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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Ode to the Human Body

A body - we each have one - whether we cover it, fight with it, or celebrate it. In the beginning of our life, an adult cares for the body we are given and as we grow, we assume more and more control over the wonders of it and responsibility for its upkeep, functioning, and longevity. As children we damage it continually while learning our limits and challenging the environment - defying it in the case of my children - to coast into adolescence.

As teens, the body is religiously cared for, adorned, stared at and cherished - our own body as well as the bodies of others - and can become a battlefield as we assert our right to control our own body. In adulthood we accept the body beautiful, attempt to adjust with age as it requires more exercise, more vegetables, less pizza, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and everything else we used to love. Some enhance the body the beautiful, but more settle in to its routine and comfort.

Middle age brings a gentleness from having learned (usually the hard way) that our body is fragile, can be ill or breaks more easily, and we continue to appreciate it and realize that our future require this vehicle to take us to the events that let us share in graduations, weddings, and births of more small bodies that need care.

I am thankful for my body and the bodies of those around me - the strength, comfort and amazing versatility of the human form.

Photo credit: Ed Bierman
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.