* October 19th the National Organization of Women celebrates Love Your Body Day. This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival.
When I was a freshman in college we had a “love your body day” presentation by a campus group. They posed the question “What do you love about your body?” Answers ranged from “my eyes” to “my biceps” to “the whole package” but almost all were in reference to what the individual found physically appealing about his or her body.
The coordinators then rephrased the questions and asked, “What do you love about what your body can do?” This took markedly more time. Answers ranged from “running 5 miles” to “laying down those sweet dance moves.” I think I said something about being able to walk up the 850 ft monstrous hill on campus everyday and thus avoiding the #80 bus.
But this was a cop out answer. Yes I am thankful I have legs that can carry me up a hill. Yes I love that my body is physically able. But what I love, what I really really just LOVE, is my body’s ability to orgasm.
Shockingly (or I guess not so shockingly given college freshman’s inability to talk about sex despite having vast indiscriminate amounts of it) no one in my group mentioned the big O or even thanked their hands for the effort on everyone’s 5-digit favorite pass time.
Our media is saturated with images of airbrushed cleavage, thigh and ass of just barley legal girls (not to mention the occasional side boob or crotch shot of a celebrity from overpaid, under scrupled paparazzi). They all reek of objectivity and over sexualization of women. Justifiably the counter culture screams of the injustice and points to all the other wonderful abilities of a woman’s body, to run, to be mobile, to be powerful, to be untraditionally beautiful.
Although a woman’s body is all of these things, it is also a cleavage, thigh and ass. And when it is appreciated fully for its ability to run, jump, skip and be beautiful, and perhaps touched in right combination either manually or with a partner’s generous help, a woman’s body is also sexy.
It is a fact we should not try to overlook on Love Your Body Day because it is an essential part of our bodies. Young girls are being taught via modern media how to look sexy, how to act sexy, how to squirm and moan sexy and how to sex sexy. They are not being taught how to actually experiment, explore or enjoy their sexy.
By only talking about the unsexy parts of the body, we are doing a disservice to young women. We are creating varsity soccer captains, student council presidents and Model UN representatives, who love their bodies and brains but wear ass-cheek revealing booty shorts with the words “sweetie” across the butt because a movie told them this is “sexy;” because no one told them part of loving your body is loving your own way of being sexy which usually does not include shorts with descriptive words scrawled across one’s backside.
I’m on a bit of a pedestal here but I’m going to preach it out while I have your attention. If we are ever going to truly teach girls how to love their bodies we are going to have to stop avoiding the sexy and start redefining it.
Sexy is not airbrushed nipples; it is not a series of carefully orchestrated positions in the best possible lighting followed by simultaneous orgasms; it not one image and it is not easy to define. Sexy is something we need to start talking about especially with our young women and men whose bodies, in addition to being beautiful and lovely, are also at their root horny sexy masses of energy. Let’s not ignore that fact; let’s metaphorically embrace it, and start talking about what sexy really means.
To me on this cold Chicago night, it is probably coming in the form of one of seven delightful speeds…