What if every day was “Love Your Body Day”?


Can you remember a time when you felt completely at home in your body? When you looked at your reflection and saw no ‘imperfections’ or areas that needed ‘fixing’? When you loved each and every inch of your mortal coil? When you frolicked around with not a body care in the world – perhaps say, on the beach with no concern for whether your bathing suit was ‘flattering’ to your figure? When you felt confident and beautiful completely naked (with the lights on)? When you didn’t have a body policing voice in your head?

Can you also remember when the policing voice kicked in? Maybe it began when a classmate told you your nose was too big, your dad suggested your thighs were chunky, your grandma noted how her hair was always straight… Maybe the policing voice grew slowly as you watched television and read magazines that constantly told you your body was not ok, that it did not deserve love.

Ten years ago, the National Organization for Women inaugurated national Love Your Body Day to mitigate this policing voice. While this day has spurred lots of activism and awareness surrounding beauty and body image issues on college campuses and among feminist groups, the love your body message has sadly not spread to wider US culture. If anything, the past ten years has seen further entrenchment of body policing and body hatred. Cosmetic surgeries of every type are on the rise while new body policing practices, such as teeth whitening and anal bleaching, continue to proliferate.

Yet, while cultural indictments to hate and police our bodies are ubiquitous, we can resist. In so doing, we are body loving activists. As the popular t-shirt saying “Start a Revolution: Stop Hating Your Body” suggests, we all can be part of this crucial revolution. We can, as Eve Ensler suggests in her wonderful play The Good Body, begin by “stepping off the capitalist treadmill” and “stop trying to be anything, anyone other than who you are,” to realize “we live in a good body.”

So dear readers, today and everyday from here on out, please love your body, turn off the body policing voice, and start a body revolution!

Happy Love Your Body Day!


5 thoughts on “What if every day was “Love Your Body Day”?”

  1. I think that as feminists we should really make a connection to the ways in which body policing benefits the capitalist patriarchal society. Women provide slave labor in factories and sweatshops so that we can purchase “beauty aids”. Can we all just finally agree that no kind of night cream is going to penetrate the skin deeply enough to make any real difference? I won’t even get into how some of these products are tested on animals.
    Then there are the mutilation surgeries that go to enrich the medical establishment, which we know has been male run since they chased out the midwives and told us we were all hysterical. Before you go through the pain and the embarrassment of getting your labia trimmed, or your vagina tightened, think about what your beloved partner has done for you lately. Why are there no enhancement surgeries for men other than girth or length increase? Why are they not having them done in record numbers when so much of the so-called male identity is tied to the penis? They are not having them done because despite their “insecurities”, just having a dick is privilege enough in this world.
    Here is another little pleasing statistic, for every 10 times a woman performs fellatio a man performs cunnilingus 3 times. We are letting them get away with that shit and mutilating ourselves because we think that we are not pretty enough to pleasure. Before you embrace the scalpel tell your lover to get to work.
    ‘Woman’ will always be an incomplete project because it enriches men and keeps the lens focused on what they need or find attractive. Stop spending your few disposable dollars to fix faults that are all in your head. I am going to end my rant here before it turns into a second post. Yeah I know I did it again.

  2. Renee,

    You betcha! Ok, sorry, channeling Sarah Palin there — a “good patriarchal daughter” who is certainly also benefitting the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy…

    Wait — you mean I shouldn’t be buying the latest “real beauty” cellulite cream from Dove? Dang, and I thought their deforestation of Indonesia was going to pretty up my thighs…

    Yup, testing on animals is no good — but animalizing women is a-ok. I learned that from PETA. So, be nice to our four legged and feathered friends, but lock up the vaginas! (I know PETA’s virulent sexism is a topic of concern to you as well.)

    Part of my master’s thesis looked into the demonization of midwives and how medicine was co-opted by males. So, that is a subject near and dear to my heart.

    As for cosmetic surgeons, well, they are just icky — I can’t have respect for a profession of scalpel-happy profit driven butchers. And, nope, won’t be getting my labia trimmed or anything else done to my vag anytime ever. It rocks just as it is!

    Fellatio vs. cunnilingus — now there is a topic for some posting!!! Let me just say that my own life does not accord to that 10 to 3 statistic…

    While I get your point about ‘woman’ being incomplete in a patriarchal system, I don’t think there has to be any “always” about this set up. Down with patriarchy!

    Yup, you did it again with a long rant — THANK YOU!

  3. don’t think there has to be any “always” about this set up. Down with patriarchy!

    I love it-esp that “Down with Patriarchy”-just love it.

    But what is Patriarchy? whose patriarchal systme are you talking about…because-if you know-I would like to be a part of it cause it sure must be a fun place for a white guy like me-yeah-more priviledges…

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