What a title. Bear with me.
In a conversation with my boyfriend some weeks back, the idea of self-image came up.
I divulged that when I think of myself as a physical being, the first thing that comes to mind is a misshapen skin sack. The skin of my body: scars, tattoos, fat, hair, rashes, acne, and all the makeup I can pile on top. When I think of my body, I think of its skin. I picture myself a rumbling bumbling bouncy rubbery flappy skin bag, clumsily fumbling through the world. A conglomeration of tragic flaws and attempted repairs. Kind of like a taffy pull, but with hair and teeth jammed in it.
My boyfriend said that his physical image of himself is a poop factory. Oh yeah. Taking in food, putting out waste – an ebb and flow of nutrients, digesting and ingesting, taking in, going out. This struck me as beautiful. Yes! A beautiful factory of poo! A constantly moving and working and so functional, so zen vision of oneself to have, whereas I…
I cannot get past the surface. Even on days when I feel like a beautiful skin sack stuffed into clothes, I still know the icky sticky truth underneath. The struggle. Am I allowing myself to be defined by the gaze of others too much? Do you think that’s unhealthy?
When you think about your body, how do you see yourself? As a brain in a machine? As a river of blood through your circulatory system? Are you a Skin Sack or a Poop Factory, too?