"The body never lies." --Martha Grahm.
This blog is intended to be an exploration of what it is to have a body and navigate that relationship with said possession through mortality, society, and spirituality. It will include research, articles, pictures, quotes, personal stories, videos, insights, poems, monologues, letters, jokes, recipes, confessions, ETC. Hopefully in reading this you find connection, sincerity, and heart. Healing is possible. Living is the reward. Contribute!
Friday, June 1, 2012
a body image battle between friends--by Anonymous
I'd like to submit something, a problem I've been having. I desperately could use the advice of people who are attenuated to the trials and triumphs of loving one's own body. The problem is not wholly mine. It's between me and my roommate/best friend.
In recent months I've noticed the tenor of her talk about boys has turned decidedly negative, stereotyped, and fixated on looks. "They only like hot skinny blondes," etc. She has red hair and a booty (which, mind you, I think maxes out at a size 10 during PMS/chocolate season). She recently had her 30th birthday, which I think contributes to the negativity. She has become overly concerned with eating and running, but in such a way that she highlights her weekly failures and fails to recognize or reward any triumphs.
Now, this girl is amazing. Caring, warm, intuitive, an extrovert who draws people in with her hilariously witty Irish sense of humor. She has many, many guy friends, and has had two relationships in the last year (which is two more than I have had :).
The problem is not her negativity, although that is becoming a constant buzzkill in our house and in our conversations with friends. The problem I'm facing is this stereotype wall she's drawn. I've now seen her take herself out of the running with guys I think she is perfectly capable of getting, poo-pooing on her potentials because she immediately believes they wouldn't go for her. I feel particularly powerless against her thoughts because she constantly points to me as the example of the type of girl boys prefer to go after. I AM skinny and blonde. However, I am just as single as she is, with as many insecurities, and a line of heartbreaks to match or even outpace hers. We don't like the same types of boys, so I don't think she is reacting out of jealousy to me, although maybe I could have missed something.
This weekend we reached a breaking point, actually shouting to each other over the tenor of her thought patterns. I refused to allow her to tell herself she can't have the types of guys she wants. She refuses to believe that boys will like her, or that boys could care for what she offers them. Beyond showering her with praise and pushing back on her negative assumptions, WHAT CAN I DO? It breaks my heart to see her in pain, to see her feel hopeless, and to wonder constantly if I am adding to the problem by even existing. At times it has been extremely uncomfortable to try and lift her up even while being made to feel guilty for the way I look and the attention I receive. I just want her to find the peace about herself that Heather described, to believe in herself and enjoy the blessing of having friends and boyfriends who also believe in her, who see her for the incredibly valuable and important person she is.
I don't know if there is one right answer to this question, one perfect move to end our battle. But I am wondering hard what types of things I can say or do (or shouldn't say or do) to build her up?