Hello sweet readers! This week I have a follow up for you on this post from October.
For my final research paper for this early foundations of Buddhism class, I decided to pursue my uncomfortable, hard feelings about that teaching on the body. My ultimate research question was: Are early Indian Buddhist teachings and commentary on the body helpful, hurtful or neutral to the modern intersectional feminist narrative of body positivity?
I ultimately found that some of those teachings are hurtful and are teachings I want to let go of personally. However, I also learned that some might be helpful to the body positivity conversation because they promote acceptance rather than dissatisfaction. And that’s something that could definitely aid folks on the body love journey.
I read two books as part of my research that I think you all should check out:
You Can’t Touch My Hair And Other Things I Still Have to Explain – by Phoebe Robinson
This one just came out and it was fun and informative, full of pop culture and tough truths. Phoebe is one half of the 2 Dope Queens podcast (highly recommended by the empower couple) and is a comedian from Ohio (whatuppp Ohio?!) living in NYC. Her focus on black women’s hair and the ways it is viewed, judged and touched was helpful for my paper. Plus, she liked my tweet a couple weeks ago so we are almost BFFs now I think. Check out her book!
Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls – by Jes Baker
I had started this one about a year ago, wasn’t quite ready for it yet and didn’t finish it. It was perfect timing this time around though and I read the whole thing and quoted it extensively for my paper! Jes tells her readers over and over how worthy and beautiful they are and how to do everything from diversify their social media feeds to reroute their brains so their default is self-love rather than self-judgement. It is good stuff and while she focuses on being fat, it could really apply to anyone struggling with something physical. *insert thing you hate about your body here* She is a pioneer in the body love movement and she will help you love your bod. Read it.
I am grateful to have had these two books guiding me in what I might want to say for this assignment about body love. I am really grateful we had to present our papers to the class and so they got ten minutes of me talking about feminism and Buddhism. I think it was mostly well received and hopefully got some people thinking! I also discovered some allies in the class that I am super grateful for.
Read books. Think critically. Love your body. Change the world.