Sunday, July 13, 2014

Body beautiful

The kids and I were talking about how women are depicted in the media today. In video games, comic strips and other 'drawn' images, a woman's breasts and bottom are enhanced, while every other part is minimized. Flesh-and-blood girls are made to emulate the drawings. We talked specifically about feet and bellies.

We have studied before how women and girls in China had their feet bound to appear small and attractive--and effectively disabling the women. Similarly, a sexy woman wears heals that shrink her foot print and leave her less able to move about comfortably or quickly. At the same time, her posture is adjusted to balance on the heals in a way that cause her bottom and breasts to pop out. 

I think the shrinking of the belly is even more profound. Breasts are pleasure bringing. They are gratifying. But all gifts come with responsibility. With the gift of breasts comes the responsibility of a belly. A belly holds the functions of life--the processes of ingestion, digestion and reproduction. These are the responsibilities: to feed and cover the person who brings you pleasure and to raise the children your pleasure produces. When the belly is visually shrunken--dramatically so in drawings, but still significantly in advertisements, fashion and photos of flesh-and-blood women--there is a literal objectification of the woman. She is not human. She cannot even be alive. Without life, the body is reduced to a tool or receptacle. 

Perhaps filling ourselves with these truths will help us to respond with eyes wide open to the visuals that tempt us and they won't be so tempting anymore. Women and girls are not objects for gratification. They are creations who are lovely naturally. They do bring delight and pleasure. But be disgusted at the thought of your mother, sister or daughter being used for pleasure and never offered love or protection. Then remember that every woman is someone's daughter. 

Truth helps us to not fear temptation. Truth is light and we can shine it into the darkness. That light shows the temptation in its fullness--destructive, sad, requiring no more of our attention other than possibly compassion for those caught in the darkness. 

Then we saw this video and it went so well with this lesson. :). I love it when that happens.