Our Bodies Are Amazing!

Do you remember the very first episode of Couger Town? I do. Courtney Cox spent the opening minutes of the show complaining about her (ABSOLUTELY PERFECT) body. The camera glided over bodyparts as smooth and cellulite-free as any prepubescent child's. Sure, this woman may be in her 40's now, but 40 really is the new 20 on her. After all, a celebrity has access to everything: a 24/7 personal trainer, personal chef, and probably a plastic surgeon on speed dial. (I have no idea if Courtney Cox has had cosmetic surgery or not. But it would not surprise me.) I was outraged watching this opening segment. I thought, "Show me something ugly! Show me something REAL! If she is going to whine like spoiled brat, I want to see some stretch marks at the very least!"

As a woman who has recently turned 50, I have been (occasionally) getting a bit down in the dumps about my body. And believe me, I know this sounds exactly like Courtney Cox. Sure, I work out constantly. Yes, I eat a diet that is almost (but not quite) pristine. I do everything humanly possible to stave off the ravages of time. But some stuff is just inevitable. A 50 year old woman cannot look 20. Even with the help of botox, surgery, voo-doo, magic, or prayer. (I avoid most of these, just to be clear.)

When I start meandering down this path of whining and lamenting the loss of my youth, when I start examining my wrinkles or my stretch marks, I remind myself that our bodies are not just a glossy 8x10 photo in a magazine. Our bodies are not just a visual treat. No. Our bodies were created for all kinds of functions! Our bodies have carried babies and given birth to our children. Our bodies have nursed those children, creating the perfect food to sustain their early years. Our bodies have lifted and supported and hugged and nurtured the ones we love. And our bodies are STILL capable of so much more than we realize. Even when we are injured or sick, our bodies have an enormous capacity for healing, for recovery, and for growing stronger. This is true for the entire length of our lives, no matter how old we get.

It is easy to look at our bodies through the eyes of the mainstream media and find our REAL selves to be lacking. But this is only in comparison to the air-brushed, photo-enhanced, FAKE bodies of the 12 year old models and body-doubles that Hollywood is selling us. I'm sure those shots in the opening segment of Couger Town did not even show Courtney Cox's actual body. While her voice was whining about the horrors of aging, we were probably looking at some teenager's ass.

So let's get real! Let's admire the awesome bodies that continue to ferry us through our daily lives, walking our dogs, carrying our groceries, making love to our partners, holding our loved ones when they need our support. None of us looks perfect. But we all are perfectly amazing.