Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pagan Blog Project Week 4: B is for Body

With the resurgence of the women's movement and feminism in this 21st century we live in, I think there needs to be a frank discussion about our bodies and why we should love them.  As pagan women we are the physical manifestation of the Goddess, so how can that ever be something less that satisfactory?  How can we, as the manifestation of the Goddess in this reality, allow the overbearing patriarchal society we live in decide for us the definition of beauty?

Through the sands of time, women have been the fabric which has held society together.  We take care of the living space.  We bear and care for the children.  Until the last few thousand years, the men in our tribes deferred to us.  So, what has happened?  What has happened even in the past 30 years to make the resurgence of feminism so important?  What has happened here in the west that has angered us so?

From where I stand, the media is the biggest culprit.  Young women look to the media for role models and, for the last several decades, they have gotten smaller and smaller in weight and stature.  In the late 80's Cindy Crawford was at the height of her super model career.  She was almost six feet tall and a size ten.  Ten! Yes, a size ten on a woman that height with an average build is tiny.  That said, she wouldn't be able to model today because she couldn't dream of slimming down to a size zero.

Today's runway models tend toward tiny waif-like things with more hip bone than hip.  Now, am I skinny bashing?  Absolutely not!  I tend toward having more hip bone than hip myself.  The point I'm heading toward is that somewhere between then and now, we women (as a societal whole) have forgotten that Goddesses come in different shapes and sizes.

We forget that the Maiden is depicted as having a more boyish figure because she isn't quite physically mature yet.  We forget that the Mother is round by breasts and belly because of her fruitful and generous nature, just as the Crone is depicted as weathered and bent because of a life of living and having both joys and triumphs.  Most importantly, I think, we forget that it is okay to look like a classic Goddess in whichever stage of life we are in.

As I had my own Saturn's return and came fully into my Mother aspect, I was not thin, but round by the belly, soft and curvy, as some women are.  I loved that body and all of the 30 extra pounds that it had on it.  As I have become settled into my Mother aspect, I have acquired a thinner body and I have come to love it almost as much.  (I don't like being cold all winter, though, and that is probably about the most horrible thing about it.)  Also, as I have settled into this aspect of myself, I have noticed gray hair.  Many of them popping up.  I notice the fine lines on my face, around my eyes, my mouth.  While no one else may notice them, I do, and I'm okay with it.

Our patriarchal society tells us that women can't grow old and still be beautiful.  We can't be beautiful crones?!?  We can't love our gray hair?  We can't rock those laugh lines?  Really?  That's not beautiful?  Filler, implants, hair color, botox.  Those things are beautiful?  Those things fit for everyone?  Should we apply those things to Ceridwen? Hekate? Kali or maybe, Lilith?

Being bombarded on a daily basis with images of young, beautiful, far-from-average-sized women takes a toll on the psyche.  Fat does not automatically equal unhealthy just like skinny does not automatically equal bulimic.  Goddess, however, does always equal Goddess.  It equals Goddess if you are curvy.  It equals Goddess if you aren't.  Goddesses should always love themselves.  If one desires to improve upon her looks because she wants to, then she should.  It shouldn't be done because a friend or partner says it should be.  It shouldn't be done because someone, anyone else says it should be.  If it makes you happy, then do it.  Be kind to yourself, love yourself, Goddess.

Brightest blessings my friends!

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