Methinks my body is but the lees of my better being.
In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me.
~Herman Melville, Moby Dick
“Hello, I’m a fat person, fat, fat, fat,” gibes a six-year-old girl playing with the new concept curvy Barbie doll at Mattel headquarters. The girl’s focus group peers bolster her audacity with laughter.
“She didn’t like going to school because she was bullied. She was telling me that girls were saying she was fat and talking about her scars from her transplant.” The mother of Nicole Lovell, a thirteen year old girl murdered by an accused Virginia Tech student whom she had met online, added that Nicole often cried, asking to stay home from school.
We have been duped. The usurpation of Beauty by our obsession with physical beauty is insanity. We have bowed to the moon and proclaimed it the Universe, living in darkness sans perspective, worshipping the tiny moon of a single planet, unconscious of stars and galaxies, estranged even from the warmth and light of our own Sun. We have made the temporal flesh our master and under its relentless rule our children suffer; we all suffer.
I read the news now. Every day.
There was a period when I covered my eyes with my hands, as a child hoping that the fright will vanish if she does not look. I put on the blindfold after Peter got sick and died. Peter told us that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer as if confessing to a crime. He said that he had been weak during his constant coverage of the September 11 attacks and had succumbed to smoking again. I wanted to say, “Peter, you are not weak. There is no shame in being sick. You are magnificent.”