Body (Un)Happiness

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woman's back with freckles and acne

(Photo: Bhumika Bhatia)

I’m not happy with my body. I don’t know you, but I bet you’re not happy with your body. Why is that? My body is the best thing I have – why don’t I like it more? I actually know the answer to that question, I just like to ask questions and then answer them. Makes me feel knowledgeable.

First, as you probably already know, we’re surrounded by images of physical perfection. We want to attain that perfection, and the only problem is that what we want is literally unattainable. The woman in that magazine has been photoshopped – *nobody looks like that*. The man on the billboard is wearing makeup. That child in the diaper commercials has butt implants, that’s why his booty is so fine. You’ll never have an ass like his. Accept it.

The second reason, and probably the most important reason (I’ve put the most important thing second to reward you for still reading), is that everyone is wearing clothes all the time. Nobody knows what people really look like. You know what your own body looks like naked – at least if you haven’t gotten rid of all mirrors below the neck in your house – and maybe the body of your significant other if they let you keep the lights on, but you don’t know what other people look like. The person taking your order at McDonald’s has body acne. Underneath his suit, your boss looks like the congealed skin that develops on top of oatmeal if you have it in a slow cooker overnight. The person writing this blog post has stretch marks and an appendectomy scar.

We’re all covered up all the time, though, so you don’t see that. And if anyone has what they perceive to be an imperfection with their body, they cover it up. They wear a one-piece instead of a bikini to hide their stomach. They wear a hat to hide their bald spot. And so, when you get home from the beach, you sadly take off your own hat, look at your bald spot, and think that you must be the only person in the world who’s a little fat and has to wear a hat along with your one-piece swimsuit. You feel that way because that’s the visual message you get from not only every commercial, movie, magazine, videogame, billboard, etc. but also from every real person. Their bodies are covered up, so your brain imagines that they look just like the people on the billboards.

There’s not much to be done about it if you want to stay out of jail, but I’m willing to take that risk for you. As I type this sentence, I’m undressing. I’m walking outside. Good thing I have wi-fi, so I can hit the post button.

Let me know your thoughts!