Having good body image…means letting go.
For most people, especially female-identified people, we want good body image, by having a “good” body.
This “good” body has all the “right” numbers (weight/size/height).
This “good” body has the “right” hair, eyes, skin, nails, feet, chest, and even genitals.
This “good” body is strong, flexible, abled, healthy, and perfect.
We wake up each day, clinging to the dream of having this “good” body.
Why wouldn’t we?
“Good” bodies get all the social goodies, right?
“Good” bodies get social, economic, and reproductive power.
“Good” bodies are revered.
“Good” bodies slip, sinewingly (yes, it’s a made up word), past rejection, ridicule, discrimination, and even violence without a thought.
“Good” bodies are loved, not abandoned.
“Good” bodies don’t get revenge, they are revenge.
“Good” bodies can go anywhere, wear anything, and talk to anyone.
“Good” bodies make the person good enough.
“Good” bodies never scar, never stretch, never stink, never wrinkle, never get hairy (here or there), never age, never get sick…do “good” bodies never die?
“Good” bodies are never sad, mad, or scared.
“Good” bodies are madly in love and have the best sex.
“Good” bodies are never down.
For “good” bodies, everything is wonderful.
Who wouldn’t want a “good” body?
Most people do.
Many people spend their whole lives dedicated to acquiring a “good” body in every way that money can buy.
Many people are so fiercely devoted to this pursuit that to suggest otherwise is inconceivable.
What if, despite what every diet program, workout regimen, fitness influencer, commercial, or “healthy lifestyle” coach tells us,…
You and I and everyone will never, ever have a “good” body.
With a lot of money, time, attention, and obsession, can we fly higher into that sun?
But, at what cost?
Is it ever good enough?
Do we ever arrive?
If, after all of that effort, we touch the sun, what does it take to stay there?
Is it a life a body wants to live?
That’s the thing about bodies, they don’t care about being “good.”
Bodies care about being alive.
Bodies care about getting enough to eat.
Bodies care about getting enough rest.
Bodies care about touch and other bodies.
Bodies care about joy and laughter and the richness of life.
Bodies work hard to carry us through life and they just want to be loved by their inhabitants.
Afterall, when we judge, criticize, ridicule, and hold with disdain this and that about our bodies…who is it we’re talking to?
Who receives these harsh, unrelenting words?
It’s our own vulnerable selves, sister.
Deep in the quiet of our bodies lives our own, perfect self, just wanting to be loved exactly as she is without the slightest concern for her body…
And it isn’t the love of others that she seeks.
No, it is the warm, kind, gentle affection of ourselves that we long for most.
You see, good body image isn’t about believing you have a “good” body.
Good body image is about letting go of the dream of all that we imagine a “good” body will give us.
It is a tall order.
Having stared into the sun for so long, we are blind to all that we have been missing.
We have not been able to see that the love we seek is already ours to give.
We have not been able to see that what we truly, deeply long for is acceptance, connection, meaning, and purpose.
The pursuit of a “good” body can look an awful lot like each of those things.
It is not.
Good body image is about letting go.
Good body image is about knowing that the body holds your precious self and it is not your self.
Good body image is about living in connection through your body not because of your body.
Good body image is about a definition of health that includes many ways of practicing well-being, not simply the pursuit of a “good” body.
Good body image is being willing to turn away from that sun and believe that when our eyes adjust, there will be a whole universe of life and love to discover.
All bodies are good bodies. Right now.