How “Ferngully: The Last Rainforest” Ruined My Life

I never talk about this. Ever. Because it’s something I really, really don’t like about myself.

I have body image issues.

No, I’ve never been “overweight.” I don’t have any kind of scarring to be self-conscious about. I’m not disfigured. In fact, I look pretty normal, slender even, and what should be important is that I’m in good health.

But if I’m perfectly honest with myself, most days, I don’t really like the way I look. I avoid getting my picture taken. I hide behind makeup. I’ve worn a bathing suit exactly three times since I was 13 and never really in public.

There is, of course, the simple fact that I hate having a body at all. I want to be a brain in a vat. I hate the maintenance that comes with having a body – bathing, hair care, having to trim my fingernails, eating, exercising. I’d really rather not do any of it, because it takes away precious thinking time.

Yes, I know this sounds absurd. I’m also not unconvinced I wouldn’t feel this way if I had a male body.

Iris Marion Young wrote this great piece entitled “Throwing Like A Girl” in which she talked about the ways women comport themselves, like how they sit with their legs crossed and try to take up less space, and how they don’t use their bodies to their physical capacity, size, or strength. Instead of being a subject who can harness their body’s power, female-bodied people live their bodies as objects, and they are constantly aware of threats to their bodily integrity and invasions of their bodily space.

I have no idea what it’s like to go through the world with a male body, but as a female-bodied person, I can tell you that I am very, very aware of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of my body.[1] I can also tell you that I am hyperaware that my body is an object I possess, and the negative feelings I associate with this awareness always seem to culminate in my body’s appearance in some way or another.

I don’t know if it’s like this for all female-bodied people or if it exists for male-bodied people, too.

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You Know, We’re Living in a Society!

There is one thing that sets us apart from animals. No, it’s not our ability to reason, or laugh, or use tools.

It’s our ability to make and obey traffic laws.

Most people fail at obeying traffic laws.  In every city I’ve ever driven, I have heard someone say that this particular city has the worst drivers.  And the funny thing is, they’re probably all correct.

I was on foot attempting to cross a street with no crosswalk yesterday, and there was a car approaching from my left who slowed and waved for me to go ahead.  They thought they were being courteous to me, and grew annoyed when I waved them on and refused to cross the street.  You see, there was a car coming from the opposite direction. So waving me across would have meant that I would have had to stop in the middle of the road and wait for the second car to pass.

This demonstrates the problem quite nicely.

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