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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mormon Women Bare

Hi! It's been a thousand years since I've emblogginated!

But look. What an interesting project. I am particularly intrigued by this statement from the FAQ:

What we are exploring is how a woman views herself and her body after spending the majority of her life, particularly her formative years, in the Church.
As a teenager in the LDS church often enough I found few similarities between myself and the other girls in my cohort, even my closest friends; looking back now, it's a bit easier to feel compassion for the younger woman I was, as well as for my friends, who almost certainly were dealing with the same doubts and fears as I was. We all had the same upbringing, after all. 

I wouldn't say that I am comfortable with my body. Certainly I am not properly appreciative of its health, its strength. It rarely gets bogged down with colds, and it's capable of walking two miles in work shoes. It can chop onions without crying, make love while laughing, dance with only twinges of embarrassment--but what I see in the mirror is a weird nose and flab and knobby knees. How much of that is from soaking in US beauty culture for twenty-six years, and how much of it is leftover confusion and assumptions from various lessons learned in fifteen years of LDS culture? 

"My body is capable of producing children, therefore it should, and since it hasn't, I am not a Real Woman (TM)." No, no, the choice is mine. Really. It is. Really.

"The way that my body is maintained is not attractive to some men, and I should probably change that." No, no, I was not born onto the earth to be attractive to men. Really. Really.

Run-of-the-mill Western kyriarchy dosed with dogma backing up the immutability of sex and the eternal significance of gender roles; a culture that--overtly or covertly, intentionally or accidentally--promotes a certain body and code of attractiveness for female members. I have a new litany now, one I'm conscious of, one that reminds me of all the ways I have found joy in my body. May we continue to rebuild ourselves.
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