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Americans Are Losing Their Bodies This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   People all over America are disoriented, confused and ignorant of their physicalbeings. They have lost touch with their bodies.

The idea that the mind andbody are intricately and irreversibly connected is a fairly recent idea. Thenotion that good eating and exercise must be combined with education and thoughtto form personal peace is a good idea, but it is not the whole picture. There isanother factor in mind/body well-being, and that is how we feel about ourphysical selves.

It is necessary to feel confident about how we look. Thisdoes not mean we alter ourselves in any way or conform to look like a model in amagazine; it means accepting the way we naturally are. The society we live insends us many messages about our bodies. Our confidence in our overall look isdirected by fashion, style and trends. But even more than that, our society sendsus messages about our sexuality.

Often these messages are conflicting andconfusing. Ideas in fashion magazines, pop lyrics, pornography, and even breastimplants seem to encourage and support sexual behavior, perhaps pushing us intothis type of behavior. And we are concerned about seeming prudish. In the wordsof pop star George Michael, we are told that "Sex is fun/ Sex is good/ Noteverybody's had it/But everybody should." Yet on the other hand, we are madeto feel ashamed of our sexuality.

All this shame and confusion about ourbodies and thoughts is unhealthy. Shame starts in the mind, and affects yourself-esteem, and your body. We fear being indecent, so we hide, fear and feel ashamed ofour bodies. This is self-destructive. It prevents us from being content, and itprevents us from exploring new ideas. By feeling our bodies are dirty, wealienate an important part of ourselves.

It is important to have mind/bodyhealth. We need to accept the way we are. Sexuality is a part of being human. Tobe a whole, complete human, we need to embrace all aspects of our race. We cannotafford to lose our bodies. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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