What’s the difference between body positivity and body acceptance?
Ok so unless you’ve been living with your head in a bumhole for the last – however many years – you’ll have heard of body positivity, yes? Megan Jayne Crabbe? Jada Sezer? Tess Holliday?
Ok, so let’s start with what there is to love about the body positivity movement.
These women are – celebrating diversity, advocating fat acceptance, challenging prejudice, sticking a big middle finger up at the diet industry and saying – ‘NO!’ they will not conform to society’s beauty standards. I get it. I support all of that, and so in many ways, I have total admiration for these females.
But it’s not for me.
Last November after years of yo-yo dieting and disordered eating with unrealistic, unreachable body goals, I decided to never diet again. Now, I found the – rejecting diet culture – bit really F-ing easy. However I just could not get my noggin around the whole – body positivity and loving my body just the way it is – malarkey.
I really struggle with body positivity.
Because I myself, cannot bring myself to – love my softness, my curves or my fat (I quite like my boobs… but only when it’s cold). For starters, to me body positivity is more pressure. I find myself asking – Why can’t I love my body? What’s wrong with me?
When I’m sitting on the loo and I look down at my overhang, I’m sorry, but I cannot feel positive about that flabby mess. I have no idea how. But surely that’s fine. Why do I have to love my gunt? Can’t I just pretend it’s not there? Focus on something else?
Because let’s face it, body positivity primarily centres around external validation.
So much so that I find some of the bo-po images are as focused on aesthetics and outward appearance as let’s say – the fitspo crew’s pictures. On the one hand, of course it’s refreshing to see bigger ladies in these roles. But on the other hand, is this a positive progression for us females? Or is it all still a bit page three minus the nipples?
So I’m sorry (not sorry) but I will not be parading myself around in scantily clad bathers or underwear for all the world to see anytime soon. Because for me I’d rather not focus on my body and the way it looks. I’d rather free up my mind to think about other more interesting things instead like – intersectional feminism or the price of cherry tomatoes after Brexit (yes the price of tomatoes is more interesting than thinking about my thigh gap).
So what’s the alternative?
For me it’s all about body acceptance/body neutrality. Body acceptance doesn’t mean you can’t love your body, but it’s about freeing yourself from the pressure to do so. Because it’s fine not to love your gunt. It’s about not focusing on outward appearances but always striving to celebrate our internal qualities. Kindness, intelligence, wit, creativity and passion. It’s about considering all the many other attributes we should be concentrating on. The ones we can’t see, yet the things that make us who we are.
Body acceptance is about gratitude for your body.
Appreciating what it can do and marvelling at how it’s carried you through life up until this point. It’s about respecting your body and keeping it healthy and strong by nourishing and looking after it. So if you can’t get your head around body positivity, don’t stress. Try body acceptance instead.
Thanks for reading and please head back to my latest Insta post with any comments, Rhi x