In your search for acceptance, healing and self-love, you may have come across body positivity and body neutrality movements. Both had their place in helping women overcome the damage of objectification and sexualisation of our bodies under patriarchal programming.
I am thankful for the role that both these movements have had in my personal journey of returning to love for my body. I now experience freedom from the pressure to conform, perform or objectify myself and have reconnected with my own sensual, sexual self. (It’s not a one and done, it’s an ongoing practice).
I want to highlight a nuance that doesn’t sit well with me. There is a popular phrase used in body neutrality:
“My body is the least interesting thing about me.”
But this is not actually true when you start to understand your core identity and your 5-fold human experience.
The body is the place in which all our sensations and emotions are felt, which we discern information, wisdom and self-awareness. The body is the vehicle to our achievements. The body is inherently unique and beautiful and worthy of care, love and attention. Just not the type of attention that undermines our body safety.
In your journey of reclaiming your power and becoming self-possessed, one of the things you will need to decide is how you will allow others to speak about, look at, touch and interact with your body. This is very much guided by your own treatment of your body.
If you consider your body the least interesting thing about you, you will not value nor pay attention to the plethora of important signals that she is giving you:
What foods feel good in your belly;
When the flight or fight fear response is activated;
When behaviours make you feel unsafe;
What activities work with your joints;
When you need to rest;
When you feel most alive and energised;
What you need at any given moment.
This kind of dualistic thinking has been around since ancient days. Western rational thinking elevated reason above the body and considered our souls to be trapped inside them. Religion taught spirit good, body bad. The flaw with this thinking is it sees the mind and body as separate- which we now know is false!
Our mind and body are interconnected. Your physical health is impacted by your thoughts and emotions just as your emotions are affected by how your body is treated.
“The peripheral nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, the emotional cortex, the vagus nerve, and all the organs of our body share a common chemical language and are constantly communicating with one another.”
-Dr. James Gordon, founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.
So let’s change the narrative.
Your body is one of the many fascinating things about you. Not solely, but alongside your passions, talents, abilities, knowledge and more.
She has unique feelings, abilities and aesthetics which are truly amazing and to be celebrated.
Your body gives you access to wisdom and discernment.
Your body gives you access to pleasure.
Your body houses your dope soul.
Your body is not to be ignored.
Your body is not to be objectified.
Your body is shameful.
Your body is a freaking miracle.
Notice the nuances between body positivity, body neutrality and body love and start to carve out your own body truths and see the difference.