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Speak well of your body

via http://harrietbrown.blogspot.com/2007/07/take-love-your-body-pledge.html
via serenejournal and sistercoyote
I, your name here, pledge to speak kindly about my body.

I promise not to talk about how fat my thighs or stomach or butt are, or about how I really have to lose 5 or 15 or 50 pounds. I promise not to call myself a fat pig, gross, or any other self-loathing, trash-talking phrase.

I vow to be kind to myself and my body. I will learn to be grateful for its strength and attractiveness, and be compassionate toward its failings.

I will remind myself that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and that no matter what shape and size my body is, it’s worthy of kindness, compassion, and love.
The point of this pledge is to "change the way girls and women talk to themselves and others about their bodies." I like that. I'm all for changing how body-hatred talk becomes an automatic bonding ritual among women that IMO ends up damaging our self-esteem and reinforcing a negative tendency to view our bodies as tools and vehicles to be manipulated instead of, well, us.

I certain am happy to pledge that I won't "call myself a fat pig, gross, or any other self-loathing, trash-talking phrase," except in mockery of such phrases or as a way of describing an inner landscape I don't agree with and want to change.

The part I won't promise is not to talk about how fat my thighs or stomach or butt are. Because promising that in the context of a promise not to talk trash about my body implies that I'm broken if I have fat thighs or stomach or butt. And I don't agree with that. My thighs and stomach and butt are fat, and there's nothing broken about any of them.

Comments

( 34 comments — Leave a comment )
sistercoyote
Jul. 9th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
I agree with your last paragraph, though I think in context we're talking about "bad" fat (OMG I'm so fat no one will ever love me blah blah blah) and not "good" fat (Yep. I'm fat. You deal with your own problems with that.)

At least, that's how I took it. :)
firecat
Jul. 9th, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think it was talking about "OMG I'm so fat" stuff too, but I thought it was important to draw a distinction rather than having it left unsaid.
(no subject) - sistercoyote - Jul. 9th, 2007 09:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
ailbhe
Jul. 9th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
This bothered me when I first saw the meme but I felt unable ocomment because I'm not fat.
sistercoyote
Jul. 9th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
Why not? You have a body that deserves to be loved, spoken of kindly, and respected, too. If you're one of the lucky ones who never looks at any part of your form and thinks "Part X is gross/disgusting/needs to be changed/other nasty, negative thing" then I want to learn how to be you! (And I'm really not being sarcastic, here, I know how hard it is to tell over the Internet.)

Body acceptance is as much about not telling the thin or average person to eat a sandwich/cheeseburger/whatever as it is not telling the fat (or average!) person they need to go on a diet.

And I'm really worried about how you're going to take this comment, for some reason.
(no subject) - ailbhe - Jul. 9th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sistercoyote - Jul. 9th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ailbhe - Jul. 9th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jul. 9th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ailbhe - Jul. 9th, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jul. 10th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC) - Expand
xf85goblin
Jul. 9th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
I mostly agree
I partially hate my body for not looking like a therapist's body.

Stef, you have a prickly but lovable soul and I know bodies get in the way

for a woman (if you play the game honestly). This is stuff I avoided in

our email friendship, and I have had a bit of an education in women since,

just two things to add to this which you seem to keep a lid on.

1. If your body doesnt match the beauty of you soul, don't let the ugly seep in by osmosis.

2. Don't let acceptance of the imperfect vehicle, nature/god/the great pumkin gave you as the key to getting on with life and keeping your chin up, become an excuse for a junk food, smoking, drug or couch/mouse potato
habit.


firecat
Jul. 9th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)
Re: I mostly agree
2. Don't let acceptance of the imperfect vehicle, nature/god/the great pumkin gave you as the key to getting on with life and keeping your chin up, become an excuse for a junk food, smoking, drug or couch/mouse potato
habit.


If I'm worthy of kindness, compassion, and love, then I'm also worth taking good care of. Taking good care of someone means giving them the sort of environment—with the right balance of nourishment, exercise, challenge, rest, and recreation—that allows them to flourish.

It also means not allowing other people's superficial judgements to substitute for my own judgement of what that proper care might be. Usually when I see people decrying "junk food" or "couch potato habits," they are superficially judging others on appearance alone.
Re: I mostly agree - xf85goblin - Jul. 11th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I mostly agree - vito_excalibur - Jul. 10th, 2007 09:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: I mostly agree - xf85goblin - Jul. 11th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
debxena
Jul. 9th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
I had exactly the same thought when I first read this - I like the sentiment and the intention of this pledge, but I disagree with declaring the word 'fat' off-limits. I've gone the opposite way and reclaimed the word - I use it a lot, as it is a good descriptor, and accurate (in my case). I'm fat, and it's not a bad thing. It just is.

If I were to alter anything about this pledge, it would be changing:
I promise not to talk about how fat my thighs or stomach or butt are, or about how I really have to lose 5 or 15 or 50 pounds.
to
I promise not to talk about how horrible my thighs or stomach or butt are, or about how I really have to change them to feel accepted in society.
firecat
Jul. 10th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
Well altered.
(no subject) - starcat_jewel - Jul. 10th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - debxena - Jul. 10th, 2007 09:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - selki - Jul. 10th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - debxena - Jul. 10th, 2007 11:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - selki - Jul. 11th, 2007 09:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - debxena - Jul. 12th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - selki - Jul. 12th, 2007 12:58 am (UTC) - Expand
submarine_bells
Jul. 10th, 2007 12:19 am (UTC)
I don't do pledges. But I do try to do the stuff outlined in that pledge, more or less, as a regular thing. Hell, "try to" makes it sound like it's an effort. It isn't, really. I've never found "trash talking about my body" an appealing or interesting option, so it's no great effort to refrain from it, by and large. The only exception is when I grumble about it's failure to function correctly, and I think that on that subject I'm entitled to complain now and then.
firecat
Jul. 10th, 2007 12:43 am (UTC)
It sounds like "trash talking about your body" maybe isn't the bonding ritual for women where you live that it is for women where I live. That would be a good thing.

As for failure to function, I think it's allowed to grouse about that. Actually, sometimes I go all silent about such things for a long time, and that's pretty actively bad for me.
(no subject) - submarine_bells - Jul. 10th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Jul. 10th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
ex_serenejo
Jul. 10th, 2007 04:58 am (UTC)
Good point! My entry has been edited.
firecat
Jul. 10th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Good edit!
(Anonymous)
Jul. 13th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Love your body
As the author of that pledge I'm really happy to hear what you all have to say about it. I gree that fat is a descriptor and not a bad word. And I personally have no problem with fat, either on myself or on anyone else. This came from listening to my daughter's teenage friends use that word as a kind of bludgeon on themselves and others. So . . . your points are well taken! Thank you.

--Harriet Brown
harrietbrown.blogspot.com
firecat
Jul. 13th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Love your body
Thanks for your comments! Certainly lots of people, especially women, use the word as a bludgeon, and it should stop.
baratron
Jul. 20th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
You rock. Also, linked from my journal.
( 34 comments — Leave a comment )

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