I have a friend who talks about her body as if it were a decrepit building: ‘Got to shore up the crumbling edifice!’ she laughs, surveying her face in the mirror. Another references hair removal as if tackling some overgrown waste ground. Rather than celebrating our bodies we wage war on them. Well, why not call a temporary ceasefire? Hang out a white flag and cease hositilities for a moment?
Your body is wonderful and amazing. After all, it’s keeping you alive. It may have climbed a mountain or pressed the pedal to the floor to get you out of trouble. It has fought off bugs, lurgies and nasties: all those unmentionables which lurk on grubby door handles or in tube train sneezes. It’s self healing, water resistant and breathable, fits all ages, runs on a wide range of cheap fuels and has its own internal pump beating 100,000 times a day. It comes in a range of colours, sizes and styles. Whilst key internal components are interchangeable, no two bodies are the same. It has programmable hardware, is often voice activated and contains an irrepressible spirit. The soul has not yet been identified but is said to weigh 21 grams, smaller than most phones but infinitely more awe inspiring.
The human body does have its drawbacks, as anyone who’s had an appendicitis or woken up after a heavy night will attest. But hey, let’s not split hairs (over 100,000 to be precise, automatically replaced 20 times in a lifetime.)
So take a moment to love the model you’ve been allocated, be it stick insect or traditionally built, lithe or sedentary. Perhaps your body has been round the block once too often and is showing its age? Perhaps it grumbles when you run upstairs or shuts down in front of the telly? It’s the only one you’ve got so appreciate it and treat it right. If it needs a makeover, swing by a plastic surgeon for some external improvements. They’ll tell you if it’s all in the mind or whether a tweak here and there might help you physically and at the same time lift your self confidence. If you have lumps, bumps, wrinkles or potholes, a plastic surgeon can kindly advise how things might be improved. So put a smile on your face (fake is fine, those feel-good endorphins are still released) and love the skin you’re in.
Catherine Cowen writing as Patience Wellbeing, Plastic Surgery Blogger