).

So where do we go from here? Let me introduce you to — Body Neutrality, which is the hot buzz word circling the blogosphere.

Body Neutrality:

While Body positivity preaches unwavering self-love, body neutrality is almost indifference. It is the acknowledgment that your body exists in its current state and your reaction to that is more factual than it is emotional.” – Lauren Gordon

“If we aim for nothing but total body bliss, when we inevitably fall short of that, it can leave us feeling like failures … In shifting our focus from ‘I must love my body!’ to ‘This is my body, and I’m okay with it,’ we can learn to neutralize disordered thinking.”Anastasia Amour

Clearly, I relate more to body neutrality vs body positivity – which could stem from my need to rationalize concepts in order to accept them, but also because I’m not in love with this body. And, make no mistake, I’m not knocking body positivity and I love that you love your body, but it’s not the same for me. I can’t immerse myself fully into this overwhelming mood to LOVVVVVVVVVE this body. I can appreciate and revel at the strength of my current form.

 

I definitely think it’s beautiful and I love parts of it and will continue to show it off with zero F’s given. So, don’t make the mistake that I don’t feel positive or confident with my body, I’m just shifting how I view my body — moving away from an all or nothing approach. I’m quite positive that I’d prefer neutrality. 🙂

I know this mentality won’t be popular and some may even be confused & thrown off by my working rationale. But that’s fine. I’m good with that.

In other news, I’m challenging myself to 100 days of fitness coupled with active rest days. Follow along on my fitness Insta & share your photos with the #87sFITCLUB.

Body Neutrality Articles worth reading: here, here, and here.

Alright now ya’ll, let’s discuss this: How do you feel about body positivity vs body neutrality. I want to hear your thoughts, so lay em on me.

xx, Star

FTC: This post is not sponsored (but I wish it was!). Some of the links are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and/or purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission (so click the link) 🙂

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31 Comments

  1. Kelly Torrez (@Birdieshoots) July 11, 2017 / 3:02 am

    Beautiful! You mention something that totally struck a cord with me, “I can appreciate and revel at the strength of my current form.” I can absolutely relate to that feeling. Such an honest and well written post!

    Birdie Shoots

  2. Giselle S. July 12, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    I love your honesty in this post. It does get tiring to HAVE to always love your body. Shit I have plenty of times that I don’t like what I see and that’s ok too.

  3. Nuraini July 16, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    For much of my life I was ‘underweight’. I was only 38kg. According to the medical weight tables I should be heavier. People kept pushing protein shakes and weight gain stuff on me.

    But I’m only 5″ and my mother was small too in her youth. And I felt well. So I ignored everyone, even though being too thin meant I cannot get pants and skirts that fit (but bizarrely tops are ok). I trusted that my body just has its own time and I wasn’t going to mess with the hormone balance or whatever. I was right. In time it shifted to just about normal weight (I am in my 30s now). I’m sure it will shift again as female bodies would if I bear children or simply get older.

    But I hope I stay indifferent. Not least because not thinking about my own body’s looks makes me also indifferent to other people’s and I can see the really important stuff about them. And I much prefer that.

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