I was in conversation with a classmate. He described his penis as ugly and smelly. (The conversation was on self-image- not anatomy)
I am horrified at his view of himself and that his comments are so similar to how I’ve heard women from FGM societies describe un-mutilated vulvas: repulsive and ugly. Once cut, they are then seen as pure, smooth, dainty and beautiful.
I am saddened, but I understand because I have similar feelings about my own body. Breasts are floppy (especially after nursing for several years), lumpy, veiny glands surrounded by uneven fatty tissue. They hang and bounce and cause physical pain if not restrained when performing light activity. They are appendages that must be bound up and covered every day.
I did not considered my vulva beautiful. I remember the trepidation I felt on the first night of our honeymoon as I was afraid to be seen. I felt so ugly. Pre-puberty, the vulva is smooth, small, and unobtrusive. No large secretions of blood or mucous came out. No hair, which is shameful and ugly in our culture. Lips are small and don’t change size or colour. After puberty… the adjective I used was “yuck”.
But, I am learning to see my own body as beautiful.
I hope that he can see himself as beautiful too.
Lets celebrate those parts of us that we may have a hard time seeing as beautiful.
Because they are.
Beautiful! (and funny)
In this case, I do agree with Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:23.