Saturday, June 23, 2007

Body Image

I wonder why all the lifeguards here at Wisconsin Dells are Eastern European. But that's beside the point.

I've been looking at a lot of people in bathing suits this week, and I've seen thousands of regular bodies and so far not one single body that looks like the kind of airbrushed perfection that you see in a glossy mag or on TV.

This is the right place to come to get your body image re-adjusted. You'll see plenty of imperfect bodies at play here--chubby, lumpy, hairy, jiggly, bony, disproportionate. Regular and plus-size women boldly wear two-piece suits; most of the men are regular guys with love handles or six-month-pregnant bellies completely undisguised.

And speaking of six-months pregnant, some women are willing to show their awesome pregnant bellies now, and I think it's a good thing. (I know my in-laws disagree. I asked my MIL if she minded bikinis on women who were not pregnant, and she said she does not. She and my FIL just don't think it's appropriate for a pregnant woman's belly to be on display. I don't really know why not, and I didn't ask.)

Occasionally, I'd see an outstanding figure of humanity, but this was rare. A couple of bathing suits were actually shocking, like the tiny brown crocheted bikini that left almost nothing to the imagination. (Nice wax job, girlfriend.)

But mostly I saw people like me, with regular, flawed bodies: saggy boobs, dimpled thighs, flabby pecs, an extra roll around the waist. Slender folks are not exempt from body imperfections: otherwise perfectly-proportioned women had saddlebag hips or thick ankles.

This blog is taking the opportunity to remind you to love your body. Excise from your mind the ridiculous, artificial standards set by media images; they're not real. If you need to lose weight or tone up, fine; get started. But do it for health reasons, and not because you feel like you need to look like Jennifer Aniston or Matthew McConaughey.

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