Short answer: Yes. 100%.
I follow a lot of body positive accounts on social media. (It's amazing, I highly suggest you do the same.) And I LOOOOVE seeing a wider and more diverse range of gorgeous humans claiming their gorgeousness.
Feeling good about how you look is awesome, and it's totally natural to want that. We live in a pretty appearance-focused world and we see people getting social and financial validation all day every day for "looking good."
The thing is, associating "body love" with "loving how your body looks" is kind of just another way we objectify ourselves, as though there's nothing to love about our bodies unless we find a way to think of them as beautiful...
....and more inclusive definitions of beauty aren't expanding far enough and wide enough for everyone to feel included in it just yet.
....AND we are facing lifetimes of internalized ideas about what counts as beautiful and what doesn't, and healing from those internalized beliefs is a continuous process.
So if we take "body love" to only mean "loving how you look," that actually excludes a lot of people from loving their bodies until/unless they're able to unpack all that conditioning.
Hell nah. Ain't nobody got time for that. We need all the body love NOW.
So today I want to offer up a somewhat radical idea:
You can love your body without loving how it looks, because there are other AMAZING ways to love your body.
The 3 Styles of Body Love
In my experience, body love breaks down into 3 basic "styles"...
People with the Visual Magnetism body love style are in hot pursuit of feeling hot! This does not mean that you only workout to look fit, or that you are a slave to narrow beauty standards and obsessed with makeup tutorials. Nope.
It means that your magnetic body love style reflects the values that make someone truly magnetic: style, confidence, charisma, and that je ne sais quoi quality that infuses someone with beauty, regardless of how their features match up (or don't) with some manufactured "ideal".
You want to feel the power of your unique attractiveness drawing people in, to enjoy the allure of the way YOU move and confidently embody your specific shape and features like no one else could.
For those with the active-experiential body love style, life is all about using the body to have meaningful experiences and push the edges of what is possible.
This does not mean you are training to be a world-class athlete, but it does mean that you feel best about your body when it is strong enough, fit enough, and energetic enough to support you in doing what you want to do and having the experiences you want to have in life -- whether that's swimming in a lake with your grandchildren, going kayaking around the San Juan Islands, or holding a yoga pose that has taken 10 years to master.
If your body love style is Sensual Presence, this means that you are most likely to experience positive regard and love toward your body when you feel connected to your sensuality, deeply present and attuned to your physical sensations, indulging your 5 senses, and enjoying the flow of energy through you.
You probably love to dance, have a mindfulness practice, and are an incredible lover. It's the the pleasure that your body makes possible for you, and how that pleasure grounds you in the present moment, that you value the most.
Which one is the gateway to loving YOUR body?
Meet yourself where you're at. Start with the body love that comes most naturally to you, and build on that. When you do, you'll find the other types of body love becoming more accessible to you automatically 😉
Not sure which one to start with?
Take the quiz below to find out!