You can't suck in your thighs
Form fitting in the modern world
I miss the days when we were letting it all hang out. That freedom that came from presumably being oneself. There was a time, I swear, when we (women) must have enjoyed our bodies, that was not a part of some societal rebellion and purely from deep love, self-love, even self respect. These days it is impossible to find a channel on the tube that is not offering some way to lose "ugly" body fat. Since when did fat become u-g-l-y? Fat is necessary. It protects the internal organs. Granted, in access, it can become quite a load to bear, but that is an individual issue. How exactly does one move confidently free of the criticism of body shape and size, both internally and externally?
How much is too much and who has the right to decide?
We seem to have turned over our ideas of health and wellness to the beauty industry. No matter how we feel physically, the state of our actual bodies, we are desperately trying to squeeze into this tiny chicklet of a box deemed acceptable, or rather acceptance. We hope by whittling and molding our outward forms we will become what others desire. Beyond diets and other eating fads, we have surgical interventions, and foundation garments. For a moment corsets passed away for the more relaxed shape and soft touch of silks, nylons, and microfiber. They reappeared as lingerie and erotica. Today we are plagued by various and sundry "body shapers." This recent tone takes a different approach to fat. Fat is unsightly and can be affectively hidden (camouflaged) by smoothing out the bumps and bulges of the back, belly, and hips.
But, you can't suck in your thighs.
We have been taught and it is true that correct posture can improve appearance. Stand up tall. Sit the ears over the shoulders; shoulders over the hips; hips over the knees; and knees over the ankles. Breathe into the chest. Resting the shoulders down, squeeze the shoulder blades together. Tuck the tummy up into the rib cage, back toward the spine and deeply into the waistband. Pinch those glutes. Now relax. We stand poised and posed before the mirror, having lifted and separated the appropriate parts, only to realize that the waist has more definition, but those hips and thighs are out there. Bottom line- you can squeeze, lift and tuck much of the body, but not your thighs.
There are on the market, plenty of shape up products which offer to gird your loins. We have the choice of jumping and kicking into a lycra spandex panty (which control the belly but squirt the thigh out even more obviously); bike short style (squishing the fat up over the top and then leaving a ridge roll mid thigh); Capri (coverage to mid-calf which at least eliminates tube overflow, but can cut off the circulation as they seem to have forgotten to adjust for calf width) or legging (waist to ankle coverage). Personally, I suggest before purchase, one read the reviews of the products, specifically the less favorable ones. These are most likely to give the issues to be addressed and probably contain more useful information.
The other choice is to consider soft draping fabrics that allow freedom in breath with grace in movement. We can walk the line between letting everything hang out (though that is all good) and harnessing our very being (trapped in bondage). Flowing and draping is not meant to imply hiding, but to softly accentuate. We have lost the art of dressing as though we love being in our bodies, rather than to prove our worth and being. We neglect self nurturing elements for competition with one another, judgment of ourselves and others, and seek the expectation that if we look a certain way we will secure for ourselves some bit of happiness, albeit fleeting.
Who cares, really?
"By God, when you see your beauty, you will become the idol of yourself." (Rumi)
We must begin to reclaim our power - in the mirror. As we begin to open our eyes to who we are, we can then accept responsibility of the all of our lives. Change follows acceptance. Acceptance follows love. Love is openly being with what it, without judgment, competition, or expectation. As I look into the mirror honoring my breast, my belly, my thighs, my butt, and my neck, I face the body that has housed Me, my I AM. This vessel has carried me though life and delivered Me, my I AM, to this moment. Every glance is an opportunity to find Love within. Every sighting a chance to remember with gratitude the present breath. The fashion/fad industry has invested in our self-neglect, insecurities, and need to conform to outside standard. Reclamation of our beings starts with self-care. Caring requires personal involvement and commitment. Check out who cares and what they care about. As we begin to care for ourselves, sucking in our thighs will no longer matter. And as for pulling the belly in tight, pushing it out is a contraction as well.
Side Angle Pose
More by this Author
I was on vacation summer 2006, traveled to Berkeley to visit a friend for eight days, practiced yoga in 100 plus degrees, walked each and every day for hours. It was grand. Went on my next vacation in August to North...