On Owning Our Bodies

We all know how, as women, we’re taught to hate our bodies. In the media there’s so much fixation on women’s appearance. Commercials call us to action, stating, “Get that body you’ve always wanted.” And even if I may not always have wanted that body, it starts to feel that way after a while.

This photo is probably about abortion, but it's also about taking control of your body in any way.

This photo is probably about abortion, but it’s also about taking control of your body in any way.

We may try to ignore them, try to eliminate any idea of outer appearance, but the truth is that’s really hard. Appearance does matter. Beauty has been celebrated all throughout history. Perhaps the idea of using our bodies as a way to sell products is new, but that’s a whole different topic that I’ll save for another day.

The point is: we’ll never completely abolish the idea of beauty. There will be many ideas of what’s beautiful and people will always want to emulate that.

And it’s not wrong to want to emulate that.

I think the problem lies in our negative outlook on beauty and how we try to fix it. We constantly focus on what’s wrong with our bodies: we’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, hair’s too strait, too frizzy, eyebrows too thick, boob’s too small, you get the point. Tina Fey said it best in a passage of Bossypants. I tried to get up and find my copy of it to quote for you, but my room is too messy, so sorry.

Once we’ve determined what’s wrong with our bodies, we proceed to try to fix it. We diet, we excessively exercise, we get plastic surgery, wax our facial or body hair, straighten our hair, curl our hair, wear pounds of makeup.

Again, the key to removing the need to fix these things is not eliminating a standard of beauty, but in eliminating our negativity around that standard. Everybody has beautiful parts; no one has every perfect part for which the standard calls.

For example, I could fixate on the fact that I’m short, don’t have a thigh gap, or that I was “blessed with bushy eyebrows,” as a woman doing my eyebrows once told me. But the fact is, I’m done growing, I will never have a thigh gap, and constantly going to the salon is painful and costly.

Instead, I choose to focus on the fact that I can eat as much as I want and never get beyond 110 pounds, that I have boobs that are big enough for me without giving me back pain, and that I have a nice ass. Call me arrogant and hate me for pointing out where I got aesthetically lucky, but I’m just trying to celebrate myself. I’m trying to not go insane in this negative world.

Find what you like about yourself. Don’t be ashamed to admit you like it. I know it seems like a sin to ever claim that you like something about yourself. If you don’t hate yourself, you’re way too cocky, because you’re no Beyonce, or whoever is hot these days.

But, you know what, Beyonce owns her body. It’s too bootylicious for you and she knows it. If you have that outlook as well, I’m sure you’d be a more healthy, happy, and grounded person.


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/helga/3235419647/”>Helga Weber</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;


2 thoughts on “On Owning Our Bodies

  1. I don’t know who you are but I love you for this. So many people don’t appreciate what’s good about themselves.

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