Body liberation: separate your worth from your body

While main stream body positivity has done a LOT to encourage greater acceptance of a diversity of body types, it’s still body centric.

I know body diversity has its place for better body image and self-worth in the long term.  BUT,  I believe we need to do MORE.

Rather than relying on the appearance of our bodies to find value, we need to find worth BEYOND looks.

So in this post, I’m exploring the idea of body liberation and how you can use it to improve not just body image, but your sense of worth.

And, I’ve got three things for you to try to improve your self-worth over time.

Watch or read below:

What is body liberation?

Body liberation is a term that I came across about a year ago when I read a quote by Lindo Bacon, author of “Health at Every Size” and “Body Respect”.

“Body liberation. Rather than just expanding the beauty ideal to become more inclusive, let’s work towards freedom from relying on beauty to find value.”

Lindo Bacon

Having read this quote, I interpret body liberation as freedom from the idea that your worth is defined by beauty or looks. It’s about finding worth beyond bodies and appearance.

While the body positive movement has encouraged greater acceptance of a diversity of body shapes, it’s still body centric. You’re asked to embrace, accept or love your body.

BUT body liberation separates a person’s worth from their body. In order to value yourself, you don’t have to love or even like your body. The body is irrelevant to your worth.

How can you practise body liberation?

Practising body liberation means taking the focus off your body and recognising your value elsewhere. Perhaps easier said than done!

Living in a culture that is always trying to marry worth and looks makes it a difficult mind-set shift to make.

But as you know by now, I believe everything that can be learnt can be unlearnt if it’s not serving or helping you.

So I’ve got three things for you to try to put you on the path to body liberation:

Firstly, get used to focussing on your value beyond appearance

Write out a list of all the things that you or others admire about you. It might be your kindness, your humour, your ability to see the bigger picture or your generosity.

Whatever it is, write these things down.

Keep adding to it and come back to it whenever you need a boost.

Secondly, start noticing other people for more than their appearance

To do this, think of people that you admire – they might be well known or not.

Note down what you admire about them and ask how much does their appearance has to do with your admiration?

For example, do you think Mother Theresa’s appearance was important in determining her worth or the value of her work?

Thirdly, set an intention to actively promote body liberation in any way you can

What can you do to move towards freedom from relying on beauty to find value?

That might mean calling out other people who equate a person’s value with looks or curbing your own appearance related judgements.

I’d love to hear what you think about body liberation and if it’s a helpful perspective for working on your body image. Please leave a comment below.

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