What is body positivism?
The "body neutrality" movement has been appearing for some time on social networks, particularly Instagram. It emerged in the wake of the " body positive " movement, which aimed to help people s'accept and s'love themselves as they are, far from the diktats standardized by corporate marketing.
However, the "body positive" movement appeared much earlier. Created in 1996 by two women, its aim was to be a "caring and inclusive" movement.
With this movement, Connie Sobczak wanted to fight against the dictates of appearance, which led her to suffer from eating disorders and cost her sister her life.
Alongside Elizabeth Scott, a psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders, they created the "body positivism" movement, envisioning it as a community that liberates from stifling social messages to finally accept one's body.
Today, this movement has grown enormously in our societies, reflecting a desire to regain control over our bodies. To accept them in all their diversity and, above all, without the need to rank them, regardless of skin color, age, weight, gender... The important thing is to accept and love ourselves as we are, seeing the beauty in all bodies.
Body positivism: an additional pressure, an additional standard?
Nevertheless, many people have seen "body positivism" as pressure to love one's body at all costs. Hundreds of publications have appeared on social networks showing people who are finally taking responsibility for their bodies, showing themselves off, without any shame, and shouting it loud and clear. But in real life, taking responsibility can take a long, long time, and is sometimes even unattainable for some people. So the pressure is twofold, because you don't have to try to look like what's socially accepted, you have to take responsibility for yourself. But it's not enough to try, you have to take responsibility for yourself too. What's more, body positivism has been seen as an excuse to assume one's curves, while encouraging people to lose weight and build muscle. In other words, it's a movement that rejects magazine models, advocating curves, but not exceeding a certain weight. In this way, body positivism creates a new, slightly broader norm, but one that still doesn't include or represent all women. Being too thin thus becomes what you shouldn't be, but being too fat isn't recommended either. Moreover, the body positivism movement was often relayed by women who didn't exceed a size 40, but excluded anyone who did. Finally, this movement raised a final point: it was the fruit of the labor of fat women, only to be taken over by brands and certain influencers to make money and be fashionable. All these criticisms led to the "body neutrality" movement, which seems to be a lighter burden for many women.
Body neutrality, a movement to replace body positivism
This movement, which stems from a not-so-recent term, came to prominence following an article by journalist Marisa Meltzer in an issue of New York Magazine this year.
It seems to be a happy medium between body dissatisfaction and complete self-acceptance. The idea is rather to dare to talk about or even show your complexes, while accepting the fact that it's difficult to accept yourself completely.
In other words, the people who share this movement emphasize the fact that they are determined to achieve self-acceptance, even if the road is long, and that they encourage everyone to do the same, without pressure, without self-judgment, going at their own pace. The "body neutrality" movement is also about breaking the incessant relationship we have with our own image. The idea is to focus on our overall well-being, our successes and our emotions, rather than our physical appearance, and not to force ourselves to accept ourselves, but to accept the dissatisfactions we still feel towards ourselves. In other words, realize that you'll never be completely satisfied with your body, and that's okay.
Insta accounts that advocate body neutrality:
@mybetterself and her #OnVeutDuVrai
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