Body Issues

Article published on Oct. 23, 2013
Article published on Oct. 23, 2013

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

I am not very good at keeping my identity hidden. As much as I would like this article to be written by only a voice, I unfortunately do have a body. I have a body that gets in the way of my best intentions. I have a body that both limits me and pushes me through a crowd. I have a body that I would rather not show off. I have a body that I feel the need to dress, care for and be decent to. I am in here, somewhere. It is hard not to get lost in this body.

If this was not implied, I am by all scientific logic, a female. However, as a female born into a boys family, I often feel like I am the strange runt of the litter. When in a pack of females, I feel that they are always a bit more "peacocked." They strut their stuff as if it is natural. They have rules of hierarchy, measures of friendship, secret codes and even a strange language that is, get this, mostly spoken without actually using words!

I remember some of my first interactions with females other than my mother. One thing I learned very early on was that females were very "disillusioned" when it came to boys. I remember even in kindergarten others using the word "cute" to describe my brothers and thinking with horror that this "cute" thing was at home farting by my head and laughing hysterically about his accomplishment. I was confused, and occasionally tried to explain myself but was always met with other confused faces when I described that when we were "fighting" gaseous explosions were used as weapons and that the same boys that they thought were "cute" were in fact in possession of deadly chemical weapons. This was not popular information.

In Junior High the "disillusion" was growing stronger in the female sex. In the male sex, the fart battles were also growing stronger. I did not want to partake in either but still felt this strange pull towards the female side that I was resisting  more and more each day. By High School, I was also becoming "blind" to the flaws of the male sex. The female side of me had won out.

[Let's take a break to think about all the stupidity that went on during these turbulent years]

Ok, we are back! Still socially awkward, still not really knowing where I fit in. My social skills in packs of bar-hopping females still not great. I can't tell you how many females I have offended by wanting to go to the bathroom by myself or just not wanting to "Go OUUUUUT" when I feel like crap. However, I did find groups of women who I love and really feel like my true self around.

But, there is still one general "saying" that I hear all to much within the female sex (and have probably said myself at some point) which still takes me back to those first social experiments (otherwise known as my childhood). The concept, is this: When one male makes us mad, the answer is another male.  In all my days practicing social anthropology as a writer, and trying to figure out all my personal "feelings" that I hate so much, I have yet to solve this mystery. I have heard it a thousand times. One girl speaks to another girl about how the guy she is dating is being a jerk, and the other suggests that she "Go on lots of dates and avoid being exclusive" or "Find a man that treats her right (starting tonight!)" Why is the answer rarely a cleanse?

For example, If I eat a cookie and get sick, would anyone suggest to me to eat another cookie? Maybe a sugar cookie will treat you better? Maybe you should eat MORE cookies? I would imagine that I instead would not eat for a while. I would get to know my stomach. Slowly, I would determine if it is just chocolate chip cookies that don't agree with me or if it is better for me to give up cookies all together.

Notice that I used a "cookie" as my example, alluding to the fact that they are yummy and awesome and many of us cannot see ourselves living without them. But, sometimes it is best for our health if we do.

Often, we get lost in our "bodies." We think, "I am a woman and a man is a great compliment." or simply pay too much attention to that ever ticking biological clock. I have been thinking since the day I was born that I need to "look like this" or "dress like this," I learned early on that a confused look means, "Stop talking!" and that you should try and try until you finally start to fit in with the pack. But, what if there was no "pack?" What if there was no "body" that defined you? What if you were just a voice, speaking to a void. What would you say?