The human belly is an amazing thing. It houses more organs and is associated with more vital functions than you could shake a stick at. Bellies should be revered but more often than not we fail to see the beauty in them.
This post reminded me of a project that one of my husband’s students completed for her degree show – plaster casts of female bellies. It’s a fascinating and beautiful sight to see what real female flesh looks like and a bit confronting because we are used to worshipping at the altar of the female gym belly with its half a dozen demi-gods, the rectus abdominus aka the Evil Six Pack.
I call it the Evil Six Pack because its sole aim seems to be to make men and women feel bad about themselves.
In an ideal world we would be allowed to find our own contentment or samtosha and the ability to admire and respect our bellies (and bodies) for what they do for us, not how they appear to others or are judged by others.
For that reason I love seeing images of what real women look like naked or semi-naked. People who are brave enough to show themselves as they are allow us to escape the tyranny of those who seek to profit from our self hatred by selling to us and encouraging us to ‘lose the Weight’ as if the ‘Weight’ was an unwelcome visitor and not part of our own bodies.
Have you got any favourite images of bellies – your own belly or the belly of someone you love – that you would like to share? Please feel free to post a link in the comments below. Lets pass the belly love on!
Here’s mine for a start off:
About my belly: My navel has never quite returned to its original position after I had the Noisy Boy. Now and again if I am ill or stressed a little bit of intestine will escape through my belly button and I’ll have to lie flat and push it back in with my thumb. Practising Yoga and working on pilates exercises that strengthen my deep abdominal muscles has helped me stop this happening as much. This is good because it’s kind of a disgusting thing to do and the only way to repair an umbilical hernia, or so I’m told, is through surgery.