Your Thoughts

We asked you what came to mind when thinking about your body.  So many topics came up, from learning self-love and managing societal pressures to how we talk to our daughters and how we talk to ourselves. Here are a few highlights:

Musician Jenny Lou Drew of Troubled Girl took this self-portrait, after “contemplating how to avoid the incredible conundrum of how to approach my makeup.”

Jenny Lou Drew
“As an artist and a musician, I’ve grappled with the constraints and pressures of physical presentation in performance art. There is a different set of expectations for women musicians that seems to underwrite our value as performers and turn focus to our physicality and the way we present ourselves visually. It’s an insidious cultural demand, and it can be very pressuring, even consuming. I don’t want the art I bring to the table to be largely evaluated on the basis of the bowl I’m serving it from, but that’s the breaks. You’ll find that in music, men are much less judged on the merits of their bodies, and critiqued more deeply into the merits of their writing and art as a whole. I’ve begun to explore ways to turn such pressures upside down, or even to play with the visual expectations of the voyeur as a whole. Fashion is art, but there is an extra dose of cultural expectation for female musicians to also be fashion figures entirely separate from the art they are making.”

Emma Bouthillette
“I spent most of my living years fighting an uphill battle with my weight. Weight loss is damn near impossible for me as a survivor of a craniopharyngioma (rare, benign brain tumor). And with social media, smartphones, and the ease of photos of myself being posted without the scrutiny of my own 50 selfie takes, I realized I was focusing on everything I hated about how I looked in the photo. I promised to be kinder to myself. My goal (which I set about two years ago) was to not nitpick images, but find the thing I loved most and proclaim it. As a teenager, I wanted to wear bikinis like my friends, but I was never the “right size.” I rocked a bikini on St. Maarten on my 30th birthday and felt incredible. I had been waiting to be a certain size to be happy. I suddenly loved myself truly and fully, and happiness followed.”

Noreen Berkland
“I am 56 and struggle with keeping my weight to where it needs to be. I fully accept who I am and how I look. I have had four kids. I have a big butt, my belly represents four pregnancies. My tits are still nice. (Because my mother told me to always keep them in their cage. They will stay nice that way.) But, with all of my faults (what I think ), I am beautiful. I get aggravated over those 10 pounds. I have facials for those wrinkles and dark circles. Haha, I tell my husband it is for my well being. I even got a doctor’s note. But no matter what, I love me. I love me just the way I am.”

Kerry MacDonald
“I try to be nicer and more positive to myself now in my 40s. I also am very aware of how I look, talk and present my body and self influences my 15-year-old daughter.”

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