The Body

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"It seemed my body could do anything I wanted it to. How much I dared was the only question."

I relate this particular active hypertext to a journal rather than a story. The woman in the story, being the author, uses her artwork to tell her story.

I found this method to be more attention-grabbing. Being able to see images that are links on that particular subject is easier to navigate through than just reading straight through pages of words. It seems to break it up more.

As for this woman's story, I find her confindence to put all of her personal information out there, repectable. For many women, the thought of discussing such subjects as their vagina or their sexuality or even the way they feel about their bodies is a struggle, especially to unknown people. They way the author is so blunt about her private matters made me realize that I can secretly relate to some of the experiences she went through growing up. Change is something that this woman fears. Going through puberty is a scary thing for many girls and she hit it right on the nose by describing the first day she knew she got breasts and relating that to the painful experience with her mother at the "bra" store. I can see many women readers smiling to themselves when they think about those days.

This woman is different, but she is not afraid to make that known. I get the feeling that she wants to be different. Even in middle and high school when there was pressure from other girls to look a certain way, she never tried to change her body to fit that conformity. She was the sweaty, oversized, rough girl/boy that no one took the chance to know. One thing that stuck out to me that I could relate with was her excitement at doing the most chin-ups. I used to love the attention I would get from the boys if I could do more chin-ups than the rest of the girls. And it wasn't because I liked the boys, I mean this was elementary school. It was the fact that I was like them. This woman felt more comfortable doing male things and looking more like a male than a female. I just went through a tomboy stage, as they call it.

The author's willingness to be so open in this particular piece may help other woman who go through the same battles with their bodies and minds, to know that it is ok to feel the way they do. This woman is proud of her scars, her tough feet, her masculine shoulders and back, the way her breasts are shaped. She finds a way to personalize with every aspect of her body and make it her own. This is an envious quality because so many times, woman are so critical of what they have. Society tries to find ways to fit every woman into the size, look, and feel of whatever they desire. That would be nice but it is unrealistic. Even if we can change some things about ourselves, it is how we end up feeling that makes that change truly worth it.

The author, in her story, was not always happy with the way she looked and the way things were changing, but she learned to embrace her assets and create a story to share by using her body (hence the diagram in the beginning).

I was not so quick to judge this hypertext reading because the picture intrigued me. Because it was written in a way that made it feel like I was being told the author's life story, Shelly Jackson's "The Body" maintained my interest and provoked thoughts and memories about how I feel about the parts of my body.

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1 Comments

Anne, I like how you said this was more like a journal than a story. I felt the same way because Jackson told her stories with such realism and the ability to not care what others thought about her was what made this writing really beautiful. It seemed like the readers were her best friends or that she was writing for herself, because nothing was held back and she told us every detail without thinking about how we might take it.

I think this story speaks more about how to be okay with what you're given, more than it is Jackson telling about her body.

(And I was a "tomboy" for awhile too, so I liked that part about the chin-ups a lot as well.)

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Chelsea Oliver on The Body: Anne, I like how you said this
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