Does this image make you cringe? I found it a couple of days ago when I was looking for something else – as you do.
When I saw it my jaw dropped, what a violent image! A wood saw to hack the slender but round thighs and buttocks off the body of a slender woman.
And she’s doing that to herself!
You might be thinking ‘oh as if’! True enough, it’s just an illustration of a desire to remove a body part. It’s way more likely that a woman would save her money or take a loan to get liposuction instead of taking a saw to herself.
And that would be seen as admirable by many of her friends, who might even envy her.
But to me, liposuction is a terrifying act of violence on the body, one so severe that it requires a heavy anaesthetic to get through it, and weeks of recovery in elasticised clothing that pressure the area where the fat has been sucked out so that there might be a smooth result.
And all so that someone can feel like they’re closer to the Official Body.
Or is there something else going on? As Wendy Shanker says in her book The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life, and in her Body Image Revolution interview, the idea that our bodies should look less womanly and more like adolescent boys, started to emerge at the same time as political and financial equality started to be written into law in the western world.
That’s a theory many feminist thinkers have proposed for years – that the fascination men have for women’s bodies gives women such power, that when women started to push for what essentially amounts to economic and social freedom, the power of the feminine had to be controlled. And that was achieved by making women hyper-aware of their bodies and prizing boyish slenderness above womanly curves.
Or, it could have been co-incidence.
It doesn’t really matter either way, because the fact is, we women actively took part in that shift.
We choose to shave or wax off our body hair, we choose to use hair dyes, skin-clogging makeup, to buy the programs, pills, potions and lotions that promise youth and boyish slenderness, to restrict our food, to put the low fat highly processed foods into our bodies.
We. choose. it.
Yes, we think we’re doing the right thing, we listen to the ‘experts’, trust them, and follow their advice.
And along the way our health, self-worth and self-esteem suffer tremendous pain.
Our finances also suffer because none of those solutions are cheap – and cosmetic surgery is getting right up there in terms of bloody expensive and really not needed.
But things are changing…. more and more people are talking about this stuff, not enough yet, but more every day.
As a holistic practitioner working with the body’s energy, I also believe that the planet has energy currents, and so do the planets and suns and systems of which we are a part. As our planet moves through space, the energy coming onto the surface of the planet shifts and changes, and affects us. And one such such change is nearly here, the 2012 end-of-one-cycle and beginning of a new cycle.
And that new cycle heralds the return of the Divine Feminine in 2012. It’s not like one door slamming shut and another leaping open – it’s more like one door opening and the light streaming through, brightening the area. We move towards that light and the other door stays open, but the light of the new opening gradually changes the room. That’s what we’re seeing, gradual change is emerging, a new way of being is evolving.
And appreciating the female body in a new way, as a powerful vessel of creation, is part of that change. Are you part of that change, or are you part of the old way of seeing the body as a commodity, just another thing to be shaped and cut and stitched back together to suit our current whim?
Being part of the new feminine isn’t about being a girly-girl by the way, though if that’s what you like then that’s what it is.
But remember that feminine means power.
Think of the Amazons, the great Queens (Elizabeth 1, Maria Theresa of Austria, Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Empress Wu Zitain, Boadicea and many more), Joan of Arc, a lioness defending her cubs, a woman leading a nation to peace, prosperity, and modernisation.
And you, making your own choices about your body, no longer blindly doing what everyone else does or believing what everyone else believes.
If that choice is liposuction or botox, go for it.
If that choice is honouring and nurturing your body, go for that.
The age of the divine feminine is about being conscious.
And hopefully in this age we’ll see less of the images of women doing violence against themselves to gain external approval, and more of we women acknowledging our real feminine power to shape the world, and not just our bodies.
What do you think about the Divine Feminine? Share with a comment below…