A World Without Variety

I’m taking some time off this week, so here’s a gem from the archive!

Many of the messages we receive about bodies have to do with conforming. The current standards for physical female beauty are narrow and exclusionary, yet we are pressured to deprive, manipulate, and punish our bodies into fitting those narrow, exclusionary standards. We are told, “Be the same, or be wrong.” We are told, “Look this way, or be lesser-than.” We are told, “There’s no room for variation here, so do everything in your power to conform.”

But no two human beings are alike. Even identical twins, who have the same genes down to the last, have distinct personalities, needs, voices, desires, and ambitions … and frequently metabolize, tan, and take hair color differently from one another. That “unique snowflake” cliche exists for a reason: We’re all marvelously individual. And that marvelous individuality is what makes human life interesting.

If everyone had the exact same figure, it might diminish some of the body snarking. It might eradicate much of the world’s jealousy. It might help with the rampant plague of negative body image that has so many women suffering and anxious in the present day. But my guess is that if everyone had the exact same figure, we’d be busting our butts to force our figures to stand out, look different, be distinctive. We’d be falling all over ourselves to create the diversity that exists naturally today.

Someday, I hope we can learn to accept and celebrate that diversity. Laugh when we’re told we must conform to completely arbitrary ideals of physical beauty. See our uniqueness as something that helps defines us, and acknowledge the simple brilliance of it. Be different from one another, and love our differences with big, open hearts.

Image via Get Your Mind Right

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