A Mindset Shift: What is Body Neutrality Anyways?

I have been an eating disorder therapist for the last decade and have seen hundreds of clients who identify their distress around food and body image and how found several things that feel universally true.

1. Nobody likes or loves their bodies all of the time.

2. Loving (or even liking your body) isn't a criteria to live a meaningful life.

3. The more focus we put on liking/loving/even accepting our bodies, the more distress we can experience and the more our mental health may suffer if we feel like we are inadequate.

The body positivity movement encourages you to love and feel good about your body, no matter what it looks like. Body positivity emphasizes the idea that everyone is beautiful and proposes that loving your body will make you feel better about yourself.


“I love what I see when I look in the mirror!”

“If I love my body, I will have a good life”

Body neutrality emphasizes that your body "just is" and that your outward appearance is not what makes you valuable. Body neutrality focuses on function and what your body does to support you.


“The way my body looks is the least interesting thing about me.”

“I can have a good life and be present in my body regardless of what my body looks like.”

Body neutrality is a mindset shift. Plenty of people look into the mirror, feel dissatisfied with their reflection, and decide to make some changes so they can better embrace self-love, but that isn't even necessary. Often making physical changes doesn't come with more self-acceptance. 

What you see in the mirror is just one aspect of your identity. It’s possible to embrace and accept yourself as you are even if you don’t actually love (or even like) your body. In fact, your body doesn’t even have to enter the conversation.

Body neutrality hinges on this exact concept and is often particularly helpful for people who find loving their body is challenging or not accessible.

Body neutrality encourages you to look beyond physical appearance and break the habit of connecting your body with your value.

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