Women are touchy about this issue. Though men have body concept problems I think women learn to judge their bodies by a much harsher standard than men. Girls face different prejudices than boys with this body obsession.
Many people think the anguish around body issues unreasonable. When they discuss the subject they qualify by saying something like; “I know the typical vain and competitive ideas about beauty are an absurd myth-fetish but…” Then they say what they believe (their body concept) that hurts them. That may not help. Believing you lost your wallet when you haven’t is just as bad as losing it, except the worry is for nothing. The beliefs people hold inside and sooner or later return too, amount to what they really believe, regardless of behavior to the contrary. Such beliefs are often an irrational governing habit. These habits are part of a much older habit, that of creating an identity that exists only in the mind.
Many woman feel sexually flawed if they don’t look a certain way. I say this body concept idea is false. I had the fortune to live in a free love commune, and one of our group practices exposed some large unfounded beliefs about beauty. Blindfolded men and women find each other silently by touch only. One gender remains stationary otherwise the people we like would be difficult to find again! The first startling realization will be how different people can feel from one another. When two people choose each other (all participants have been blood tested and use condoms) they consummate. This happens blind. Then remove the blindfold. What a shock to find the person who felt so good might be someone our eyes wouldn’t choose. The poverty of prejudice exposed! Unfortunately most of our current contemporaries haven’t had the fortune of such experience and their ideas about beauty may have never been checked.
I am lovers with women of many types. A woman 21 years older than me has been one of my lovers for two decades. (I’m 45, the math isn’t hard.) Too me the instructions are on the events NOT beliefs about the circumstances or people. Just like when it’s hot outside, it’s easy to wear fewer clothes then when it freezes.
A sincere welcome from a partner invites us out to play. The invitation could be refused but that wouldn’t make it a bad invitation to a wonderful event! To me, when excitement “rises” as a result of a woman’s conscious desire, the result belongs to her as much as me, whoever she is. I understand my experience, though true, probably won’t be a counter balance for others given to a lifetime of superstitious influence about beauty.
Describing alternatives to the typical body concept ideas is difficult without examples.
Regardless of what masses of people believe, (they used to think the world flat) beauty, which I admire too, is NOT equivalent too many things. Though beauty won’t exclude these things, it can exist apart from sanity, orgasmic joy, kindness, intelligence, life positivity (as opposed to suicidal), and honesty to name a few. Just think of how big the list would be of what beauty isn’t. Beauty can do nothing by itself but be beautiful, nothing more. To expect beauty of itself it to do what it can’t, invites a disappointment.
Once in a threesome with a younger woman along with an older lover something displayed itself. The young woman in her thirties, experienced rivalry and angst in contrast with the relaxed older women in mid fifties (mom of two, with lower boobs). I lost my erection when I would go from the older to the younger. A night and day difference in what I felt. If this had happened one on one, I might have thought myself impotent. In fact, I felt turned on to the woman who was ease-full. I speak for myself when I say; a genuine welcome from a woman can stoke the fire. This has nothing to do with a body concept or any identity.
A woman in her mid seventies with stark long white hair approached me at a free love celebration. I was 25 years old. Placing her hand on my bare chest and gazing into my eyes and she said hello and gave me her name. I instantly wanted her! With those eyes that shined like jewels through crows feet. But I had a problem; I came to the party with a girlfriend my age. I needed to tell her I was going to pursue this woman. That was a bit tricky and I bumbled around too goddamn long, and then… this older woman left with a man younger than me! I never saw her again.
What can I say? I made a terrible mistake.
The world has real things and experiences that we do not carry in our habits of mind. But our routines of thought can make us miss what stares us in the face.
By Todd Vickers
Edit: 2/22/2018 Image and Grammar