Wobbly text

Since I was about four years old I distinguished the difference between “I want” and “I need” very clearly. My earliest memory (isn’t it the one that shocks you the most?) was: it is my 4-year-old birthday, a big gathering in our old flat. I was wearing
👀️ coloured cotton tights and eating fried chicken with my bare hands. Then I had an urge to go to the toilet but I knew that it is correct to wash my hands first so I don’t ruin these vibrant tights. So I washed them, water was running on my hands and shortly after down my pants. Ethically it was right to do one thing but my bladder didn’t care about ethics. This was the lesson my body tried to teach me but unfortunately, I never listened (until now).

As a classicist novel protagonist, your life is determined by duty. In romanticism main hero follows the lead of the heart. Now, according to micro-influencers we need to slow down and ground, use small rituals and unethically mined crystals to find inner peace. Still, during these processes, I can sense some sort of a need to align to an invisible standard of a spiritually fulfilled fit perfect-skin woman. Her voice is calm, her hair is long and wavy, fixed with a silk scrunchie. The movement to the body is still a journey up the hill. And this feels so

As a female* in modern society, it is simple to commodify your body image and start perceiving the body in the context of comparison and relation to other body images. The word image is important here since, it is never a comparison to an actual warm living body of another human (whenever human bodies actually interact other contexts such as sex, fight, hugs, or maintenance are involved). Moreover, it is always about the image itself, and all the other sensory perceptions are used to reinforce the point. Such as, for example, bad smell is used to depict the consequences of not shaving armpits. Yada yada yada… All this is known, this is not our first day on the internet. 

Bergson mentioned one very important thing in the “Laughter” essay (freestyle paraphrase): in drama or tragedy, you won’t read a lot about mechanical in characters. As if they don’t move, eat, make weird movements, spit, fart. Drama is a goof-free space. And all our bodies can do when they are getting outside of the body image format is to be cranky mechanisms. They function mostly immaculate and so far humans couldn’t properly reproduce them. But they are also not glossy-fashion-magazine graceful. We sprain ankles, slip and fall, make weird lip sounds, blow snot bubbles, yawn so hard that the jaw clicks. Moreover, these mechanisms ache (my lower back is killing me pic). 20 years old hang out together and once in 15 minutes, someone says: ufff my this-body-part hurts, ohhh I need a massage.

And I am the leader of this my-everything-hurts-and-itches movement. My body is restless 24/7 and it takes a lot of energy to align it right. Every morning I wake up and crack my neck, and back if I am
👀️. If you record me on the video I cannot sit still, every 5 seconds I change my pose or scratch my face or hands. And this doesn’t fit the criteria of modern wellness. I cannot change it, like at all. It felt like being trapped in your skin. Is this happening due to the high amount of vitality in my body? Ha-ha-ha.

My wants opposed my needs (like a cheesy romanticism vs classicism values battle) and my sharp mind opposed my wobbly-wonky body. I never had body image problems because my body was never an image, but a mechanism, perpetuum-mobile. Always on, even during sleep, finding another meaningless* (for my mind) action to do. This is a constant, with no space to discuss/evaluate/change. The only media person I can relate to is Slavoi Zizek and his tick. I am just a body unit with this scratchy/sore feature. I am a mechanism. And the mechanism is strongly utilitarian, I would even say industrial, without a glossy cover, hard to commodify.

And then the laughter steps in. Laughter pays attention to the body: people in comedies always sit where they are not supposed to sit, get covered in dirt, bump into each other, freeze in a strange grimace. And this is funny because it shakes the stillness of the body image. Of course, we also think about sexy video content, when the body also moves and interacts. But for me sexy, funny, and even scary are reactions of equal effect but with slightly different vectors. These reactions are fluid and can flow one into another.

Laughter as the action itself helped me sort out the wants and needs situation. Back in the days, needs took too much space inside, produced stress, and made my back muscles being so tense they moved the ribs. This caused not only pains but also l diaphragm block and therefore inability to sing. Vocal warm-up exercises are perhaps the most obscure thing your neighbors can hear. You need to artificially yawn, make all sorts of lip sounds, sit down and stand up. It is a legit engine start of the body core. And it is very funny. Laughing hard, as well as yawning, as well as back cracks produces two things: relief and air bubbles. It ignites the motor of body vitality and lets go of the accumulated stress. Now that I have finished this text I am relaxed and could produce two satisfying upper back cracks. And feels that body and mind, needs and wants are aligned.