There are plenty of reasons we’re supposed to hate our bodies and millions of products sold to help us battle these insecurities. There are weight loss products, hair dyes, wrinkle creams, supplements, and surgical procedures designed to help us get over the feeling that our bodies are disgusting.
In fact, just having a body seems to be something that’s generally frowned upon.
There are some basic assumptions we’ve made as a culture in order for these attitudes to thrive, but that’s a whole other blog post. Instead, let’s look at how unfair we can be to our bodies, and why they deserve to be celebrated instead.
Every body has fat. And we’re so mean to fat.
Everybody knows all about how bad fat is supposed to be. Burn it off, starve it off, carve it out, avoid it altogether, put it in your breasts, butt, lips, or in the garbage, just don’t let it get the upper hand.
But fat is our friend. It really just wants to to protect your vital organs and take care of you when you can’t nourish yourself. It wants to envelop you in a warm hug on a cold day. It makes babies even cuter. And it’s just kind of fun and silly and wants to jiggle along when you giggle.
Be nice to your fat.
Model: Yasmina Rossi
Every body has hair. And we’re so mean to hair.
It’s okay to have hair, but only in certain acceptable places. Otherwise shave it off, wax it, tweeze it, rip it out, burn it, or zap it with a laser. Have some on your head, but only if you’re prepared to process the hell out of it. Strip off all the nice natural oils with detergents, coat it in synthetic lubricants, and then spend 3 hours loading it with more products, fry it with heat, burn it with chemical dyes, and then try to fix all of the damage you’ve done with even more “repair” products.
Hair has its own personality, and it doesn’t mean to argue with you, it’s just got to do its own thing. It would rather dance around in the wind, wild and unruly, than hear about your hairstyle plans. It might want to be big, or flat, or whirl around your scalp in all different directions. It does not care what colour is “in” this season, it joyfully changes its own colour; it glows in the sun, and in time it shifts into grey, silver and white.
Be nice to your hair.
Photo credit: alejandroplesch
Every body has skin. And we’re so mean to skin.
It’s never quite what we want. It’s too dry, too oily, too freckly, too wrinkly, too thin, too light, too dark, too saggy, too uneven, too blotchy, too blemished, too scarred. Scrub it, douse it with chemicals, cover it with makeup, screw up its natural balance and then lube it up with petroleum, strip it with acid, sandblast it with “microbeads,” fry it in the sun or bake it under the sickly glow of a tanning bed.
Your skin is your soft, sensitive bodyguard. It’s cautious and protective, but ready to face any threat first without question. It will warn you when something’s not right and will become more resilient if abused. It’s a warm place for loved ones to find comfort. It’s your connection to the world, and the medium of your intention.
Be nice to your skin.
Every body has veins. And we’re so mean to veins.
At some some point in your life you will be told that your veins are an unsightly problem. Whether it’s that vein that pops out of your forehead when you laugh, or the spider veins and varicose veins creeping over your legs, or whichever ones happen to show when you put on your bathing suit. You’ll be told to cover them up, squash them with socks, zap them or wish them away.
Your veins and arteries are magnificent, and they lovingly help to nourish every part of you. They do the bidding of your heart, and guide your blood on its journey through every cell in your body, making every breath you take another miraculous extension of your life. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Be nice to your veins.
Every body has breath…
I predict that this will be the next completely normal, natural thing that will someday be considered a disgusting aspect of our bodies that needs to be regulated and controlled.
I mean besides breath mints and mouthwash and all of that. If I’m right, some day you are going to have to avoid breathing too much in front of people.
There will be advertisements for products that ask questions like,
“Tired of that nasty hot air coming out of your nose and mouth?”
“Are you embarrassed that your breathing is bothering people around you?”
People will wear masks, or filters, or some product to make the completely normal and natural act of breathing more socially acceptable, and we will all start being really mean to our breathing.
Sound ridiculous? It is, but so are all of the other ways we demean and subjugate our physical selves.