Body Acceptance vs. Body Positivity: What’s The Difference?

By Nadia Murdock

Loving the skin you are in is not always the easiest thing to do. It actually might be one of the hardest things you will ever do; however, if you have reached a point in your life where loving yourself the way you deserve has become a priority (good for you), then you might be confused about whether you are more aligned with Body Acceptance or Body Positivity. 

If you are new to all of this, there may be a number of terms that you don’t understand or completely connect with. It is important to remember that it is not the title that matters, but the ability to love the skin you’re in and to know you are more than just your appearance. The true success is the ability to start diving deep when it comes to loving your whole self! 

There are a number of ways you can start working towards embracing the skin you’re in: 

  • Recognizing you are more than your looks.
  • Tapping into how your body feels instead of the appearance of your body. 
  • Acknowledging the strength of your body.

Below is a breakdown of both body positivity and body acceptance. Which one resonates with you the most?

Body Positivity. This movement is changing lives, helping individuals understand that feeling positive about their bodies stems from accepting your appearance. With this mindset shift, mental health is improved and there is a reduced risk of eating disorders. The overall movement is focused on large companies accepting and treating all body types equally. 

Body Acceptance. Body acceptance takes a more personal approach. This movement aligns with body positivity when it comes to accepting yourself. It emphasizes taking the time to find self-love and care while accepting your body as it is, even though you may not be entirely happy with it.  

“With body acceptance, you are not always cool with how your body looks, but you are okay with it. It’s about accepting what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror.” says Josephine Atluri Mindfulness & Meditation Coach.

Here are some actionable steps you can take to achieve higher levels of body acceptance:

Wear Clothes that Make You Feel Confident. Stop squeezing into items that make you feel self conscious and uncomfortable just because of the size on the label. Instead, opt for items that make you feel like the best version of yourself, regardless of the size. You are more than a number!

Create a body road map: Write down all things you love about your body, making note of what your body does for you too. Need help? Try this worksheet from Plant, Love, Grow.

Make a deal with your body. Start making promises to your body that you will try your best not to break. Keep these promises in a journal, and recite them daily. Here are a few examples to get you started. 

  • I will refuse to compare you to others.
  • I will no longer insult you. 
  • I will appreciate all that you do for me daily. 

Ask yourself how you already love your body. What changes can you make? This takes time, but the benefits are worth it.

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