What I Really Want to Say About Body Love
I didn’t build a house.
Not out of wood, nails and concrete, that is, but I did build a home, where I live now. A home that moved with me in five states and two countries. A home that built and fed my two sons. A home that ran a marathon, climbed the tallest mountain in Costa Rica, sleeps late on Sunday and has amazing sex.
Yes, I’m talking about my body.
Lately, I have been feeling bad about this home, and NOT from the usual haters who tell me how to get rid of armpit fat and to not stop moving until I puke faint or die. I stopped listening to those guys a long time ago. It’s the Body Love movement that has me in an uproar.
Body Love has become a bandaid movement, and I will concede that it was a necessary one, so that we could at least admit that we were hating our bodies.
Dove kicked it off with their Real Body campaign. It was a start, but did anyone notice that there were no skinny girls on this ad? So only curvy women had real bodies? No! Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors! (Men too!) It was good intentioned, but too contrived and still not inclusive.
Of course, there’s also the Strong is the New Skinny campaign. I myself fell in to that one for a while, when I realized I would never look like, Giselle Bundchen. No matter how many squats I did, my legs did not grow six inches so they could look as long and lean as hers. The strong is the new skinny came as a reprieve to me so that at least my athletic, muscular legs and body had something to shine in. In the end, however, I injured my shoulder.
Now, I feel like the body love has moved in to Spiritual land of Ohm. Love your body as it is. No need to exercise, and please eat that ice cream if you wish, because it’s self care and your intuition must be telling you, you need a restorative rest. And by the way, if you’re concerned at all about how your body looks, you’re probably not spiritual enough.
Body Neutral is the latest I’ve heard. You should feel aesthetically about your body as you do your brain. Nothing. Which of course, you can’t SEE your brain so how is this a similar comparison.
Does anyone feel tired of the messaging telling me how I’m supposed to look and feel and think about my body? I’m exhausted but I felt I owed myself a reflection, and an answer. How DO I want to think and feel about my body? If I’m not willing to let advertisers, big gyms and Instagram tell me how I want to feel, then guess what, I have to decide. Me. To do the work.
It’s taken me MONTHS… if not years…so here goes.
My body is my home.
In the same way I want a house that looks nice, I want a body that looks nice.
In the same way I want a house that has all its internal pipes and functions up to par, I want my body to have its internal functions up and running smoothly.
I want a house that lasts a long time.
I want a house that feels good to live in day to day.
And you know what I really want?
I want to fucking decorate it HOWEVER I fucking want.
It’s ok to want to have a physical environment or a body that looks nice, feels nice and functions well. I’m not going to feel guilty about that. Not anymore. I’m also not going to feel obsessed about that.
I am choosing to not be over-identified with my body or emotionally attached to its being perfect.
The same way, I would my real house.
The actual wood, nails and concrete house I live in now.
Just as I am NOT my house. I am NOT my body.