… because it’s amazing!
It gave life to another person, and it nurtured her for 9 months in the womb and (so far) for 16 months outside it. It has the power in these arms, these breasts, the warm beating of this heart, to give her all the comfort and love that she needs.
And that doesn’t even begin to describe the amazing things my body can do.
I can walk, talk, eat, drink, type posts onto a blog nobody reads… I can put up tents, cook delicious meals, persuade ducks to eat out of my hands… I can smile, chew, knit and breathe… I can change nappies, do laundry, brush my hair, drive a car, draft a contract… and all the time my heart keeps beating and my body keeps ticking over and making sure that everything works just the way I want it to.
In case anyone is wondering what I think about what my body LOOKS like… I actually don’t give two hoots. Are my breasts are the “right” size and shape? Is my tummy flat, my bottom pert? Is my skin clear or my hair glossy? Do I “suffer” from some “defect” like over- or underbite?… Who cares?!
I mention these things not because I am in denial about how much I really, deep-down, underneath-it-all hate my body. I love my body. It’s been good to me.
Most women do dislike at least something about their bodies. In honesty I should add that I was once one of them. Some days I still am, and there is always a lingering sense of embarrassment about the physical: see Just Boobs for details of mine.
When this happens – shame, embarrassment and dislike of our bodies, of our selves – it is because we are comparing what we have with some artificial, male-created, stupid ideal of perfection. Let go of the stupid ideal, realise its unreality and pointlessness, and you are free to love yourself for who and what you are.
Here endeth the first lesson.
(If I feel magnanimous, more may follow another day.)