Spreading the belly love

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.

Marg Thomson Self Portrait "The Naked Truth" http://fullcirclemandalas.weebly.com/

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.

8 thoughts on “Spreading the belly love

  1. Oh, I was rewarded! I never stopped coming here hoping you had something posted, again something like only you can write, amazing thoughts, amazing pictures!
    I read the previous post and the shoes are amazing! Also, amazing to memorize each muscle! Congratulations!
    Now about bellies. I am pretty happy with mine, it’s flat, and I have an hourglass figure, which for many years annoyed me (I wanted to be reeeeally thin), but now I am very happy to have it. I do have some pictures wearing bikinis, but not on internet.
    Your belly is simply amazing! Congratulations!!!!

    Denise

    • We’ve forgotten how to appreciate what our bodies do for us and that if we are strong and healthy, we’ll look good whatever our size. I am not up for sharing bikini photos on the Internet any more than I’ll be wearing shorts this summer.

      Thank you for sticking with me and coming back to see how I am, Denise x

  2. Great article, I also went to the other site to take a look, and this girl who was seriously ill made me think of some proportions in my life..
    Btw I didn’t realize you were a pilatis/yoga teacher! wow!
    As for the different bellies (or figures) I personally think everyone should like what they like, if I may put it like that. It IS difficult to listen to yourself though with all the media buzzing around and selling you the “perfect image”.
    I actually have history of not accepting my body because it has never been curvy or feminine. Somehow where I come from it was always oke to approach anyone and ask if they’re anorectic only if they look any thinner than an accepted average. Luckily in my 30-ies I got tired of looking outside for “how my body should look like” and decided to listen to myself.. now I exercise a lot, and while people around me keep on saying I’m almost too “boyish” and I will eventually end up with a masculine figure, I’m staying true to myself..
    Uhm, making long story short)) here’s my belly. I won’t mind if it will eventually has more of ESP (evil 6pack) https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-wcf8c3tO8Fk/TvBtMYx2vaI/AAAAAAAAKtE/d_BZeqYD9N8/s400/20111220_120928.jpg

    • That’s a beautiful belly Tali! I’d be getting that belly out as often as possible.

      A lot of naturally slender people come in for even more stick than people who are larger than Western Society norms.

      Being called anorexic when you are naturally thin is every bit as being told you look ‘well’ which is the classic euphemism for putting on weight.

      I read an article the other day that suggested that pretty much every site on our bodies where we store fat is an area where we hold stress or tension. This makes perfect sense as cortisol plays a huge part of the body’s ability to deal with food digestion and storage.

      Perhaps we should be asking naturally slim people how they avoid the stress in their lives? A more positive approach surely.?

  3. Well thank you for posting my image and thank you for your lovely comment about my belly. I would encourage ALL women and men to honour themselves and their bodies. Perhaps I should add that at 51 years old, after a lifetime of systematic abuse of my body through dieting and exercise (extreme, I might add), I am finally HAPPY with my body because it is the vehicle which carries me through my life. I look after it and I love it. No matter what society thinks I should look like, I am who I am… xoxox Marg

    • Thank you for not minding me posting your image Marg! I think that you look quite beautiful – happy and at peace.

      My mum once told me that she knew when she was a teenager she could make the choice of being valued for her looks or her mind.

      She chose to develop her mind instead and yet she is one of the most naturally beautiful women I have ever met.

      I wish WISH wish that we could see more images like yours. Otherwise we run the risk of creating a body mythology that serves no purpose other than to make us ill and unhappy.

      • Well I intend to shoot myself at the big intervals – 55, 60, 65 (hoping I’m still alive LOL), 70, 75, 80 – all the way up to when I am not here anymore. I found that this image has led to a greater self acceptance than ANYTHING I have ever done before. I only wish that we didn’t have to spend our whole lives striving for the unrealistic and the unattainable… Much love xoxox

      • Someone in my yoga class today asked me if she would be able to do the pose that we were doing if she wasn’t so ‘fat’. It broke my heart but I took a breathe, lined the class members up to do Tree pose facing the mirror and made them smile at themselves.

        As I said to her – I will never be a natural blonde, nor will I grow more, get longer legs. I can blame my body for not being perfect or celebrate it for housing my life for all this time.

        Wonderful comment Marg and I look forward very much to seeing your future milestone photos x

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