Body Positivity versus Body Neutrality: Understanding the Concepts and Finding Balance

In recent years, movements promoting body positivity and body neutrality have gained significant traction, challenging society’s rigid beauty standards and encouraging individuals to embrace their bodies as they are. Notable figures, such as the influential singer and body positivity (or now, body neutrality) advocate, Lizzo, have played a crucial role in amplifying these empowering messages. In fact, Lizzo’s famous tweet, “I love you. You are beautiful. You can do anything,” serves as a powerful reminder of the essence of body positivity and the celebration of diverse bodies.

However, Lizzo also did mention in a recent tweet about body neutrality and some people might ask, “What is the difference?” In this article, we will explore the concepts of body positivity and body neutrality, highlighting their distinct perspectives and discussing how they can coexist to promote self-acceptance and well-being.

Understanding Body Positivity

Body positivity emerged as a response to the unrealistic and narrow beauty ideals perpetuated by mainstream media. It promotes the belief that all bodies are valuable and deserving of respect, irrespective of their shape, size, or appearance. Body positivity advocates (such as The Wellness Insider) emphasise self-love, acceptance, and the celebration of diverse bodies. The movement encourages individuals to embrace their unique attributes and challenge societal norms that promote body shaming or discrimination.

Exploring Body Neutrality

Body neutrality, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach. It acknowledges that not everyone can immediately embrace or love their bodies due to complex personal experiences or body image struggles. Body neutrality aims to shift the focus away from appearance and redirect attention towards appreciating and valuing the body for its functionality, strength, and what it allows us to do rather than solely how it looks. It promotes acceptance without placing excessive emphasis on body image.

Finding Balance and Intersection

While body positivity and body neutrality have distinct perspectives, they can coexist and complement each other in promoting a healthier body image and self-acceptance. Recognising the limitations of body positivity, body neutrality acknowledges that it may not always be possible or realistic for everyone to love their bodies unconditionally. Instead, body neutrality offers an alternative approach, emphasising self-worth beyond physical appearance.

It’s important to understand that both movements advocate for the well-being and mental health of individuals. They encourage individuals to challenge harmful societal beauty standards and cultivate a positive relationship with their bodies. It’s not a matter of choosing one over the other, but rather finding a personal balance that aligns with individual needs and experiences.

Promoting a Holistic Perspective

In practice, embracing body positivity and body neutrality may involve different strategies for different individuals. Some may find empowerment and self-love through body positivity, while others may feel more at ease with body neutrality, focusing on the functionality and appreciation of their bodies.

Ultimately, the goal is to foster a holistic perspective that encompasses self-acceptance, self-care, and respect for all bodies. This includes challenging negative self-talk, surrounding ourselves with supportive communities, prioritising overall well-being, and celebrating the diversity of human bodies.


Body positivity and body neutrality offer distinct approaches to promoting self-acceptance and challenging harmful societal beauty standards. Both movements strive to create a more inclusive and accepting environment for all bodies. By understanding and embracing the core principles of body positivity and body neutrality, we can cultivate a healthier body image and pave the way for a more compassionate and accepting society, where individuals can thrive and celebrate their bodies in their own unique ways. In other words, Love Yourself!

Images: Envato

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