I haven't yet watched all of this video, but I feel like we need to see real bellies like these as much as we need to see teenage girls with pimples and supermodels with cellulite and old-looking old ladies and normal-sized women on the covers of our magazines. I was thinking about bodies last night, about women’s bodies, about my body. It all started because of this post, which reminded me of this one. I apologise for the sudden link mania, but all of that made me think of this post Ben put up last year about tattoos, to which someone responded that he’d also considered getting one until he was told, “you don’t put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari,” which convinced him otherwise.
I was thinking that if my body was a car, it’d be more like a bomby Datsun than a classy sports car; the type of car you can accidentally scrape and bump without getting too upset about it. But I prefer to think of my body – the outside at least (the inside’s all temple, man) – as a mixed media artwork; ink prints and etches and stretches in skin. Each mark adding to the story of my life: my tattoos speaking of my love for Jesus and language and music and family, my adventurous scars telling tales of minor mishaps and major injuries, my stretch marks repeatedly marvelling: “I was once a home! I grew a little person inside of me! See here, I am proof!” And my body will continue to change with time, my artwork one day topped with a mop of grey which will say, in its wise old voice, “I have lived long enough to learn a few things,” and my face, wrinkled with wise old lines, will add, “I have laughed a lot!”
So, Airbrushed Ferrari Woman, I may look at you and yearn for your smoothness and perfection and colour and tone and general blank canvasness, but I’ll always end up with this one question: Do you have any stories to tell?