04 May 2018 @ 04:06 pm

"Bodies are diverse, not only in size but in race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, and mental health. The example of poodle science speaks to a larger issue, one in which our societies have defined what is considered a “normal” body and have assigned greater value, resources, and opportunities to the bodies most closely aligned with those ideas of “normal.” When we propose that all bodies are the same, we also propose that there is a standard to measure sameness against. I call this standard the “default body.”

Aspects of the default body change across culture and geography, but it shapes our ideas of normalcy and impacts our social values. We will explore later how our notions of default bodies developed over time, but for now just know that our propensity to shrink human diversity into sameness creates exhausting barriers for the bodies that do not fit our default models.

We must move from occasionally celebrating difference (as long as it doesn’t fall too far outside the boundaries of our ideas of “normal”) to developing a difference-celebrating culture. Inequality and injustice rest firmly on our unwillingness to exalt the vast magnificence of the human body."

//Sonya Renee Taylor, 2018, The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love