I must admit, I spend more time than I’d like thinking about my body. This is mostly a summer association, as it is the time when bodies come out to play. I’ve never been one to thinking a particular amount about my body or even think about it at all. However, the past few years have rendered me a new recognition, one I’m not so sure I appreciate or care for.
My mind is not occupied with thoughts like, “my thighs are too big,” “my stomach isn’t flat enough,” or “my breasts are this or that” but rather, “why do we think the way we do about bodies,” “who has set the standard” and “if I embrace what I am will others follow the trend?”
I think its all too evident where our body image standard come from; our country seems to mass produce beauty standards with all too much ease and frequency. The media seems to infiltrate the minds of many and remains a heavy influence in our anti-culture.
I’ve always battled a bit against the standard, particularly with skin. I choose to embrace my Celtic ivory rather than indulge in some form of bronzing that seems to be more socially acceptable. Why is it a negative thing that portions of our body are more white or pale or perhaps blinding? Are those portions those that hold the lowest probability for melanoma? Just a thought.
Skin aside, my body over recent years has chosen to increase its insulation, not to a point that I am lingering in unhealthiness but to the point that I am below the margin of bodily perfection. While I’m confident I will shake the pounds, why do I feel the need? Am I unpleasing to behold? Certainly not (modesty implementation). Am I unhealthy? Not overwhelmingly, no. (I am somewhat under the impression that we are all unhealthy to an extent, but my diet would speak fair for my lifestyle choices) Then why the need?
By the by, is it just me or have sizes continued to shrink? Granted I don’t shop a whole lot, but still…it is further proof that the standards are continuing to shift…er, shrink.
I’m not sure what I have to say about all this? Only that it disgusts me that our country (our anti-culture) continues to maintain and regulate itself with unrealistic standards set by the wrong gods. A fair amount of vanity is permitted but we care more about the breast size/body type of D-list stars than we do about the standards of education taught in schools. Super market lines are wall-to-wall with USWeekly, People, SELF, Cosmo, Marie Claire, National Enquirer….its much more difficult to locate the intellectual substance.
This is self-indulgent writing in its prime, I agree. However, are not the thoughts challenged also important? I suppose I write this because my mind has become somewhat occupied with the notion of “why.” Unless I am unhealthy, why am I even concerned about my weight or ratio to others?
I’m feeling the need to read Umberto Eco’s “On Beauty.” Perhaps this will remedy my ailments.