Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Sing The Body Eclectic

An alien invaded my body and I found myself watching an episode of "The Tyra Banks Show" recently, something that I don't usually do. Once, after a marathon of "America's Next Top Model" I coined the name "Tireda" for Ms. Banks.

This episode was about weight issues and body dysphoria, a fancy name for funky feelings about your body. I am probably like most women on the planet when I admit there's never been a time when my body was "just right" so anything on weight issues gets at least a couple of minutes of my attention.

The show attacked the subject from many sides. The comedian, Ant, did "man on the street" interviews regarding a life-sized, cardboard cut-out of one of the guest's headless bodies. This particular guest hated her stomach, a stomach that was soft, and round and to her, a thing to invest hatred in. "What do you think?" Ant inquired of several different people, all seemed to think the woman's body looked "real" and expressed admiration, one man took the cut-out home he was so enamored.

In another section, Tyra took a young woman over to a large board with pictures of various body parts assembled and challenged her to choose which photos were of her body. This young lady chose the largest pictures and assembled them into a body that looked nothing like the woman beside Tyra. Tyra reassembled the correct photos and showed them to the young lady who was surprised that the reality didn't match the incredibly overweight picture in her mind.

I watched this show with some sadness for the women who were guests; sadness that they were blind to their beauty and that the sum total of their worth had been centered on the size of the jeans they wore.

I still wrestle with this issue, but one of the benefits of not being that girl anymore is the ability to know more times than not, that the size of my heart is what really matters. I am trying to make it bigger all the time.