A Letter to My Body
It is with great pleasure that I have the honor of announcing that BlogHer upgraded "Body Image" to its own topic rather than a sub-topic of the very important category of Health & Wellness. Even more exciting, BlogHer is launching a brand new Letters to My Body initiative. Today I'm calling for members to blog a “letter to my body” and link to the post using Mr Linky. (I know, "Mr. Linky" cracks me up, too, but it's very easy to use – see the box below.) You can also blog your letter on BlogHer (select the Letter to My Body topic) and it will feed directly into the BlogHer Letter To My Body widget we're creating.
In two weeks, I’ll choose one of the linked letters to feature on BlogHer. Another Contributing Editor will post snippets from that letter and link back to that woman’s blog, and she’ll encourage members to again write a letter to my body and post a link. That CE will choose her favorite letter and another CE will be tasked to feature it in her post with a call for more letters to my body. Every two weeks, BlogHer’ll feature a new blogger and her letter and do a call out for more letters. Very exciting stuff.
Of course, it's only fair that if I ask you to put yourself out there, I do so as well. What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than to send a love letter to my body? Here goes:
I know we've had our differences in the past, but I am very happy to say that I'm learning to appreciate everything you do for me more and more each year. Since we live in a world which foists unattainable beauty standards on women, destroying our ability to appreciate our own figures and dashing our self-esteem on the hard rocks of media saturation, I have been unfairly harsh in judging you for years. (However, I felt vindicated for you when I read that a study in Spain of 1,000 women "concluded that Spanish women were not the very skinny tall types that designers idealize, but rather fell into three main body types: hourglass, pear shape and cylinder. It also found that 4 of 10 women had trouble finding clothes to fit, mainly because sizes varied from store to store and because what was on the racks was too small." I also thought, No shit, Sherlock.)
Thanks to all the societal dysfunction about what women should look like, I developed a nasty case of body dysmorphic disorder. No matter what you, body, looked like, I was certain that you were too fat and not good enough. I was not very nice to you. I forgot that while I may at various times have carried as much 167 lbs. or as little as 117 lbs. (when I had a violent digestive disorder) on my 5'1" frame, you were there for me, still functioning. No matter what size you were, you let me enjoy a lot of things in life, from the yumminess of a chocolate covered strawberry to the tingle of the touch of a lover. Did I ever thank you for these gifts? Barely.
Instead, I blamed you for things that were not going so well in my life. And yet the funny thing is, there is not one thing that you prevented me from doing that I really wanted to. Have I ever not gone to school, had a job, or been denied friends because I was not physically perfect? No. Did you stop me from finding a perfect partner for life? Certainly not, and although I may have blamed you for love spurned in the past, it actually was for the best that any guy who rejected me based on my body did so. Who needs affection that is based on looks, not personality?
Over the last few years, as I've gotten older, I started seeing how cruel I was to you. It turns out that when I stop being so nasty to you, constantly criticizing you for what you are not instead of loving you for what you are, I'm a much happier person. I appreciate that I can do all sorts of activities through you. I thank you for taking the abuse of daily life – from a jog in Central Park to obsessive typing on my tiny laptop keyboard - without complaining (for the most part). I'm damn lucky to have a body like you. You do an excellent job, and I am proud to inhabit you.
So, body, will you be my Valentine?
Suzanne also blogs about life and beauty at Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS) & Other Rants.
Please don't forget to fill in Mr. Linky (heh heh) below and write a letter to your body, too.