The perfection of an imperfect body

It’s another cloudy day though we did have a short break with sunshine. Those bits and pieces of light help keep my mood and spirits up. I have been reading on body image in quite a few places in social media, articles which are a backlash against being told how people should look. Yet at the same time as there is protest, more people are invested in the models of perfection that are being promoted.

Diet books are best sellers, fitness gyms and personal trainers are crammed into busy lives, and fashion is followed more rigorously than any religious creed. The foundational belief is that who we are and the bodies we have are in dire need of salvation. For those that don’t measure up, don’t become fundamentalists for the new human, there is only scorn and derision.

I have heard, and have heard of others who constantly criticise that “so and so is a waste of fresh air,” or “she has no choice but to be a nice person with that body.” Men are ridiculed for wearing brief bathing suits, especially if they are older men or don’t have “abs of steel.” We hear “there should be laws against bodies like that” when men and women who are neither young nor firm. This is especially true when these imperfect bodies of men and women are naked or even scantily clothed. “A woman her size should never wear a bikini.” It isn’t the nudity that is vilified as we have no issues with nudity of sweet, young things; physically fit younger men, or bodies that seem to invite us into intimate relationship.

Regardless of what others say about the human body, we are the harshest critics of our own body. We just can’t seem to see ourselves without the filters given to us by media, by our peers, and by “people that matter.” As a result, it often takes humans decades to give up on the myth of having a perfect body. At that point we either say “to hell with what others think” and dare to be real people in real bodies; or, we cloak ourselves in multi-layers and become personalities.