So, with the heralding of Christmas comes new ways for women to feel crap. Crap about their bodies and how they’ll never fit into those party dresses (http://bit.ly/U6sGlw courtesy of the Daily Mail), crap about how much they’re going to eat and drink over the yuletide period (http://bit.ly/WUzUdp courtesy of Female First), and crap about having to inevitably sniff around like a wild boar at the work Christmas party (aka the last-ditch opportunity to pull) before the year’s out and everything turns a January shade of grey (http://bit.ly/VXmrTg courtesy of iVillage).
My, sigh, how the season is predictable. So you’ll be pleased to read that women now have a new tactic to employ to help them battle all of the above – the ‘arm corset’. Yep, a phallic worm-like tube that we can stick on our arms to help banish the bingo wings and keep us in check (http://bit.ly/Viznq1).
Here’s a crazy notion: how about we like our bodies as they are? Why do we need to bind ourselves in chastising tailoring, perpetually whipping ourselves in denial of our ‘flabby bits’?
I think a starting point would be to think about who we do this for. Is it for the object of our attraction? Is it for ourselves? Is it for our peers? I’m not sure if people really know why entirely. I think it’s often a product of the myth of the ideal woman, illustrated in every mainstream woman’s consumer magazine. ‘You should look like this’ messages are mainlined into the female psyche daily, until you’ve found you’ve filled up your baskets with body shaper worms and you’re about to have a Father Ted style department store moment because you’ve forgotten who you are.
Someone might argue that women might wear a body shaper to feel ‘good’ and ‘confident’. But is denying who and what you really are ever good for you in the short or long run?
If I wore a body corset or an arm corset, I’d know that the slimmer bodied or armed me wasn’t me. I’d know that the object of my attractions would eventually see the flabbier bodied or flabbier armed me, and that, sadly might make me feel blue.
So what about ditching the armbands and just enjoying your natural bodies? I’m not saying we should run out into the fields and get all hippy, but just enjoy your beautiful body as it is and never feel ashamed. Positive thinking is better for you than self-flaggellation anyday, and will have a knock-on affect on different areas of your life.
Eva Wiseman really inspired me to write about this after I read her column in the Guardian weekend magazine – it’s such a well-written and heartwarming feature: www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/09/wobbly-arms-women-body-image