To take pleasure in a world filled with many kinds of beauty is a joy in life to which all women are entitled. To support only one kind of beauty is to be somehow unobservant of nature.
–Clarissa Pinkola Estes
After a lifetime of being shamed for the lush abundance of her body, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, made a pilgrimage to her ancestral village in Mexico, where she made an amazing discovery.
If you sometimes struggle with issues around weight and body size, this healing story will give you hope and comfort.
On the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Ms. Estes found a race of large, strong women who patted her, fussed over her, and told her she was not quite fat enough. Had she been ill? Did she eat enough? They told her she must try harder, “for women are La Tierra, made round like the earth herself, for the earth holds so much.“
If your weight puts you at risk for serious health problems, that is one thing. But if you, like so many of us, are shamed by media advertising so you will be motivated to spend money trying to change your shape to attain an impossible ideal–thereby making somebody a fortune–take heart. All over the world, at this very moment, women of abundant size are loved and respected. Can you walk like one of the large-bodied goddesses whose statues have been unearthed throughout the world? Can you love your healthy flesh? What an act of pure, subversive self-love that would be!
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).