Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Body Isn't Everything!

I see my body as a tool, it gets me across the room. It allows me to do things like pick up a paintbrush, or hold a book, or type on this computer. I feel sympathy for my body, in that it never had a chance. It lost the genetic lotto, with a father with multiple autoimmune disorders, get me thinking about my ear that went totally deaf, and my failing other one, well, I think something along the lines of "poor ears". My feelings for my own body are more akin to one's love for an old car, I hope it can keep running, and carrying me around, but it almost has stalled out completely a few times. One can consider all the work I've done for my body including fighting for my life as showing some care for it. But to love a body? To love a body would be like going outside and smooching my car. It is an odd concept.

Maybe on the spiritual level, I see things very differently, because of my particular religious beliefs, there is a difference between "flesh" and "spirit" and guess which one counts for more in my way of thinking? Real beauty comes via what is INSIDE, and this culture has changed that to be all about the SURFACE. You are more then a sassy fat woman in cute boots with nice hair, and great make up. Too many young girls especially are being taught that is everything important about them. Character, soul and spirit being shunted aside for fleeting looks, and women and men only valued for their price in the meat market.

Even here we end up in a dichotomy of those who are easy on the eyes vs. those who are not and fat is "ugly" to the prevailing culture. Why should we put first the scheme to "be physically beautiful" tied to body-love first? This is one message, I definitely get censored over in the size acceptance world. I often used to write how I hated the advanced promiscuity in the size acceptance world, the bowing to the fat admirers, and focus on the body above all else. What else would focus on one's body as their full identity lead to?

This is why as I wrote in another article on this blog, I find the idea of a "fat identity" appalling. The liberal academics can have it, but after all they lied to me during college and told me empowerment came from the would be "power-career", and hyper-feminism, all I know is I still ended up poor and figured out in my 30s, that this was a path to no-wheres-ville, and part of what lead this modern nation to social disconnection. Thankfully I was raised with more old school values, and met and married my husband without being dragged into the sex in the city life fat style and was attached by my mid 20s.

With everyone pursuing narcissistic empowerment, this is why you have things like citizens of this country, going hurrah for letting the uninsured die. And speaking of the "YOUR BODY IS EVERYTHING" message, on size acceptance blogs, I am seeing this odd word "embodiment" repeated over and over. Marilyn Wann used it in a recent comment. Many times it is used in the phrase "fat embodiment". What is this odd stuff? It almost sounds like ENTOMBMENT! Maybe that is what it really is. One's spirit can no longer soar above the body. The body is everything. You ARE your ADIPOSE CELLS in Size ACCEPTANCE!

It is something that they are oppressing the thin with too and now to see it so prevalent in size acceptance culture, it's not a good thing. There is this message of "You better love your body or else!" which has become part of the size acceptance "politics". Why don't more realize they've been taken for a ride, the fat women who are told 'love your body" and show the world what a "diva" you are, are as oppressed as thin women taught to analyze every body part for perfection but in an inverse matter. Even the self esteem politics get taken too far too. One's goodness is not rested on how good of a narcissist they can be, self-love can be taken too far!

I believe this world WANTS people to be obsessed with their bodies, so when I see so many in the size acceptance world insist that BODIES come first, it troubles me. Bodies fail, that is the nature of this world. Make it to old age, and the liver spots and severe health problems will come. People die of hideous illnesses that disfigure them. If someone has invested their life in LOVING their body first what will be left when they see it fail? What happens when old age comes? Even the physically "beautiful" lose that beauty, it is fleeting, see the end results, look at Elizabeth Taylor's end road, she lost all her looks. Develop the things inside and what counts.

Even here you see the fat acceptance folks, who insist on the same values, of "looks", on the "body" focusing on fat people joining the mainstream shallow parade, emptied eyed fashion magazines, of imposed "beauty" standards and conformity. While I enjoy some fashion and art, if it's kept in its rightful place, most of it is not.

And for those who see it fail, as I have spoken about on this blog, such people are hidden from the size acceptance world, the people put in the closet, because they are not pictures of vitality, robustness or fat "love your body" ethos that forces pecking orders of whose healthier and whose not. We are in a culture that is obsessed with the physical, the surface, the shallow. Size acceptance as I have stated goes with this status quo. I refuse it.


  1. I too have a problem with this "love your body" thing and you've expressed very well what I find troubling about it.
    I'm disabled and I find it very hard to love a body that doesn't let me do the things I need to do and has let me down in a physical way. How do you love a back that aches, knees that hurt, muscles that cramp, and nerves that make different body parts tingle and go numb so you can't do the things you need to just to live, let alone work (I can't even work anymore and that enrages me more than anything). Yet I'm told that because I'm fat and fat people are hated for that, I should love my body. Sorry, it ain't happening, not on a daily basis anyway. There are good days, when I'm not in excruciating pain and I can do more and I sorta kinda maybe love my body, and then there are bad days when I wish I had another body, any other body, as long as it didn't hurt, and I hate the body I have (not because it's fat, but because it hurts and there's nothing I can do to stop the pain and doctors won't do anything either).
    The funny thing is, I like the person I am, in spite of my fat, in spite of my disabilities, in spite of the pain. I'm a good person, doing the best I can with the situation life has dealt me. I sure don't need anyone telling me that I need to love this body when it's my self that needs the love more.

  2. Thanks Vesta. I am glad you relate to what I am saying here. I know how do you love a body that hurts? Mine hurts a lot, I try to live life, but often it is like an annoying companion, you need to lay down, if you walk to the back of the store, you will hurt, etc etc. I've been disabled for years, some of my disabilities are outside the weight spectrum, but they definitely add to it.I feel like the LOVE your BODY patrol must all be healthy people who do not know what it is to face severe chronic health problems. I think it is good you like the person you are. That is a good thing too. I agree with you and relate to you on that, I am trying my best too. I wish they'd stop focusing on everyone's looks and bodies and physical beings so much, that is across the board. Thanks for your response.

  3. Fantastic post. I think it goes right along with dumbing down the entire culture. Make women think whoring themselves out is "feminism" and painful, humiliating "beauty" rituals are "self-care", while making men obsessed with sadistic porn practices and penile insertion in general, and you get an entire population of brain-dead soulless zombies, consumer and consumed, all ready to spend tons of money on endless products to keep the sexxxay train going, all the while not realizing or caring that the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. The covid farce is very much part of this playbook, too.

    1. Thanks, wow this one is from 9 years ago. I was going to write about this but I have seen YOUNGER fat activists moving beyond the body/beauty focus of the predominately boomer fat acceptance people I was dealing with in the 1990s which gives me hope. There's been more discussion of the intersectionality of disability rights with fat rights, and the built in ableism of those who forced this 'big beautiful woman" rhetoric down our throats. I said something at one webinar how capitalism has made everyone constantly focused on selling themselves like a "brand". Was relieved to meet fat studies people who questioned the entire "beauty prison" social construct. So yeah the self improvement is all about making yourself a "better product" to sell on the market, and of course the body comes first in this. I do think this stuff lead to the brain dead stuff and soulless zombies. yes all about being a consumer or being consumed. I don't see this world lasting long this way. You can tell America is having a damn nervous break-down in general. It can't last. The parties and sexy times fall flat, when you can die just from running into the wrong person in a plague or don't have money to pay their bills. People are realizing it's cracking apart too.