Body Beautiful?

The last time I felt connected to my body was when I was 12. Running through the garden, a glorious, uncomplicated synchronicity of thoughts and limbs.

When I was 13, that changed. I became – self-conscious. My body, once an ally, became alien instead.  It sprouted and bled and wouldn’t do what it was told. It shouted when I wanted it to be silent and threatened to erupt when I longed to blend in.  Anorexia was partly a reaction to this: a slap to the sexuality I didn’t want and a path back to the security and invincibility of childhood.

Coming out of anorexia has forced me to think again about my body.  The things I took for granted.  Digestion, healthy bones, fertility.  For a long time I wanted to stay like a child.  Now I want to be a grown-up…but perhaps too late.

Has any culture been more obsessed by the body? Or more dissatisfied with its natural form?

Waxed and carved.  Sprayed, splayed and displayed. A siren to draw people in – and a scarecrow to keep them at bay.

Keep off.  Don’t touch. Look at me: don’t you want a piece of this? If you like it, maybe I will too.

A barrier.  A shop-window. Flesh as a weapon: whether I make myself big or shrink myself small.

A symbol.  A invitation. A threat. Anything but what it really is:

a gift.  Beautiful, redeemed and made for glory.

‘Christ will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like His glorious body’. Phil 3:21.





3 thoughts on “Body Beautiful?

  1. a gift. Beautiful, redeemed and made for glory.

    Exactly. Why is it so horribly hard to belive though?

  2. Good question – what do you think?

    I guess post Fall we don’t see ourselves as we should – along with everything else our bodies (and creation itself) experiences shame and pain and separation and death. Culturally, we can’t cure death -but if we age less quickly we can maybe forget it’s there. And if everything is relative then nothing is of value except what is physical. Maybe.

    But personally I think it’s that I want to be God. So I look to my body instead of His – I punish it and worship it at the same time and ask it to bear a divine weight which crushes it instead.

  3. wow. Making me think – not fair, Emma ;)

    All of the above I think. But what you just said about wanting to be God resonates most with me. I can’t live up to the ridiculous standards I set myself, and so I hide the turmoil of that with food. Hmm.

    Thanks again for a really thoughtful post, lovely.

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