"It's a truism, for instance, that a few clothes are more shocking than none. But for women especially, bras, panties, bathing suits, and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that our real and diverse female bodies can't possibly fit. Without those visual references, however, each individual woman's body can be accepted on its own terms. We stop being comparatives. We begin to be unique."
After spending a few days at a spa in the company of 90 or so women, Gloria Steinem wrote In Praise of Women's Bodies, a short but powerful essay that's part ode and part treatise and fully in awe of the female form, in all its unique variety. In Praise of Women's Bodies was originally published in Ms., April 1982.
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