At Body Electric we strive to encourage an atmosphere of ‘Body Positivity’ and/or ‘Body Neutrality.’
Entering a pole dance studio can be an intimidating and daunting experience for many. The pressure on all of us to fit dominant and narrowly defined health and fitness ideals can negatively impact on our ability to participate comfortably in all manner of social contexts. At Body Electric, we are keenly aware of how attitudes towards physicality can affect visitors to our studio. That is why we have chosen to explicitly encourage attitudes of ‘Body Positivity’ and ‘Body Neutrality’ in our studio environment, our classes and our community.
There are loads of articles online about the social movements of ‘Body Positivity’ and ‘Body Neutrality’ and the benefits they confer. These attitudes and approaches are not without controversy. But at Body Electric, we feel they are really worthwhile overall, and worth understanding and implementing.
Read on to find out more about each of them!
What is ‘Body Neutrality?’
Body neutrality is neither having strong feelings against or for one’s body
Rather than pushing against existing unrealistic beauty standards, body neutrality instead focuses on the idea that a person’s appearance has nothing to do with their worth as a human being. It rejects focusing on physical appearance and instead puts emphasis on the body’s function.
Body neutrality also acknowledges that individuals don’t always feel good about their bodies. Pressure on a person to feel positive about their body can be frustrating, especially as bodily changes can be due to factors beyond our control, such as ageing.
– Refraining from negative self/body talk (e.g. ‘my flexibility is terrible’, ‘I am so weak,’ ‘I look awful today,’ or any other negative references to size, weight, skin colour, texture etc…)
– Refraining from positive body talk, if opting for a ‘body neutral’ approach.
Instead, we can choose positive talk around what people’s bodies are allowing them to do, eg ‘Nice strong Layback,’ or ‘Your engagement is giving you such nice lines in that move!’
– Not making references to diet culture: e.g. referring to food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ or ‘treats,’ or talking about ‘cheat days’ or weight loss or gain, etc…
We know that weight loss diets don’t work. They are harmful. They make EVERYONE feel bad, and at Body Electric, we feel that we should all stop talking about them.
They negate both Body Positive and Body Neutral approaches, as they imply that some bodies are more worthy of time and energy than others, and they position body size and shape as more important than so many other things, including, for example. honouring hunger by eating, and celebrating the enjoyment of food!
There is a lot to unpack here and consider. Please know that we are not asking anyone to police themselves in a heavy-handed, bullish way.
We are asking that we all consider these approaches, remembering that our aim at Body Electric is to serve all bodies with dignity and respect, and provide a space that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for all.
Further reading on the topic:
Click the links below as a starting point for further reading on this topic. We hope you find these articles on Body Positivity and Body Neutrality useful!
On Body Positivity –
“What to know about the body positivity movement”
On Body Neutralilty –
“What’s the Difference Between Body Positivity and Body Neutrality?”