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Sunday, August 14, 2022

The body

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Ah, the body. What a bad relationship we have with the body. Passed out in bed with the coronavirus for the second time, I reflect on this carnality that is holding me captive. The disagreement between the self (or the soul or the consciousness or whatever you want to call it) and the physical shell is one of man’s greatest conflicts. We did not choose the body we live in, a needy and weak but also tyrannical flesh that makes us sick and eventually kills us. Logic tells me what we call me it is also a body, and this consciousness is probably nothing more than the electric storm that our cells create when they relate to each other; but even though I think it is, I don’t feel it. My feeling is the traditional, the usual, of someone trapped in their body.

Throughout time, religions have attempted to bring order to this painful duality; some, like the Catholics, condemn the carnal and try to discipline it with fasting and hairshirts; others intensify sensory perception, such as tantrism. But the problem is still there. In fact, I believe this restlessness is the basis of our ancient tradition of body intervention. Since time immemorial, people have changed our physical appearance in more or less painful ways. We have pierced ears, noses, lips; we have elongated necks with rings and flattened skulls; We have modified our skin with countless scarifications (controlled scars) and tattoos. You know what they say: once you start tattooing, you don’t want to stop. And it is true that it evokes an extraordinary elevation. I guess most people don’t worry about the reason for this euphoria, but it’s clear to me; When I got my first tattoo, a salamander, I felt something like this message: okay damn body, I didn’t choose you, I can’t get rid of you, you fill me with problems, you make me old and sick and you’re gonna kill me but you will die marked by this lizard i decided.

Therefore, nothing that happens to us in the body is trivial. And that’s why it’s so difficult to manage and so painful. This lack of identification between our insides and our fleshy shell (even worse, we don’t even talk about the actual body but how we think others see us) can have dire consequences. Many teenagers, especially girls, had trouble removing their masks at school because they thought they were ugly. not to mention this recent survey appeared in TopDoctors According to this, 82% of Spaniards are ashamed of their bodies when they go to the beach or to the swimming pool. It’s worse for women, of course: for those under 30, the number rises to a staggering 92%. I think of those dates while watching the crowded beaches and pools of this recently released season on TV and I shudder. Look at all these people (look at yourself): the vast majority suffer by showing themselves, by moving; The vast majority find that their bodies aren’t enough, one of life’s little jokes. We look at our flesh out of the corner of our eye, like someone who looks suspiciously at the enemy: you don’t identify with your body, you carry it. And although we know that the male and female models idealized by the media do not exist, that so smooth and solid is often a product of Photoshop and in any case something extremely unusual and ephemeral, we pretend that this is normal and we the aberration. It’s an extraordinary cognitive perversion.

The beautiful, young (25 years old) and radiant Cuban-American musical star Camila Cabello has just been publicly lynched after several photos of her in a bikini were published showing her resounding anatomy: “fat”, “cellulite”, “disgusting”, yelled the amount. Other times I’ve written about such cases, emphasizing that those who offend, many men but also women, are usually physically terrible people with beer bellies and worn-out skin, attributing their savagery to the weight of machismo. And yes, sexism undoubtedly has an influence, but today I would add that an intimate fear also underlies this explosive and insane hatred, the pathological impossibility of recognizing and accepting one’s own body.

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Source elpais.com

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