In recent years, I have noticed the body positivity movement grow bigger and bigger. Seeing people of all different shapes and sizes come together to celebrate themselves really helped me grow into my confidence as a young girl growing up in this digital age. It changed my life when I started following body positive social media influencers instead of influencers I thought had the perfect body. However, there were always days when I would look at myself in the mirror and find it hard to love the body I was in. That is when I discovered body neutrality.
I grew up hating my body from a very young age and I carried that self hatred with me into my teenage years. That self hatred turned into an anxiety disorder, depression and an eating disorder I would struggle with for six years. I was tired of constantly hating myself, so finding an online community of women who celebrated themselves authentically seemed like the perfect place to start. However, radical self love is hard. Like, really hard. Body neutrality does not emphasize the idea of radical love of your physical body, rather it places the emphasis on what your body does for you.
Changing the narrative in my head from “my body is beautiful” to “my body is the least interesting about me” absolutely changed my life because it is true. When we meet new people or think about the people we know, we do not think of the way they look; we think about the kind of person they are. That gave me the mental head space to finally focus on who I am as a whole person rather than just a body. I was also able to do the same for the people around me. I now see people for who they are rather than their body.
The narrative in my head changed completely after discovering body neutrality. When I was bloated after a meal, instead of saying to myself, “You look so gross and bloated,” I now say, “Look at how well I nourished my body!” Body neutrality is all about simply appreciating your body for what it does for you and realizing that we are all so much more than bodies. We are souls and personalities who deserve to spend our lives happy and becoming the best versions of ourselves, not worrying about what we look like or what other people think about our physical appearance.