August 10, 2014

The Great Body.


Though my life has been filled with reading and writing, it has somehow also found time to catch up on an HBO series, Girls. 

Lena Dunham, the star, writer and creator of the show who is a female in her 20’s, is open with her body in the show. According to nymag.com, Lena Dunham deliberately places her body in the spotlight.

But, unlike many women on TV, they describe Dunham as “short and pear shaped.”

In the same context, Dunham is also described as beautiful, similar to 1920s movie star Clara Bow with her small chin, a bow mouth and large brown eyes flecked with gold. Dunham allows herself to be filmed nude on the show with her skin breaking out, her belly in folds, her chin doubled or while she is flat on her back with her feet in a gynecologist’s stirrups.

Obviously these scenes shouldn’t cause shock, but they do, clearly because this culture and society is soaked in Photoshop and Botox and few powerful women open themselves up so aggressively to the judgement of voyeurs.

I have actually come to love Lena beyond the Hannah character she plays, I guess because of her implied sense of freedom with her body.

“Body” and ” body image” are social issues that have gained much momentum in today’s health world—clearly we speak so much about it because everyone can relate to these issues.

Young adolescent girls, teen girls, women in our 20’s and 30’s, women who have children and those that are creeping up into their 50s and up and are modern grandparents—all relate to the issue of body and image.

I think it is safe to say that by now we all should have come to an agreement that there is no one type of beauty any longer (as media would normally showcase).

Even the majority of artists have awoken to the fact that their bodies should be portrayed in the realest form as possible, and now, more of them pride themselves on that—which is how it should be. Reality is the best part of this age and era we are creating today.

We have a choice each time we look at ourselves in the mirror to either condemn, hate and judge our bodies or we can decide to view our bodies as a great power-house of a miracle, capable of doing many wondrous things.

It has almost become a given that each time I stand in the mirror, I tend to find faults in my body.

I take deep breaths and hold them for a long time, pushing my belly in because I think it looks too big or I’ve gained some weight. I forget that I am a healthy being, and that alone should make me thankful rather than obsessing about some part of my body for no reason.

Many of us unfortunately take the fact that we are healthy for granted when we undermine the things that our bodies can do, and it’s going beyond just our vain obsessions.

We are taking this conversation of “Body” and “Body Image” to a new level.

We need to remind ourselves of the degree of greatness and capabilities of our body to expand our awareness so that next time we look at the mirror, we can smile in awe rather than frown and grumble.

Our great bodies perform great wonders for us—which can especially be seen in their degree of resilience.

Resilient, because the body is designed to bounce back even after being hit with a worst case scenario.

From people surviving tales of hunger, severe accidents, to surviving cancer after going through counts of chemotherapy; this is part of the great story of resilience.

Our great body is designed with the ability to heal itself and it is always working in our favor; through each breath we take, it proves that it’s there to serve us.

I say, let’s all get more conscious and change the story of negative body image that undermines the greatness of the body. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, let’s choose to see greatness in ourselves and our bodies, rather than faults.

In maximizing the great potential our body is capable of, let’s get more conscious about how we feed and nourish it.

We can consciously and mindfully cater to our bodies with love and with our lifestyle, cultivating habits that prove we value our body and being. Such as nourishing our body by eating as healthily, surrounding ourselves in an environment that supports our growth and constantly remaining in gratefulness.

When we spend the majority of our lives and time perceiving our bodies negatively, even when we are healthy and well, are we not somehow setting up our bodies to eventually fail us through this lens?


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own

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