Go neutral: the case for body neutrality

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted a lot of people’s self worth, including mine. If you have low self-esteem, consider being neutral about yourself instead.

Body neutrality means I am accepting of my body and I cherish everything it does for me instead of focusing on what my body is not.

“Body neutrality is minimizing body negativity,” according to Dr. Elizabeth Wassenaar MD, of the Eating Recovery Center.

“Body neutrality has its foundations in what your body does, not how it looks. That shifts the focus from controlling it to finding gratitude for it,” according to Maria Sorbara Mora, founder of Integrated Eating.

To practice body neutrality, you have to stop focusing on your looks and instead focus on how you woke up this morning thanks to your body. Loving yourself is a strenuous task that not everyone can do. Thinking twice before you say something negative about yourself is something anyone can learn to do with time and practice.

I shouldn’t let the number on the scale or my clothing size dictate my feelings towards myself as a whole. I am alive and life is a priceless thing, which I won’t waste by wishing I could be a few inches taller and get rid of my scars or stretch marks.

Body positivity is a good thing, however not everyone can think about their appearance positively.

According to Wassenaar, “Sometimes body positivity can feel ‘fake’ and body neutrality feels more authentic, which is so important when you are working on living authentically and joyfully in the body you have.”

Body neutrality also means you should eat when you are hungry and to not deny your body food because you don’t feel deserving of it.

According to Kristen Fuller, mental health and eating disorder expert, “When you eat an extra donut or add that extra splash of heavy cream to your coffee in the morning, you satisfy your body by eating intuitively and practicing body neutrality.”

Body neutrality is for anyone, including those who struggle with eating disorders and disordered eating. My body is the only one I get, so I should stop bullying it for simply existing and denying it food. Living a life full of self-hatred is not a good life.

Everyone deserves to adopt self-acceptance and practice body neutrality. You are so much more than your appearance. Your potential is unlimited and your looks don’t affect that potential. Beauty is subjective.

What most people view as attractive, others find unattractive.

Not one body is perfect, and that is okay. Your body is not the most interesting thing about you. Instead of hating it, accept it and take a neutral stance on it.