My Body is a Temple

Like Betty Page, I am most comfortable in my body when I’m naked.  Without clothes on there’s nothing to remind me that there’s a body shape that I’m supposed to be that might be in conflict with the one that I have.  There’s no bra reminding me to defy gravity and no back pockets telling me where the curves of my butt would go if I had some.  Even nice bathing suits don’t help much – since the stomach wants to be popping out from between the top and the bottom like it’s got somewhere fancy to go.

If I could hire someone to make me a custom wardrobe to fit my body though, I think I’d have a lot more fun dressing up.  My fantasy is that someone could come measure me – each and every part of my body – and come up with different shapes and styles that would suit me best.  In fact, I’m pretty sure this would improve my life a lot because when I do buy clothing that fits my body well, I feel a lot better about myself.

In the past I’ve been very opposed to the idea that I can do something on the outside that make feel better on the inside.  The last thing I ever wanted was to spend a lot of time or money on clothing or make-up and doing so made me feel silly or self-conscious in the past.  It wasn’t until I spent more than a thrift store amount on clothes that I found out there were ways I could look nice and, in turn, act in a way that commanded more respect from other people.

But I feel conflicted about how to treat myself well without spending more than I have to keep up appearances of confidence. It seems to me that there’s a balance and, while I’ve tread mostly on one side of the scale – by mostly not minding my appearance –  I don’t want to swing to the other side and spend my salary on clothes I wear mostly to the office.  Sometimes I wonder whether it’s that it’s actually a whole life change that I want, so I avoid making the smaller changes that might help me on my way.

Penelope Trunk recently said:  “I feel mystified as to why can’t I just think of my body as a room and then be better with my clothes.”  I loved this question and I think I’ll challenge myself to do just that from now on.  My body is something that I live in so there’s no reason not to enjoy making it a place that I like to be.

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4 Responses to “My Body is a Temple”

  1. carolyn66 Says:

    nice work! congrats on the new blog. v. cohesive first post.

  2. Alex Dogliotti Says:

    Re: Your point of doing something on the outside to make you feel better at work. It’s an interesting point. It made me think that evaluating yourself through outside’s input is the core of some work reviews (like when you a get a 360). If you see your colleagues love you and think you’re doing a great job, wouldn’t that affect the way you see yourself? Technically that’s an outside thing that has a great impact on your personal happiness.

    • Emily Kramer Says:

      Good point Alex – I think doing something outside of yourself is always beneficial and that would definitely include making work life enjoyable for your coworkers in whatever way possible. I’m curious though to what extent body image and clothing choices work can work for and against you as you aim for these types of working relationships. I see some people by communicating themselves with their own style rather than competing with cooler and better things than other people. I think it’s difficult figure out that kind of style but it’s something that makes connecting with people better and easier. It’s just one of the way to see that being comfortable with your body – is important for overall happiness.

      Side note – The 360 evaluation is so critical – because it’s not just the boss saying that you’re doing the job that you’re supposed to be doing, rather it’s everyone saying how you contribute to the overall working environment. If you’re doing a great job at work and your colleagues benefit from that attitude, though, you probably already feel happier because of the connection you are making with other people, irregardless of the positive feedback you get in your review. So while outside validation is always nice and feedback is really important, your own body has a lot of ways of telling you what you need to know.

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