What My Stomach Parasite Taught Me About The Male Gaze
E Sailer Sklar

Birth, Copulation, and Death…

T. S. Eliot’s reductionist idea that we’re born, we fuck, we die, might be something for all people, regardless of gender to consider before fixating on their own body type. Here’s why anecdotally.

In my life, I’ve been married more than once, lived with half a dozen girls in committed, or semi-committed relationships, and dated, literally dozens, if not many more. I’m not bragging, I’m simply stating my experience to support my thoughts about body concerns. This is what I learned.

With the exception of less than 10 people I’ve known well, most all girls/women have issues when it comes to their bodies. The few who did not were ballet dancers and Asians. The dancers were proud of their bodies, and the Asians, well frankly, I’m not sure as they never discussed body issues.

I never have, and I never will bring up something about another persons body. It’s a waste of time. There’s really not much that can be done about most aspects of human physiology short of dieting, exercising, or vanity surgery. So get over your excesses or your shortcomings and live.

As Eliot suggested, after puberty, most of us, men and women alike, simply want to cum, cuddle, and sleep together without regret.

I’m not suggesting your personal experience with your own body and the “gaze” of men comfort/discomfort during its different size/shape periods, was trivial. It is not. And, more importantly, you wrote your story well enough to get me to think and respond. Isn’t that the goal of writers?

And for that, I say thanks.

The other reason I responded, is I have two daughters. Though we don’t discuss body issues (both are healthy, thank goodness), they are both so busy with their lives, I don’t think they pay much attention to how people perceive them. They were brought up to draw praise from their kindnesses to others, rather than how they dressed or looked at any given moment.

Men and women alike, have too much leisure time and too many sociological triggers that destroy self-confidence when we find we don’t resemble the current “sexiest person alive” type. But the one thing I’ve learned when I realized People Magazine was never going to put me on their cover, was — that’s okay. There’s still someone out there who will find me close to their ideal of perfection. I may have to look longer than Clooney, but they’re out there somewhere.

One last thing. If we look at most sculpting across centuries and from many different cultures, very few depict the so-called thigh gap. Go figure.