This Body You Speak Of, It’s Not Yours


You reside inside it, but it’s not yours. You can move it, sometimes awkwardly, and control it, sometimes disastrously, but it isn’t yours. When it breaks you feel it and when it bleeds you feel it and when it betrays you, you feel it. But it isn’t yours. 

It’s theirs. 

It’s theirs to judge. If it isn’t acceptable then no, you don’t need that second helping or that sugary snack or that savory treat. It’s taking up too much space so you need to resent it and shape it and shrink it to a height, weight, width suitable for their pleasurable consumption. Or yes, you need extra servings and larger portions and possibly a bathroom escort. You must have a problem and it must be unmanageable because it has plenty of bones and not enough curves and an unappealing plainness reserved for asexual youth. You see, men have to want it and women have to envy it and products have to compliment it and you; you have to endure it. 

It’s theirs to flaunt. It can be displayed in the background of a music video or in the pages of a magazine, but only by them. It’s expression if they leave it naked and it’s art if they have it exposed and it’s alluring if they keep it tantalizing. But if you put it in a skirt too short or shirt too tight or a pair of heels too tall, you’re abandoning it. You’re leaving it for others to have, no longer able to own it or protect it or be proud of it. You’ve made their naked, exposed, alluring and tantalizing package dirty and inviting and suggestive and unmanageable so whatever happens to it, and to you; you have to endure it. 

It’s theirs to debate. It’s a political platform for senators and a righteous symbol for religions and debatable fodder for mainstream medias. It’s a life-creating entity too powerful for you to control or a sexualized temple you must continually, and apologetically, cleanse. They know what is best for it and they know how to maintain it so they should have the power to tell you what to do with it. Sacrifice it when a stick turns blue and hide it when desire becomes overwhelming and display it when entertainment is needed. Votes will be counted and tedious deliberations will be held and endless prayers will be prayed and you; you have to endure it. 

It’s theirs to blame. If it inhibits control it’s because it instills desire and if it fosters obsession it’s because it instills curiosity and if it breeds hate it’s because it instills envy. It is why certain men cannot comprehend “no” and certain women hate instead of support and certain afternoons are deadly instead of pleasant. It’s why morals are looser and birth control is cheaper and abortions are higher. It’s the cause of sexual assault when it’s denied and the instigator of violence when it’s not a reward and it’s the depleting moral currency of which human worth is valued and you; you have to endure it. 

You reside in it. When it breaks you feel it and when it bleeds you feel it and when it betrays you, you feel it. But it isn’t yours. It never was. It was always theirs. The collective “they” with forums and comment sections and legislations and dominant standards. The concerted populous devoid of consequence or responsibility or concern. The collaborative culture blindly creating binaries of right and wrong, yes and no, desirable and repulsive, victim and culprit.

Unless their numbers begin to dwindle and norms begin to change and accepted truths are unraveled, that body you move sometimes awkwardly and control sometimes disastrously. Well, that isn’t your body at all. 

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