The Link between poor body image and consent

Trigger Warning.

” Come on sweetie, be a good girl and give your Uncle a hug, stop being so rude.”

From a very young age, girls are taught that their bodies do not belong to them. They are valued for how cute or how pretty they are and as they grow up they begin to notice the hypocrisy in the world. They see that women’s breasts are used as marketing and advertising tools but shunned from public exposure for feeding their child or going topless at the beach. When it’s their choice, it’s illegal- when it’s someone else’s choice, it’s “decent”.

We develop into teens who see females in film and television as the damsel in distress and that ” romance” is classified as a man hearing no, 500 times and then finally ” getting the gal” through sheer pressure and persistence. Her initial “no” is discounted, he further no’s are a sign for the man to continue his plight as if she is the hunted and he, the hunter.

When we are complimented we are expected to smile and be appreciative even if we do not want the attention. In my youth, when working in a bar I was consistently touched, brushed upon and hit on by drunk men who felt they had the right to harass me in my place of work; and when push comes to shove, they may not have had the right but they did indeed have the privilege. My bosses let me know that we keep the customers happy and it’s best to just smile and brush it off; after all, those men are harmless right?

Most women by the time they are young adults have been harassed and assaulted more times than they could possibly imagine. “Casual” and “harmless” grabs, jeers and gestures are so common that it becomes normal; all the while the clear belief that is formed through this messaging is this:

“My body does not belong to me”

Our bodies belong to the marketing and advertising worlds, to shape and mould us into objects of desires. Our bodies belong to the opinions of the powerful who get to decide if my particular busty, curvy, round, fat, soft, body is valuable this season.

We have been conditioned since we were children that someone else gets to decide the value and the choices of our body’s. The government decides if I should have that unwanted pregnancy. The status of that man’s reputation decides if I am believed after being assaulted by him. The media chooses what the ideal body type looks like and how youthful I should stay.

So it’s no wonder that we have come to reject these bodies that we have been gifted, the gift feels like a life sentence; imprisoned by a body that we have very little sovereignty for. We hide our sexuality in fear of “sending the wrong message” and creating a dangerous situation to which point we are criticised for being prudish. We train hard, feed a multi-billion dollar diet and fitness industry and prop up the trust funds of the beauty industry in the aim to look like a fabricated version of an impossible reality, all so that we may continue to be the commodity.

We hate our bodies because it is profitable for us to hate our bodies. We hate our bodies because if we stood up and remembered that they are OUR God given bodies then it would start a revolution, perhaps it’s time we super charged the revolution.

How can we learn to love these flesh containers when they feel nothing but a commodity that we must maintain to precision or risk annilihation and rejection?

We take the power back. We take our bodies back. We decide that our bodies BELONG to us and we belong to them. We dress as WE please, not to please others. We wear our body hair as it pleases US not as it pleases the men. We stop buying into the messaging that we are not enough and we embark on the journey to self love. We unravel every layer of conditioning and oppression that has been put upon us and we rise to the occasion.

We rise for our daughters and their daughters. We rise so that our pain does not become their pain. We learn self worth, self esteem, body love and acceptance so that we ( and our girls) can free themselves from the chains and rise into the Devine creatures that they are.

Teach your children:

That their body’s belong to them and them only. They do not owe their body to ANYONE! Yes, Mum and Dad- not even you or a hug for Uncle Joe.

They have the right to say no & yes, to wear what they want and look the way they want- without exception. Big, fat, skinny, fluid, pretty, handsome- It’s all our CHOICE. Reclaim it.

Love, Luna. xo

Build your self worth, body image and self esteem with personal mentorship or get in touch directly with Luna for talks, workshops and skill sessions for your school, organisation or group.
All photos credited to artist via link on pic.

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