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Now at this point y’all are probably pretty used to me catching up with you once a month to chat about love of all things animal, but today I want to talk about something a little different. Love of all things You, and of all things Me, and of all things We. I want to talk about a different way we give and receive love – through our own bodies.
I know Body Image has been talked to death and back, but with society’s recent focus on that Boom! Boom! I’ve got some (maybe) new thoughts to share. So if you would, please excuse me while I ring the Body Image bell one more time…
Lately society seems to be All About That Bass, which is totally great. I love the song. I love Meghan Trainor. I definitely love the video and I love the message she is sending – for the most part - because it’s great for those who have or want a more voluptuous figure. It makes that bodacious bod cool and sexy again; a classic example of how society dictates what is and what is not desirable. I mean really, the sigh of relief from the millions of girls and women who have been fighting their waistline for decades is all but palpable.
But what isn’t discussed much is how this most recent change in the definition of sexy casts out those who might be, quite naturally or otherwise, bean poles. Of course this isn’t the intention, at least not of most. One would hope that the booty’s surging popularity didn’t come about as a way of shaming or “getting back at” the naturally thin people of the world – people who were once described as “genetically privileged” back when skinny was sexy. Meghan Trainor isn’t sticking it to the “skinny bitches” she refers to in her song. But either way, as the pendulum of popularity swings back towards a fuller figure, someone is left out.
I wasn’t alive in the fabulous days of Marilyn so I can’t speak to what was praised or shamed. I do know that when Skinny took over the mainstream definition of sexy anything but a slim and sleek figure was cast out. Fad diets began their hay day period and liposuction dreams were born. Everyone was desperate to get rid of all the junk in the trunk and trim away muffin tops. Rates of eating disorders began to climb to the unprecedented levels we know them to be at today. Thinspiration took hold. Thigh gaps - all the rage.
Now, please remember that I am not bashing (or praising) the Skinny Era. I am simply recapping what happened when the pendulum swung in the opposite direction. Besides, there were good things that came about from that period too - one being the focus on eating a more balanced diet, another being the consideration and importance of exercise which we all know to be wonderful when approached mindfully and with an eye on overall health & well-being. But at the same time, body image became a serious stressor for anyone who didn’t fit society’s definition of “sexy.”
The same thing is happening now. People don’t talk about it, but it’s there – the insatiable desire and relentless pressure to manipulate one’s body to fill the mold chiseled out, not by your genetics or God or source or whatever you want to call your natural framework, but by popular opinion. People who were once looked upon with envy and jealousy for their (inherent or otherwise) sleek figure are now given the cold shoulder as we turn our collective focus to a curve here and a bam! there.
Again, this doesn’t have to be intentional. I like to believe that it isn’t. No one is to blame; it’s simply part of the human condition that emphasizes duality. This or that. Black or white. But if we’re to experience this life for all it is, we need to embrace all that it is, and all that we are - a return to wholeness, embracing every form and figure. Let us give ourselves permission to fill whatever form we take, as long as we feel vibrant and nourished. Readjust our focus back home, rather than out there. Ultimately it all comes back to self-love (surprise!) and holding yourself accountable for staying true to #1 – yourself.
So here’s to all that bass, and all that treble too, because I personally like a well-rounded piece of music. After all, what would Ave Maria sound like without both hands on the keyboard? Not the same, that’s for sure. XX
|Allie is the heart & creator behind Allie’s Grandola, specializing in the fine art of oats & nuts. |
She sells her handmade, gluten-free and vegan granola at www.aintlifegrand.squarespace.com.