Friday, December 5, 2014

Your body is so much more than its size.

I find it inexplicably ironic that the female body, the very body that sustains and births every human on earth, is the body that gets the most unwarranted criticism for not meeting an ideal that only exists within the limits of photoshop. Recently, I passively sat in on a conversation about female body size and shape. Pear shaped bodies, hour glass shaped bodies, diamond shaped bodies. An array of  obejct comparisons, all of which offended me and none of which perfectly summed up my body type.

Screw that. You know what shape my body is? It's body shaped. It is a unique shape with its own twists, turns and crevices. Some parts are squishy, some parts are not, it has beautiful parts and weird parts but regardless of what societal standards say about it; it is my body and so far it has done a phenomenal job of keeping me alive.

I have finally come to a point where I have a healthy relationship with my body. Where I can look in the mirror and not be automatically drawn to the 'flaws'. There is so much more power and importance in what my body does than what shape it is. I now look at my body and see a vessel for a wonderful and powerful mind. I see an amazing. miraculous thing with arms and legs and different parts that work just as I need them too.

My body has two legs, that are perfectly- leg shaped. They are the same two legs that 5 year old me used to tip-toe down the stairs on Christmas morning. They are the same legs which hung me upside down by on monkey bars in grade school. They are the legs I use as a I fall to my knees in prayer during the dark times and the legs I use to dance through the kitchen in the good times. I care very little about toned caffs and thigh gaps. I have two legs that can walk, run, hop, skip jump and dance. That in itself is more than a lot of people can say.

My body has hips and boy to hips get a whole lot of heat. Forget if they are too wide, not wide enough, curvy, straight or have a layer of fat over them. I love my hips. They are the perfect spot for a baby and mine have held many. They are perfect to sway the same baby in a figure 8 as they fall asleep. They are the same hips I used to swing a hula hoop around and around. They are the hips I used to bump friend as a greeting. It is between my hips that I may one day grow the body of my child and that in itself is astounding.

Arms, arms are another part that do not get proper credit. The same arms I used to wrap around my mother's neck as she carried me up to bed many times throughout childhood. They are the same arms I used to throw a ball and my first punch. They can move furniture and stir cookie dough, they can give thumbs up and high-fives. It is in my arms that I have held newborn babies and my hands that have held theirs as they learn to walk. With my arms I give "it's been too long, I miss you" and "Sob onto my shoulder, I'm here for you" hugs.  My arms are perfect for so many things-- perfectly toned is not one of them but I do not care one bit.

The body is breathtakingly intricate. My body as a female, has the ability to literally grow an entire human being. To form the spine and finger nails, the hair, the eyes and the little lives of a child inside of myself. THEN as if that was not enough- I can sustain their life and provide nourishment to a child ENTIRELY WITH MY OWN BODY.

My body is working hard every single second to keep me alive and I do not even have to ask it too. It just pumps blood and reminds me to breath normally while being called fat or ugly. My body deserves to do its job without being told it's fat, ugly, worthless and unfit according to a unattainable standard.

Our bodies are breathtakingly complex and intricate. They work in ways even the most educated scientists and doctors have yet to fully comprehend. We know how amazing it is that we are even alive and what do we do in response? We starve, and manipulate, squeeze and dye and pluck, degrade, and abuse our bodies to fit a standard that everyone despises anyway.

Screw all of that. Screw what you were told is beautiful. Forget the magazines and models and the fad diet commercials. Be nice to your body. Move it, appreciate it, feed it good foods and let it do its keeping you alive thing.

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