A woman’s body image is something that has been on sale since before the rise of modern media. The beautifully illustrated “Changing Bodies, Changing Meanings” explores at the emotional and experiential aspect of the body in Ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome.
The writer D. Montserrat looks at how different body images reflect the way cultures experience their sense of self.
I would love if anyone could share any books that explore body image from indigineous cultures, Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. It’s always healthy to a well-rounded view of different cultures perspective on the body. If we can compare how we feel, think and see the body today with different times – we see what IS UNIVERSAL about the body and what is just so arbitrary about how society makes its judgments and preferences about the body and ultimately our sense of self and our sense of self-love.
Body image is ultimately a relationship between how others “receive” us and how we feel about ourselves. Our culture and society affect BOTH how others judge us and how we feel inside our minds.
When you work with the body, it is important to provoke people to find what feels good in their body, regardless of what they say or think or feel about their body. So it’s almost like you have two dialogues going on in your body and mind:
“What do you think or feel you should be?”
“What do you think or feel you really want to be?”
How you “should” be is your analytical mind which works to be accepted and integrated with society in some way, whether as a rebel or as someone who is on good behavior all the time.
How you “really want to be” is your imaginative mind which wants to explore your personal story.
So ultimately YOUR body image is how you relate with yourself and with your world.
This dialogue on Body Image is never static – it evolves over time – which books like “Changing Bodies, Changing Meanings” have a nice way of reflecting back to us.