This very morning while perusing my favorite web new sources, I came across a picture of my favorite actress. I only knew it was her because of the caption underneath the photo. The image itself looked more like her skeleton. I rationalized her dramatic weight-loss on an upcoming role. I thought about it all day long. I am thinking about it now. I am so tired of the forced size 0. It’s got to stop.
A couple of weeks ago I posted on my personal blog about plastic surgery. I asked readers to tell me what they would like to “have done”. The responses were entertaining to read. I found companionship in wanting physical change. I want my lips fuller, my friend would like more breast density. Though, I did mention that for me and my body, we have decided against using plastic surgery. My decision came when I heard Elder Holland in the Spring 2006 General Conference.
“In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children.”
A week after my post, an e-mail came into my in-box from a reader named Beth who made a strong point:
“Centuries ago, it was all the rave to have a bulging stomach: signifying fertility and wealth. Only a few decades ago, women were want to have almost no chest at all. You know, so the beads would hang straight? I think we would all agree that perfection is not simply how perky one’s chest is, or how “fertile” our bellies look. Plastic surgery is just another way that women are being objectified and demoralized. I wish we could better understand Elder Holland’s quote (and his whole talk).”
Beth was right. I didn’t understand Elder Holland really. He was encouraging me to discard desires to want to change God-given physical attributes, not hang onto them with a pious sense of displeasure. To be a daughter of God means that I love what He gave me.
Upon further contemplation, I started to wonder about our premortal lives. I’d like to think that we were given a catalog (much thicker than Sears) of bodies to choose from for our earthly experience. Perhaps it was the first use of agency for which we had fought so earnestly. If we had any inkling of what our lives would be like here, it would make our body choice more effective.
Yes. Let’s see. I will take the less-full-lips on page 78. The full-lips will only induce my tendency for piercings.
Hmm. I don’t really mind the inflatable/deflatable breasts. Keeps people guessing.
I’d like to channel my premortal self and ask her the extensive background about choosing my thighs, but for now I am just going to trust her.
They do make for a nice lap to sit on.
See? My attitude is changing already.
At the end of her e-mail Beth had a question for me, and I’d like to pose it to you (yes you, reading at the computer while your kids are playing outside on their scooters). What is it about your body that you love?
(My answer: You should see my wrists, seriously delicate and dainty. Even better in action when I am typing.)