Body Positivity vs Body Neutrality

I see so many social media posts about stretch marks and rolls and body hair etc being beautiful.

I do really love and understand the movement behind this. It’s amazing seeing so many people start to accept themselves and their bodies as they are, and for us all to start challenging the airbrushing and filtering that we see all over the television and Instagram. We are all starting to realise that we aren’t alone with our scars and cellulite and imperfections.

But I do have one problem with it. The whole premise of it is still about beauty and changing how we perceive attractiveness. But it’s actually okay not to be physically beautiful all of the time. I don’t think my scars are lovely. They just are. I don’t think my stretchmarks are pretty. They just are. I don’t think my body hair is attractive. It just is. All these things are just normal parts of a human body. It’s okay for them not to be beautiful. It’s okay for us to just be normal human beings with normal human bodies and not have to worry about how we appear to others, or how beautiful we are, or how our imperfections make us perfect. They don’t make us perfect, they just make us entirely average. And sometimes that’s okay.

I’m not dismissing this movement altogether because I think it’s wonderful. The idea that people are falling in love with themselves and challenging years of societal damage to their self esteem is incredible and I hope it continues for years and years to come. But I want people to fall in love with themselves for their other qualities; ones we are told aren’t as important as our external selves. Our humour, our intelligence, our kindness. These are all the things that make us truly beautiful humans.

Overall, I love the body positivity movement, but there is also a role for body neutrality. I think we are going to see big changes in the future about how advertisements are regulated and how the media talks about women’s bodies, and I can’t wait. We have already taken enormous steps to take back the power and fight against what we are being told by society – that we aren’t good enough as we are. Every single one of us is enough right now. But being enough doesn’t always mean being beautiful.

It means being exactly as you are: a flawed and wonderful human.


  1. Cara, I agree with everything you say, I understand that there needs to be more done about what is shown in the media when it comes to women’s bodies, body shaming and learning to love yourself.
    I find it hard as a man to deal with the same problems and think I’m right in saying that eating disorders are on the increase in the male population.
    I don’t like using this word but I do hate most of my body, my scars, my broken nose being wonky the loss of my ear and being very overweight as well as being very short,
    Thank you Cara for this blog

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Cara, the world really needs to change its views on what beautiful is, my personal view is everyone is beautiful, you really have to think like that as everyone is unique.

        I really enjoy your blogs they are thought provoking so thank you Cara.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Same conclusion from my side ! I would say that the need to chase after “beauty” is when you choose to define yourself through this. In some environments, beauty is taking a great (stifling?) place.
    The exit I found is trying to define myself in other ways (my attitude, how I treat people, run my life, values,…) rather than physical competition for beauty. Some environments won’t be for me, other can tolerate me. In all cases, I’m free from this and can grow better now.
    And yeah, you will not bring your body after death, it will change with the time and your history and I like these ideas too. So I don’t have time to lost to figure if someone will find my body beautiful or no. I wasn’t born to be “attractive” or “beautiful”. I saw things I love in my appearance, that should be sufficient. I would prefer to spend the time left to take care of my body and learn new thing with it (diet, move….to live indeed). My little utopy, and what I’m trying to do now ^^ But I’m far away from it and yet in a good way. 😉 Still have to solve the way I express my anxiety and assume some outside-social-norms features in public.

    Liked by 1 person

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