Sunday, March 27, 2011

Loving yourself is counter-cultural

My monthly women and food group met this afternoon, and I shared part of the Lighten Up CD with them. We got into a wonderful discussion about the magic of love and the powerful nature of loving ourselves and the difficulty of doing that in a culture that is based on hatred of the body (both from our Puritanical origins and from over 50 years of constant advertising messages that teach us, or rather brainwash us, into dissatisfaction with what we have and who we are so that we will buy stuff and keep the economy going).

Women are, I think, drawn to the food group, because they are looking for yet another way to lose weight, to somehow avoid the deterioration of aging and regain that slim, youthful body that they still expect to see in the mirror. I reminded them that the group's goal is peace, peace with food, peace with ourselves and that there's nowhere to get to except there.

I have felt more of that in the week that I've been doing the simple Lighten Up exercise. I am able to look at myself in the huge mirror that stretches across one whole wall of my rather large bathroom and be okay with what I see, something I didn't think would ever happen. Going against the grain is not easy, turning off the discouraging, dissatisfaction-producing messages is also not easy, but maybe it's time more of us were revolutionary in this sense. Maybe it's time to say "enough" to our culture's obsession with only a certain kind
of beauty, only a certain look. I'd love to see Oprah with her own skin and hair on the cover of her magazine one of these days.

1 comment:

sorella said...

Dear Jill,

It's amazing how some positive attention can reap significant benefit, isn't it? It's an antidote to another cultural thing, about how we have to WORK so hard at things to change them. And I totally agree with your comment about Oprah!