I had dinner with an old friend over the weekend. She is a mum too, so she understands that even when you're off 'mum' duty you'll most likely end up talking about your kids. We indulged in decent plates of pasta cooked by someone else and our conversation meandered from work to homelife to cosmetic surgery via genetic mapping. We touched upon raising our kids as - whisper it - feminists. And by that I mean as an equal with their opposite gender. An equal in everything - education, sport, life. And by our kids I mean them all, the girls and the boy. And I started to think again about how I'm going to show these children how to feel happy in the bodies they have and not long for someone elses.And it got me thinking about my own teenage years. And how I felt about my own body as a teenager and how I pretty much feel the same about it now. And how my Dad probably did me the biggest favour ever and probably had no idea he was doing it. When I was 10 my Dad was involved in a road traffic accident in which he lost the lower portion of his right leg, below the knee. And the accident shifted everything and our perception of everything. It taught me that bodies can survive a lot of trauma. They can heal and compensate for missing bits and even with serious deficits can still perform what we need them to. That I, as the owner of a perfect body - with all limbs intact, all systems going, was lottery winner lucky. My body will work with me to do anything I can dream up. It's capable of remarkable feats, every single day. Sure bits of it could work better - perfect vision would be nice. Bits of it are ageing but for the most part it's in tip-top condition despite a poor maintenance record. This body might not look perfect - but then again who decides? But I'm damn lucky to have it and were I to wake with a leaner, tanned and more attractive version who's to say it would work as well as this one? So I'll keep it, (literally) warts and all. Thanks Dad.

bodies 2

bodies 1