“10 Tips For Your Summer Glow-Up!”
“Exercises For the Perfect Beach Bum!”
“How to Get that Dream Pool Noodle Body!”
It seems as if the second the temperature hits 80 degrees, we are inundated with articles, marketing, and social media posts reminding us that women’s bodies are a never-ending project.
How can we possibly learn to accept, let alone love, our bodies when the mythical “perfect beach bod” has plagued us since our Seventeen Magazine days?
We propose a new strategy: Body Neutrality.
You may be familiar with the Body Positivity movement, which encourages people to accept and celebrate all aspects of their appearance. While we appreciate that idea in theory, loving every part of your body can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re experiencing menopause symptoms.
Instead of focusing on appearance or striving for an unwaveringly positive self-image, body neutrality challenges us to recognize and respect how our bodies are supporting us in the present.
Here are our top tips for cultivating body neutrality
🧠 Actively appreciate your body for what it is capable of
Even on the days when we feel shitty, our bodies are serving us in ways that we don’t even recognize. It’s way easier to tunnel down into an analysis of your belly fat than it is to recognize how insanely interesting & life-giving your stomach actually is. We recommend getting curious to learn about your body & regularly take stock of all that it is capable of: forming complex thoughts, moving you through the world, regulating your heartbeat, and so much more. Looking for more insights? Check out the fascinating book: The Body by Bill Bryson.
🔎 Practice body scan meditation
When you get into bed tonight, take a minute to pause and mentally scan your body, starting at your head and moving body part by body part down to your toes. Pay close attention to any sensations, good or bad. This practice is obscenely simple, but it can truly help you reconnect with your body as something that is yours, not something to observe and criticize.
💜 Learn from women who have found love for themselves and their bodies
There are so many badass women who have learned how to appreciate their bodies. This documentary on body image from Australian director & activist Taryn Brumfitt explores her journey from loathing to loving her body. This essay describes one woman’s journey to *feeling* beautiful.
Learning to accept your body is a lifelong process. One that takes work. But at the end of that journey is the realization that, yes, we are so much more than our bodies.