What are you programmed to believe about your body?
“Don’t let your mind bully your body.” – June Tomaso Wood
Being the observant person that I am, I can’t help but notice that the current rendition of my body looks nothing like the bodies on the covers of magazines.
For one thing, it’s many decades older. It has a lot more wrinkles and spots. And if some orbiting alien is currently collecting earthly specimens, it might be tempted to catalog me as a completely different genus than say the women you see in the average movie or TV show.
If I’m not vigilant, this glaring dichotomy could cause serious emotional pain. Like all women, I’m blasted 24/7 with ads and FB posts and magazine articles insisting on the importance of microblading my eyebrows, retinoiding my collagen, twilighting my hair color, black lacing my fingernails.
And as for body size, I’ve been socially engineered my entire life to be a size 8. Or is it a 6 these days?
The cultural pressure is so intense that looking in the mirror can be an act of sheer confrontation. Even JLo recently admitted she doesn’t always like what she sees.
So to counteract the non-stop marketing messages, I decided to get up this morning and write a quick thank you note to my 64-year-old body that, as Mae West says, “is no model because models are an imitation of the real thing.”
10 (of countless) reasons I won the body lottery:
1. I have two eyes. They may not be contoured and properly highlighted, but they both work. They allow me to see birds and tiny frogs and the purple crocuses that were poking up yesterday with new springtime hats. They enable me to see this computer screen and to binge (if I so choose) a Netflix series. Thank you, precious eyes.
2. I also have two fully-functioning legs. Their skin isn’t as tight as it used to be, but they still get me from Point A to Point B anytime I want to go. They can still skip, run around a pickleball court and they can still dance. Boy, can they dance. Kudos to you, legs!
3. I have a torso (that can still perform downward dog), 4. a full head of hair, 5. a nose, 6. a mouth (that gets to sample lots of extremely tasty morsels), 7. fingers, 8.toes, 9. ankles, 10. knees–all of which work like a champ, all of which deserve daily thanksgiving.
It’s insane, really, how lucky I am.
So sure, society and marketers and producers of useless stuff will continue to find ways to make me feel less than. They’ll keep advertising stupid products and ludicrous ideas of how I’m supposed to look.
But I declare my freedom. Instead of heeding their ridiculous potions, lotions and notions of beauty, I will just keep saying thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).