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Body Variations

While shopping here in Florida, I stopped to sit down to rest and people watch. One of the first things I noticed is the amazing variety of bodies to be seen. I mention being in Florida because without lots of clothing, our body outlines are so clearly visible.

Let me share my observations, then I’ll tell you why I think they’re important. My major one was that there seemed to be a greater variety of men’s shapes and sizes which would be deemed “acceptable” than there are for women. Now, I know this is no big surprise, but it’s worth noting. Here are the male body shapes I noticed. One man walking by had broad shoulders which tapered down to a small waist and thin legs. His adult son, walking next to him, had the same contours. Another man was as broad, practically all neck and shoulders, and the rest of his body was just about as wide. There were tall, lanky college student types as well as middle-aged men who were built like fire plugs. Some men were slim, ropy and muscular. As many had big butts as had small ones. Lots were average size with pot bellies

All these men were completely within the range of what society considers acceptable. Some had a slight paunch and others had love handles, but these were typical men’s bodies I was seeing. I can’t imagine most of them striving to look any differently. It wouldn’t have mattered much: This was their muscular-skeletal build.

Unfortunately, we don’t look at women’s bodies this way, that is, we don’t think, ah, that’s her muscular-skeletal structure which makes her look the way she does, yet that is exactly what shapes our bodies. We’re so concerned with looking and being fat that we rarely take into account that we don’t all start with the same scaffolding. Sure, we might notice a tall woman because, in this culture, a female with height is outside the norm. But, still, we rarely think about height because we’re so focused on width!

What I’m trying to say here is why not start looking at women the way I viewed these men: they really do come in all shapes and sizes all of which look pretty okay. Most of the guys I saw aren’t sitting around waiting to alter their bone structure. They simply accept it. I know that culture pressures women to look a certain way more than it pressures men, but culture is also “us.” We need to start viewing our bodies as more diverse and equally acceptable. When you’re out and about, start noticing things about women’s bodies other than whether they’re fat or thin. Start with their skeletal structure. And take time to recognize that your own body has a structure beyond its weight.