We turn skeletons into goddesses, and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need. – Anonymous
I point out the row of Cosmo and Vogue to my ten-month-old daughter and say: There is a whole series of magazines that teach us how we are not enough. How much we need to shrink. How much we need to show. How much we lack. There is an entire culture, which we pay to remind us how short we fall.
I don’t blame the magazines. I don’t blame those who buy them. And I don’t say this from some feminist hilltop.
I believed for a long time that I was five pounds away from happy. But I wasn’t. Five pounds, ten pounds, the numbers only made me more lonely and afraid.
At first, I stopped reading those magazine because I didn’t need the help. I can feel less than all on my own. Thanks anyway! After awhile the magazines stopped appealing to me. I wasn’t looking for the change they offered.
When I treat my body like a gift, when I am moving and feeding and honoring my body’s limitations and abilities, I find contentment. Joy. Connection.
I’m not at war with my body anymore. I don’t worship the magazines in search of better. I am, most of the time, free.
I hope that my daughter can be, too.