When our cultural messages are so strong that even people with a list of achievements that would blow your mind feel embarrassed about their thighs, something is very wrong.
People who feel badly about their bodies are not stupid or vain – they’re good learners. They’re perceptive and analytical and able to draw conclusions from both subtle and explicit sources. They probably use these skills for great things in other areas of their lives – but when it comes to our bodies, most of the information is simply messed up and unreliable – as a CULTURE we have it all messed up. Whole industries are built on messing up our relationship with our bodies. There is a huge financial and political investment in messing it up. It’s complex and intersects with other oppressions but it’s not an accident that the product placement of body shame is prolific.
It’s not just fashion. It’s in sports. It’s in music. It’s in food. It’s in furniture and airlines and comedy and in schools. That THIS is how bodies should be, THIS is how bodies are, THIS is how the best kind of bodies are, and are not, that THIS is good and THIS is bad, other, not ok.
It’s not stupid to want to be ok, accepted.
It’s a very smart system.
But it’s damaging us and destroying our ability to connect with ourselves and each other and mostly to see that we are already ok.
We need to change the information we are putting out there and to be more critical of the information we are taking in. We need to create a better culture around our bodies. We need to challenge dominant ideas around the “should”s of having a body.
If we did, imagine all the other things we could do.