This Body of Mine

This body may never win the
Miss America pageant, but she
is a winner in the way
she keeps illness at bay,
how she can shop for hours,
how her forehead lours
when the brain wanders
as it ponders
something ridiculous.
She is meticulous
in moving to beats,
in craving eats
that meet her dietary needs,
in the way she feeds
the cats twice daily,
scoops the boxes, humming gaily
as she takes on each new task.
No, she never asked
why I hated her for years,
abused her amid fears
she was grotesque
instead of rubenesque,
that her secrets might spring free
and their weight kill me.
By her I’ve been forgiven.
Now to enjoy living
in this body who sings
and whose laughter rings
throughout the room,
allowing contentment to bloom.
Not everyone admires her,
some would brand her cur
as though subjective standards
somehow should matter.
But she knows her worth,
and rebuffs them with mirth.

9 thoughts on “This Body of Mine

  1. So well expressed, Jen! Society defines and takes ownership of the female body from the moment she comes screaming into the light. It was until I entered my forties that I owned my power of being a woman.

    1. One reason I enjoy Lizzo’s music so much is her willingness to be out there as is, and anytime someone feels entitled to make comments about her body, they are piled on by her fans. One person in particular thought he could do that, and all I could think is that a man who refuses to face the truth about his mental health is in NO POSITION to criticize anyone else’s lifestyle choices.

    1. They are ridiculous. And men also get their share of body hatred, from height, to penis size, to hair line. If only men knew that none of those things matter to me. I’m far more concerned with what’s in his heart.

  2. Thank goodness a group of women published a book in 1970 entitled “Our Bodies Ourselves” because no one else would tell us anything about our bodies then–in no small part because now men, who managed all the studies, ever cared to find out. Time Magazine has a good article today, “The Idea of a ‘Normal’ Body”:

    “Normal” is an insidious concept—and one that the fashion industry has long tried to define. Bodies are bespoke, yet most clothes made since the 1920s are mass-produced industrial products: when the pants don’t fit, it’s because the proportions of a body don’t match up to the proportions that the clothing companies imagined for it. But the fashion industry isn’t the only entity that has invested in the damaging idea of “normal”—it has long been used by society at large to other and exclude.

    My body is beautiful when it does for me what I want and need.

    1. I am in need of clothing as as I looked online at the different sale items I noted how some of the photos were photoshopped and they didn’t even try to hide it. Plus size women don’t have thigh gaps! 🙄

      1. Clothes aren’t made for real bodies. They are designed to look nice as a garment on a hanger so people will buy them. I think they often take photos of slimmer models and add weight to them, that’s what it looks like to me!

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