Tag Archives: Body image

Lent

I was reading about what to give up for Lent here and here. It made me think about what would be good for me to go without. I am taking 4 different exercise classes at my University this semester, and I have found myself comparing other’s bodies to my own. I have discovered that when I compare myself to someone else, even if I am “favored” in the comparison (ex. I’m thinner/better/tanner/etc. than her) I am less happy with my own capabilities and features and am less loving of those around me.

The partner trait to comparison is Judgement. In order to compare two things, a judgement must be made about each of them to establish what grounds are available to comparison. I don’t want to be a judgmental person. I find myself doing this more often then I want to admit. I loved what Meg wrote here:

I remember being a little girl and going to school with another little girl. And I remember the moment that someone else said to me, she’s fat.And I said, she is not. She is not fat. How can you say that she is fat? Truth it, I don’t know if she was fat or not. I can’t tell you anything about the shape of her body other than that she was tall.

As a little girl I didn’t look at others as fat or not. My eyes didn’t register that as a thing to take note of.

Sitting in Tom’s office, years ago, I said, I want to go back to that place. I want to not know if someone is fat or not because I simply haven’t noticed. Because it’s not part of my visual vocabulary. But I don’t think it’s possible. Because once you see something, how do you un-see it? 

If I could let go of looking at others and finding them or myself lacking, I would be more able to see all of the good that they (and I) have. When I judge or compare, I am focusing on one thing, and putting one of the two of us down. I love the notion of a visual vocabulary, and removing certain words that lead to judgement and comparison from that vocabulary.

What would you take from your visual vocabulary? How do you handle judgement and comparison?

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Pinning for a (better?) you

pinterest logo wikipedia

I love Pinterest. Unabashedly. Probably too much. But I also have a problem with how it is used. (There is a difference). I have started looking through the pins and seeing them for what they really are. So many (this is often on the ‘Everything’ section, so it isn’t just who I follow) of these pins are “get rid of ___ in 5 minutes a day!” or “3000 tricks for smooth flat abs” There is not time in the day to do all the exercises “every woman should do”. (More on this at a later date)

Today I saw a pin that was for postnatal exercises. Great idea, help the body recover from 9 months of abnormality. What really bothered me was the next statement, “Start this the day you bring baby home”. While I currently do not have any children, I know a lot about the process of birth (academically, of course). From what I understand, the day after you have a baby, you hurt, and you are tired. Babies are demanding on their own. A woman doesn’t need the world telling her that she needs to start attacking her body 48 hours after expelling a human from it. It took 9 months to get in that shape, and it’s going to take some time to get it back. But starting day one just seems overly aggressive to me.

I think that moms need to spend some time getting used to being a mother, no matter how many other children they have. They need to adjust to being that child’s mother. And that child doesn’t really care if her mother is still wearing maternity pants a week later. And that’s what really matters.