A long while back, I started exploring the world of body positivity. I was taken with this new perspective that decoupled things like moral goodness and health from body size and promoted loving and celebrating our bodies no matter what they look like.
I have had a really hard time fully embracing it for myself since then. I don't always have a Lizzo-style strut-and-hair-toss relationship with my body. Sometimes it hurts or gets in my way or I just don't really like it, let alone love it.
Plus, I truly have no desire to celebrate my cellulite. Not because I hate it, but because I really can't make myself care that much about it.
Then I started hearing about body neutrality. The idea that your body simply is what it is, and you don't need to feel any particular way about it. There's no need to constantly be in love with yourself. You just let your body be what it is and then worry about other things in life.
In an article in The Guardian, Dr. Laura Thomas refers to it as "body respect", which is also a great terminology. I can respect something, even if my feelings towards it are inconsistent.
I really like that.
It's not so appearance-focused as body positivity, which seems to push always appreciating the drop-dead stunning bodies all around you as well as the gorgeous gift of a body you bless their eyes with in return.
Seeing the beauty in everyone, including yourself, is not a bad thing, of course. It's just that it can be easy to start finding your value there: your body is worth loving because it is so dang good looking. Look how good looking it is. Look how worthy you are.
If that works for you, then please please please, go forth and celebrate your incredible body. I have no desire to stop you from loving yourself.
If you are like me, however, you might feel a bit of pressure there and like the idea of a philosophy that doesn't invest that much energy in having an opinion about your body either way.
Let's get NEUTRAL!
PS: If you ever search "bodies" in Giphy, get ready for some weird results:
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