Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Body of Perfection

Last night, I had several girls over at my house. We made hamburgers, complete with ham because you can’t have a “ham”burger without ham. Also, every Mexican has to have guacamole and jalepeños for their burgers. We sat outside under a clear night sky and ate while a fresh, warm breeze whirled around us.

We played the true-false game, where you say a true thing and then you say a false thing and everyone else has to guess which one is real.

Then I pulled up a website I found with goofy, get-to-know-you questions. The first one was pointing out some article of clothing you are wearing that best represents your personality.

The questions sounded odd but they really helped pull out some interesting details from these girls I didn’t know very well.

Then, one of the final questions was: “If you could change one part of your body, what would it be and why?”

The answers varied.

One girl said her nose because it was too big.

Another said she wished she were shorter.

A couple said they wished they had bigger boobs.

One said she wished she had smaller boobs.

I told them that up until then I’d have said I wanted smaller boobs, but I had had a breast reduction, so that was no longer the case. It was an interesting moment, since after having the one part of my body altered that I had always struggled with, I was able to think of several other items that I would love to have adjusted.

I thought humorously of how my sister and I have talked about having nose jobs once we are financially stable.

I would also love to get rid of the acne scars on my face.

But in context of the conversation, I realized something about the other girls. The items they were most interested in changing were things that I hadn’t noticed at all. I would never have noticed that one of the girls had manly hands, (I still don’t think they look very manly!).

In the context of the conversation, we discovered that the things we were insecure about were not things that anybody paid attention to.

We are far more critical of our own bodies than anyone else.

And while we are focused on our bodies we aren’t thinking of other's bodies (unless it’s to compare) and we can be pretty sure that the case is the same for most women.

The next day, I watched this video. It was posted on Facebook and I thought I’d share it here. The discomfort that these women feel after seeing their bodies altered by Photoshop makes you realize the obtuseness of our standard of beauty.




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