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Accepting the body

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Hardly any woman fulfills the ‘standard’ beauty ideals, which are visible all around her, nonstop. Day after day. One’s own body is simply different, however. This is the plain truth, a naked fact in the truest sense of the word. Women must face this fact on a daily basis. They constantly compare themselves  with other women or – even worse – with the perfect bodies in advertising, on cover pages of magazines and posters. With the result that they perceive themselves as being inferior or even lacking. The self esteem thus damaged naturally influences the experience of physical love, as well. Instead of surrendering herself, an inner battle starts caused by the self-degredation and the attempt to cover up and hide unloved body parts. Some women, who don’t find their bodies beautiful, even prefer to withdraw from sex completely than to expose themselves to a man’s eye. Many women believe that their partner sees her through these glasses of degrading and judges her accordingly. The analysis of questionnaire responses collected at talks and seminars for men show that men respond to visual stimuli in their surroundings, however are not at all unhappy about their partner in spite of  any discrepancyies, big or small, to the ideal woman. To the contrary – men desire fulfilling sexuality. Buttocks grown too big, breasts too small or a voluptuous belly are all rather unimportant. Hardly ever does a man “insist” on a perfect female body. Should you encounter this type of man, let him go; if someone only looks at the body, there’s no love in it. This does not mean you should neglect your body. Health and physical and emotional wellbeing require reasonable care for the body..

The older a woman, the lower the opinion about her own body. A valiant effort at the fitness centre may extend the illusion of eternal youth for a few years. One day, however, the day will come when the mirror on the wall delivers the feared message. Snow White is “in,” and remains the symbol of female eroticism. Every aging woman will have to face this issue and say farewell to her identification with a young woman’s body. But young women also suffer from the model-syndrome. Fasting and enormous efforts are made wherever hope of achieving the ideal body is nourished. Even die most beautiful of beauties, models, are unhappy about any departure from perfect measurements or moles on the wrong spot. Even immaculate beauties harbor fear of the threat of time in the back of their minds. There are actually women who prefer to not have sex than to expose themselves to the sight of a man. One woman who was very unhappy with her body, shared that she will have sex only if it is a quickie in the darkened bedroom. This way she does not have to go without it completely and at the same time does not have to show her unloved body. Regardless, the drama of the aging woman remains. She must cope with the fact that she, when it comes to being coveted sexually falls between the cracks in our society. Why do men fall for young, sexy women? Is there a reason? Yes, a very simple one! It is a biological reason. Men are sexually attracted most where there is the best chance of reproduction. This is independent of his age. A woman in and after menopause is unable to reproduce and therefore obviously dropped out of view. “Now nobody whistles after me anymore!” said one woman in this situation.

Even very young girls and women succumb to fashion trends and struggle for recognition of physical beauty day in, day out. In the times of Twiggy it meant to be thin as a rail. This persuaded many well proportioned women to constant starvation. Many anorexic girls consider themselves too fat. There are various ways women develop strategies to cope with this situation which they find unpleasant. Those who want to be totally sure, simply withdraw completely from “the sex scene.” This way they don’t need to expose themselves to a man’s eyes. They aren’t happy that way, but spare themselves the painful inner confrontation in each physical encounter. Women who want to use every stage of their life as a chance for inner growth and maturing have no choice but to face the challenges with courage. They don’t run away from themselves, but look the pain straight in the eye. They are willing and prepared to go through womanhood and sexuality again precisely because of the emerging fears, and through that to reach an even higher level of consciousness and intimacy. Every supposed wound can be a door-opener for deeper and more mature sexuality. Therefore those who focus on beautiful shapes do not necessarily have the more beautiful sexual encounters. Sometimes a beautiful form is only an empty shell. The beautiful form by itself cannot bring fulfillment. However, the forms exist in order to bring joy. Why not?

A woman who grapples on a deeper level and confronts transience and mortality, experiences that all forms come and go. None ever stayed the way it was. Forms belong to time. They emerge and break down. They build the world of illusion and charm and captivate us or drive us to desperation. The play of forms is the greatest distraction from a different reality. If we don’t get lost in the attempts to beautify of our physical form, we can enter into the spiritual level of being. There the body is only used for communication. It is there to connect with other beings. This means that the actual living being works through the body, but it is not the body. To encounter this being brings fulfillment. The entire body may be used for this purpose. Then it does not matter at all whether you judge it as beautiful or ugly, old or young.

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