I recently finished the book ‘Bodies.’ The writer Susie Orbach offers a unique perspective, one of a psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, and social critic. She describes different scenarios throughout the book from the common to the most extreme. Surprisingly, her writing doesn’t feel like a feminist disgusted with the body-image standards of today. She simply makes the point that our bodies are being shaped by forces beyond our control and these forces are destructive. It is difficult to pick our way through the paradoxes of the body. It’s hard to make sense of a world where some women are in burkas, while others are in tube tops. A world where some starve themselves for vanity, and others simply starve.
Throughout the book she uses examples of patients she has treated with various difficulties concerning their bodies. She gives examples of how feelings of bodily discontentment can be passed down from mother to child, generation to generation. In contrast she describes babies with the right amount of love and attention as “absorbing the will to live.” The storytelling was my favorite part, her vast experience in psychotherapy is fascinating.
“We are accustomed to thinking of our bodies as just existing; propelled to grow by reasonable nutrition and our genetic inheritance…Our bodies are a lot more than an executed blueprint given by our DNA.”
“The complex intertwined cocktail of physical engagement is what creates our personal idiosyncratic and unique body.”
If you get a chance to read this – let me know what you think.