Buddha Bellies and Ponches

I was reading an article in the Globe and Mail regarding a woman in the States who has created a ‘realistic’ Barbie based on the average measurements of a 19-year-old American woman. In this article it lists the major changes to Barbie’s figure as the addition of child-bearing hips and a Buddha belly.

Average Barbie
Average Barbie

I know the Barbie figure debate has been ongoing. From the life-like doll that was created to realistically portray how out of proportion she would be if she were human, the issue of body image is an important one when it comes to the popular child’s toy. I can appreciate these studies that are being conducted, but I’m not sure how much I can support this most recent one.

Life-like depiction.
Life-like depiction.

Why do we have to put such negative slang terms on female body parts? Why do we refer to the slight bit of weight that seems to hang on all of our belly button regions as a ponch or Buddha belly? Why, in an article/study addressing women’s body image, do we still use these terms? It seems to disqualify any of the positive research concluded and make a joke out of a serious issue that affect millions of women all over the world.

Anorexia and bulimia are fueled by terms like these. With up to 24 million men and women suffering of anorexia and bulimia in the U.S. alone, the picture of classic Barbie next to the Barbie created in this study, it is apparent which figure would be ideal.

As a genetically thin person, I feel love, loathing, and hate from others towards my body. Though I am thin, I’ve been told that if I only worked out, I could have an incredible body. I’ve also been gawked at when consuming copious amounts of poutine. I’ve had women mock my gym talk or healthy eating habits. It seems you just can’t win. What is the ideal or best body type? What would we ultimately be happy with? Too fat, too thin, too bony, big ass, small tits, no hips; the list is exhausting.

The best thing you can do, is look at your body every morning, and love it. Trust it. It’s a gift. That body that takes you where you want to go, allows you to feel, taste, smell, and see the beauty of the world. If you can be happy with yourself, without giving into the status quo, without worrying about what other people are thinking or judging you on. My little ponch or buddha belly is my love nest where all of the wonderful, magical, and delicious food I have ingested stores itself as a reminder of how fortunate I am to have all that I do.

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