I’ve been doing a little poking around through our trackbacks, and it seems that a number of people have found the comments to these posts a bit disheartening, in a god-when-can-we-ever-stop-berating-ourselves kind of way. For example, Maia wrote,
What I think is so important in what Jill wrote is that for many women feminism does not solve our relationship between food and our bodies, it just helps name the problems. It’s also a lot easier to talk about food and body politics in the abstract, which can leave everyone feeling that they’re a bad feminist for not figuring out this stuff by themselves.
A lot of women on this heartbreaking, rage-inducing, thread that piny started, talked about the conflict between feminism and their feelings about their body. Or going further, that feminist analysis just adds a level of guilt to what they’re doing, that they should be strong enough and smart enough not to let this society get to us.
Which is bullshit, we do the best that we can, but none of us are strong enough and smart enough to deal with all of this on our own. (I say “all of this” deliberately, because I think body and food issues are about society’s image of women, but they’re also about so much more. They’re about control and losing control. They’re a way of conforming with what women should be, and a way of resisting.)
If we’re going to do anything that allows us to take up space, we’re going to have to do it together.
So. Let me try to open up the floor to give us a chance to do something together.
We’re conditioned, particularly as women, to be self-deprecating, to not take up space, to not revel in our bodies and ourselves. We can get 150 comments in a thread about when we realized that we were aware our bodies weren’t up to snuff; let’s see how many we can generate praising ourselves.
Your mission: list at least five things you love about your body and yourself. Five is the floor; you can always do more. And no self-deprecation! No offsetting a compliment with a dig.
1. I’ve got great skin.
2. I’ve got beautiful blue eyes.
3. I can lift an 85-pound barbell just using my ass.
4. I can bench-press 50 pounds of plates on a 45-pound bar, and I’m nowhere near my natural limits on that.
5. I’m smart as hell.
Okay, your turn. Tell us how wonderful you are.
UPDATE: Hugo got the idea that this is a women-only thread. Nope. Men welcome. And he’s got some thoughts about male body anxiety and the forms it takes.
- Ask Me Anything. by Jill September 13, 2006
- Wherein Ann Althouse Shoots Any Credibility She Had Left by Jill September 15, 2006
- Finally! by zuzu March 11, 2007
- Good From the Rabble by Lauren March 14, 2006
- Buy Jessica’s Book by zuzu April 24, 2007