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Ashley Solomon, Psy.D is a psychologist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, body image, trauma, and serious mental illness.

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What if your body is not to blame?

March 13, 2012 30 Comments by Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul

magazines {credit K; via pinterest}

 

In the introduction to a several-page spread in a popular women’s magazine recently, the creative director “confesses” that he hates his arms, and how much he can relate to the body-hatred experienced by his female counterparts. While I’m always happy to see men acknowledging honestly their body image concerns, his confession was the introduction to an article on how to solve “dressing dilemmas.”

What to do when your panty hose run three minutes after walking out the door (when you’re running ten minutes late)? How to find trendy heels that won’t cause bunions? How to stop that turtleneck from itching so badly that you rip it off and hurl it across the room… at work?

These are some of the  “dilemmas” that I face, and would have been legitimately interested in learning how to “solve.” But this particular article had other issues in mind – to use their descriptions, turkey neck, spare tires, front butt, pit chub, bat wings, frump butt, and thunder thighs.

If that hasn’t sent you spinning into post-traumatic flashbacks of high school bullying, it’s probably because we’ve been so desensitized to such offensive and deprecating phrases. I was floored that these terms were used to describe any part of the female body. But I guess in the society in which we live, I shouldn’t have been.

A quick glance in the grocery line reveals all sorts of clever little phrases for women’s bodies – chub rub, side boobs, and the list goes on. What’s so frustrating about this, however, is not so much the phraseology, but the fact that the names are intricately tied to an expectation that women have flaws that need to be somehow rectified.

When did our bat wings become a problem? When someone decided it was profitable for them to be a problem. 

Bear with me here, because I realize this might sound like a foreign language.

We are not born with flaws, and we do not die with flaws. Our bodies are exactly how they are meant to be at each moment in time. There is nothing inherently wrong with our bodies. And do you know how I know that? Because they are the way they are, and that is reality.

So we long to be taller, or have bigger breasts, or smaller feet… But what we know, the only thing we know, is that this is we are the person we are supposed to be, inhabiting the body we are supposed to inhabit. Whatever explanation makes sense to you – genetics, God, destiny, a combo of all of them – the fact remains that we are who we are, with all of our uniquenesses in tow. And if that is who we are, it is who we are meant to be.

With that said, it seems that we have it all wrong when it comes to our approach to our “dressing dilemmas.” What if the clothes with which we adorn our bodies are not meant to cover “sins” or hide belly fat, but rather are meant as an expression of our creative self? What if the clothes were an extension of how we see the world? Or, if you don’t want to go that far, a way of simply keeping us comfortable in inclement weather? What if, for once, they weren’t a means of hiding these, apparently, un-namable body issues?

What if it’s the clothes that are wrong? What if it’s the corporation selling the clothes? What if it’s the magazine that advertising the quick fixes to our body blemishes? What if it’s our government for allowing manipulation and sexualization of our physical selves. What if it’s anyone or anything at all rather than our body to blame? What then?

That’s a lot of questions. They’re not meant to be answered. They’re meant to be felt. Sit with them and notice what comes up.

How do you feel? What if your body isn’t wrong?

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26 Comments

  1. Anna
    3 years ago

    These are such important questions to raise! So many of us forget to question or don’t feel in a position to be able to. We accept that WE are the problem because it is so much easier to point the finger of blame at one individual than it is to point at the industries and cultures that perpetuate ‘body bashing’ in its many forms.

    This is really a call to arms: when you see something that is unjust, do you try to make a difference?
    Anna recently posted..Free hugs

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  2. Rosie Molinary
    3 years ago

    So powerfully expressed, Ashely, and spot on. Thank you!

    Reply

  3. Laura
    3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. Although my head believes that my body deserves my unconditional love, I still need to feel it in my heart. Your post helps me feel it.
    Laura recently posted..We are the way we are

    Reply

  4. Cley
    3 years ago

    I totally agree! Sometimes there are really questions that are hard to answer because sometimes it’s rather to be accepted. :) Thanks for sharing this..
    Cley recently posted..Translate PDF files

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  5. Nancy37
    3 years ago

    In our society, not all the time we should listen to the opinion of other people on what they insist, on what are they quest… I think, nothing can be more important than deciding for the fashion that you really wanted and comfortable as your wear it….
    Nancy37 recently posted..Oven repairs Melbourne

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  6. Cheziannhe
    3 years ago

    I can definitely relate to this post and i am sure a lot of people too…Anyway, we have to also research and look for a reason or explanation…
    Cheziannhe recently posted..How To Deal With Panic Attacks

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  7. Wendi @ A Southern Yogi
    3 years ago

    AMEN!! I am so excited that you wrote this. You are one of the only blogs I read that has ever posed this question. I have been thinking so much about limitations and lies I tell myself. One is that my body is a result of me being lazy and unable to control my eating. I’m a size 10. Why do I have to beat myself up for not looking like Jillian Michaels or Jessica Beal? Because others tell me so. It’s so inherently ingrained in our thoughts that we never even question it.

    Love love love this!
    Wendi @ A Southern Yogi recently posted..What I’m Loving Wednesday

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  8. Minard
    3 years ago

    As I was reading this, I come to think of different explanations…Anyway, this can help…
    Minard recently posted..google voice conference call

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  9. Maryden25
    3 years ago

    Having curves is sexy, but sexiness is all in the mind. Yes you can’t wear sexy dresses if you are chubby but you can be fashionable and be sexy if you only know how to carry it.
    Maryden25 recently posted..Coffee For Less Coupon Code

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  10. Trexcy
    3 years ago

    No one can demand of what you must to do, fashion is beauty but if you are the comfortable of what you have wear its useless… I love my present figure which is not sexy and not really huge, confidence id in the mind of a person and not on the figure of a body…
    Trexcy recently posted..cheap 1300 numbers

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  11. Kelsey87
    3 years ago

    It’s been my dilemma for many years now having a belly fat. Although I’ve tried to many exercise and diet it never succeeded. I know the problem is within me, I don’t have enough patience to wait for long period to tone down. So I rather stop my exercise and diet. I already recovered, and even I have this kind of body, I’m happy with it. If I want to wear a little of sexy dresses, I wear it. I don’t care what other people think. As long as I’m satisfied with my look.
    Kelsey87 recently posted..Happy New Year To All Of You And Hope You Like The Aquarium Fish Photos Here …

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  12. Donna
    3 years ago

    You will be more beautiful if you are comfortable on what you are wearing, that is the true fashionable.
    Donna recently posted..What You Need to Know About Free Woodworking Plans

    Reply

  13. Annie
    3 years ago

    Great article! I think that as a society we have forgotten what are bodies are for; they are intended to allow us to breath, move, think, feel and be! Without our bodies we wouldn’t be here and we should all be grateful to our bodies each and every day! I also believe in the importance of modeling healthy body image for our children. Check our my blog post on children and body image.

    http://beinganewmomsucks.blogspot.com/2012/03/modeling-healthy-body-image-for-our.html
    Annie recently posted..Modeling Healthy Body Image for our Children

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  14. Luna
    3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.. I really enjoyed reading the comments.. I all agree with them that sexiness is on style not on the body.. I meet so many chubby lady there but they find ways to make them look sexier than me.. :) And I love them!
    Luna recently posted..How To Get Pregnant Video

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  15. Shendale12
    3 years ago

    This is so true! You made such a great point here.. :) Thanks for making us aware of this!
    Shendale12 recently posted..What are the Odds?

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  16. Cristina F. Connors
    3 years ago

    So true. Thunder thighs, ugh. That one really hit home from me. My dad used to call me that when I was little. He was an overweight kid and thought by calling me out, that I would “straighten” myself and my body out. The result was to make me lack confidence, hate my body, develop an eating disorder……you know the drill. I just wrote about being “between” clothing sizes and almost feeling like I needed to conform. Enough already. We are what we are and shouldn’t be pressured into trying to “fix” our bodies into something they aren’t meant to be.
    Cristina F. Connors recently posted..When Retail Therapy Fails To Cure What Ails You

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  17. Lucia Petersen
    3 years ago

    This is such a great post. I love each and every point you mentioned here.
    Thanks for sharing.

    -Lucia
    Lucia Petersen recently posted..how to get a girlfriend

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  18. Charmaine
    3 years ago

    Ithink all if them are to blame.They all need to put people before anything.yes they do place they party interest first. this should never happen to this great contry.
    Charmaine recently posted..Paper And Ink PR

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  19. Shanel
    2 years ago

    Hi…I really need this for now…Thank you for the help and the shared post here…
    Shanel recently posted..Ways To Find Love

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  20. Nicole
    2 years ago

    this so nice And I like it.
    thanks that you sheared this.
    great job.
    Nicole recently posted..ppi calculator

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  21. Brien27
    2 years ago

    Body figure is one of the factors that make my works successfully, as a business woman who entertain different clients, my healthy sexy body provides a kind of attraction to them… Just my thought!
    Brien27 recently posted..In 2012 Ouroboros Doomsday Clock 10 July

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  22. Grey
    2 years ago

    Everyone of us received tease with someone else do, but being ashamed is not part of this interaction in which people can do something to twist this kind… Stand up and proving that you’re not of what they are think about you…
    Grey recently posted..RSA Certificate

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  23. Born25
    2 years ago

    fashion is powerful, but you don’t need to insist something if you are not comfortable enough in a kind of fashion, simplicity is beauty…
    Born25 recently posted..Conference Call on Mobile Phone

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  24. Beatriz
    2 years ago

    I think, I don’t need to insist a kind of a thing if I am not comfortable with it… I love my huge figure because I’m capable enough to do my task successfully with my “healthy life style”…
    Beatriz recently posted..1300 numbers

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  25. Khaye
    2 years ago

    Sexiness for me is the way how you carry yourself. If you are confident enough to carry yourself then you are sexy. There are slim women that even wearing sexy clothes still looks not sexy.
    Khaye recently posted..Hcg Diet Accelerator

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  26. Renea
    2 years ago

    I think all members of the government share in the blame. It seems they are all so busy trying to block every proposal from the opposite party that they have forgotten that making decisions that are best for the country is their duty. I feel too often politicians place their party interests ahead of the interests of the country. And republicans and democrats both do it and nothing gets done.
    Renea recently posted..Copywriting Agencies Devon

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4 Trackbacks

  1. By We are the way we are « Me Be Fabulous on March 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    [...] just read this great blog post titled “What If Your Body Is Not to Blame” [...]

  2. [...] teasing and shaming. And the idea that we might’ve offended anyone comes from companies who profit over the random problems they’ve [...]

  3. By Words for Wednesday: Comparison | on March 21, 2012 at 5:54 am

    [...] in this series, I came up with coordination and commitment but then I read a really great post from nourishing the soul that got me thinking. One of my main driving forces in creating this blog was to get you to think [...]

  4. By Words for Wednesday: Compare | on March 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    [...] this series, I came up with coordination and commitment but then I read a really great post from nourishing the soul that got me thinking. One of my main driving forces in creating this blog was to get you to think [...]

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