“I’ve got a perfect body. Though sometimes I forget. I got a perfect body…” In “Folding Chair,” Regina Spektor’s favorite feature about her body is that her eyelashes catch her sweat. Yes they do. They do-o-o-o-o-o-o.
If I say “We all have perfect bodies,” I can hear you saying “Yeah right…not with these…” Which is easier to fill in? “I've got a perfect body…” or the “Yeah right…” comment. Talking about what we like about our bodies isn’t really accepted. There is no space for saying “I just love my…” unless it is something really undeniably good AND spoken with just the right amount of humbleness and self-doubt. “I kind of feel like…is my best feature. And when you have…like mine, you have to…” But feel free to talk all night about what you hate. Because we never get an opportunity to talk about what we like, we never even think about what we like. We forget to appreciate the perfections of our bodies.
Unsurprisingly, our feelings about our bodies influence the choices we make leading up to giving birth. It can be really hard to trust that our bodies know how to do something when we’ve spent our lives cataloging everything that is wrong with them. It can be hard to trust in each body’s individual time-table when we’ve been hating the very differences that make it individual. It can be hard to stand up for our bodies when we’ve been depending on the people around us to stand up for them.
I know I’m not proposing a totally new idea. There are some great movements and organizations out there encouraging women to learn to love the bodies they have. Check out the amazing women in these photos (if you’re at work, you might want to wait to get home.) I want to see this succeed and spread. I’m encouraged when I hear my friends say that at least their children will never hear them criticize their own bodies. Of course, that’s not enough for me. I want women to realize that the change they need isn’t on the scale, in a dress size, or in how many pounds they can lift at the gym. It is in considering “What is perfect about my body?” and creating a space where we’re able to say it out loud.
So here’s your challenge. I want you to finish the phrase. Finish it with something physical or functional. Share it or don’t. But finish it. At LEAST once.
“I’ve got a perfect body. But sometimes I forget. I’ve got a perfect body…”