Focus on Function
Our current society is plagued by the ideal of beauty as it relates to form. A woman is beautiful if her hair looks a certain way, if her midsection is flat, if her butt is shapely yet firm, if her thighs are thin, and the list goes on and on. But how do any of those ideas define the function of the human body?
When I think of my body, the first thing that comes to mind is how it looks especially my belly, things like my belly can be flatter and what not. What is the function of my belly though, it’s the cavity that contains most of my soft organs and protects them from the outside world. There are a ton of other functions but I won’t belabor the point. I wonder if the form thing is predominantly a woman thing, today I asked my husband to tell me the first thing he thinks when he considers his body and he took a minute before he told me that he uses it as a tool to experience the world, you could tell that wasn’t a question he was used to answering. I wish I had the same attitude.
I have bought into the idea that there is an ideal body, and this definition of an ideal body has absolutely nothing to do with how my body functions. Yes there is the whole heart disease, stroke and diabetes part, that cannot be discounted for its a serious issue, but are six pack abs necessary to reduce the risk for those ailments? I don’t think so.
One of the perks of having free will is the ability to choose what we believe in, what we decide will permeate our consciousness on a daily basis. With that said I think it’s time that we focused on loving our bodies because they help us move through the world without pain. Instead of focusing on the wrinkles on your skin, be thankful that it is an efficient barrier to harmful substances in our environment; Instead of focusing on the size of our things, why not the strength of our thighs and their ability to help us move around the world; instead of the shape of our hips, why not marvel at the fact that a new life can possible come through there some day. I can keep going about how to appreciate our bodies more for what they can do, but not what they look like, but I hope you get where I’m going with this.
Intuitively we all know that change can only occur in a nurturing and accepting environment, so even if you want to change what you have, first accept it. Accept your body as it is to day and nurture it to do what it was meant to do, feed it so that it can work for you, move it so that your vital organs are healthy, and maybe just maybe, a day will come when we all can look at ourselves and see the marvel of creation that we all are as we currently are, instead of the body improvement project that the media would like us to see. I think that’s called taking back our power, and it’s about time we did that.
Have a wonderful day.
You can find me on http://www.thematandi.com, follow me at facebook.com/thematandi, or on twitter at thematandi. You can also find a different version of this article on my website (http://www.thematandi.com) called Function Over Form.
***In the meantime, leave your Positive Affirmations below!***
YES!!!! This post reminds me of a motivational quote I have been saying to myself since I BC two months ago.. "Remove the kinks from your mind, not your hair"—Marcus Garvey
Thanks for the Killing Us Softly links, will definitely check out
Great topic. I don't know how many of your subscribers are familiar with a documentary by Jean Kilbourne called "Killing Us Softly" on the topic of women and advertising. I found these to be profoundly informative and hope that as many women as possible see and share these clips.
(As found on You Tube)
Jean Kilbourne's pioneering work helped develop and popularize the study of gender representation in advertising. Her award-winning Killing us Softly films have influenced millions of college and high school students across two generations and on an international scale. In this important new film, Kilbourne reviews if and how the image of women in advertising has changed over the last 20 years. With wit and warmth, Kilbourne uses over 160 ads and TV commercials to critique advertising's image of women. By fostering creative and productive dialogue, she invites viewers to look at familiar images in a new way, that moves and empowers them to take action.
Killing Us Softly, part 1 of 4 (10:01 min)
Killing Us Softly, part 2 of 4 (9:30 min)
Killing Us Softly, part 3 of 4, (9:53 min)
Killing Us Softly, part 4 of 4 (4:18 min)
Great post. I firmly believe in balance being maintained too. I think that sometimes people listen inaccurately to their bodies and many health issues could be resolved by portion control,(and exercise etc.) A few years ago I started to write down what I ate everyday. Some may think that this is excessive, but it really helped me to put food in perspective. Now I listen to my body and know when to stop, and if I don't, I forgive myself and start over the next day. Free will shouldn't be an excuse to eat the whole tub of icecream.
I will stay positive in my new business opportunity to come and learn to understand that I will be the pink elephant in the room sometimes because my hair is natural
Great post just what I needed to read today.
Very well said. Thank you for a great post!
you took the words right out of my heart and mind…and while they are without a doubt true, i find the hardest thing is remembering them constantly. the moments when you're at the beach almost being taunted by the women that somehow do embody society's ideal body type. when you're shopping and the pair of jeans that you LOVE isn't made in your size, the list of moments go on and on. but i think it just shows how ingrained society's perceptions of the ideal body type are (at least in my head but im sure its the same for many women). although it is a struggle the only way to change society's perceptions is to, like you said, first be confident and content with your HEALTHY body, regardless of if your healthy body is a size 12. if we as women don't accept the fact that to be beautiful we have to be a size 2, then society can only do so much to try and convince us otherwise. thanks for that post! 🙂