Monocycle: Episode 33
Body Image
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This episode of Monocycle is indeed, as the title would have you believe, about body image. Because all of us have pictures in our heads of what bodies look like (“good ones” or “bad ones”) and what ours do or don’t or should look like. It may change depending on the day, our mood and surrounding mirrors, with the seasons, with clothes or in different social situations, but it’s there.

Leandra’s been experimenting with a meditative approach to body image — a sort of mantra-like way of keeping the good vibes alive so that when you look down and see your thighs spreading out, or your rolls really going to town, or your cellulite pucker or your nail beds sucking — you’re more inclined to go to a place of positivity. And sometimes it’s a fake-it-until-you-make-it situation. But maybe there’s times where a little white lie is okay.

It certainly doesn’t hurt to tell your lumps, bumps and muscles you love them. After all, they’re part of you.

Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander; Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; photograph by Leandra Medine via @manrepeller


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  • Grace

    Leandra, the part about saying thank you reminds me so much of a practice from Physique barre classes that I have now incorporated into every workout I do. After a hard class followed by blissful stretching, the final move is to inhale with your arms in the air and then exhale and bend over your legs and thank your body for everything it allowed you to do for the past hour and every other part of the day. I just love that mindset and now whenever I finish a workout, I deeply exhale and thank my body for allowing me to be there doing all the things it enables me to do.

  • This is a really great way to flip it around and think differently. Thank you.

    xx Jenelle

  • Carolina

    Thank you! We kindda loose that lovin feeling that allows us to appreciate that we are healthy and if not, recovering or not dead. Lets start to question this strange obsession with form and size. Better to appreciate our own variety and compare with the purpose of admiring the vastness of the human form instead of using every-body as a thermometer to frame ourselves against. Why against? Let´s do be-sides.

  • Alexa

    I say this as a huge fan of Leandra and Manrepeller – this was a little tone deaf. As I write this comment I see Leandra modelling a topshop bathing suit on the righthand side of the page, wearing a size 2 at most. Of course every woman has insecurities, but it would have been nice to hear something like this from a woman whose insecurities about actual fat rolls (different from Leandra’s skin rolls) are perpetuated by magazines, men, society, etc. Maybe these monocycle things are only ever written/read by Leandra so that’s why that decision was made – or if not, I’m sure you guys have your reasons. I just thought you guys might want to know how this came off to a lot of fuller-figure women.

    Again- not saying it was a mistake/wrong to publish this, I just suspect that any listeners over a size 10 got very little empowerment from it.

    • Olivia Hey

      The idea that women who are of a slimmer body shape are somehow ‘exempt’ from insecurities, or theirs are less valid because perhaps their body more closely matches that of the figures widely circulated in modern media is a damaging opinion to hold. There is no wrong way to have a body, and women of all sizes are encouraged to be empowered and empower each other. Excluding certain women from commenting on the issue of body image based on their size directly opposes the body positivity movement and the conversation should be open to all!

      • Alexa

        exactly why I said “of course every woman has insecurities.” Please read my comment again. I am just trying to represent an under-represented body type, one that you and Leandra do not represent. Listen before you speak, and you could learn something.

        • Olivia Hey

          Thanks for the hot tip! No need to be rude. If you didn’t enjoy the content, then don’t engage with it- rather than making the sweeping statement that it was irrelevant or even disempowering to women of a certain size, not because of the points that were discussed but because of the way Leandra looks. To me this appears a little ironic.

          • Alexa

            “You’ll get trolled by skinny girls about how hard it is to be skinny if you post that” – my friends. I should have listened! God forbid anyone over a size 10 speak up around here.

          • Leandra Medine

            Hey Alexa, had a similar conversation with another community member on the longer version of this podcast episode. I’m sorry that you feel alienated, or like your opinion wasn’t respected. Hope reading through this helps and encourage you to continue participating in the conversation.

  • Katie Waller

    I really like the discussion of willingly electing to be a part of certain experiences and how the body reflects that. I have always been insecure about my body, like most women. I started skiing competitively in 8th grade, which meant a regimented workout program designed to increase my lower body strength significantly. At the time, being curvy and not being able to fit into Abercrombie jeans was heartbreaking. At 25, I am at the point that I can thank my large quads and butt for being able to power me down the ski hill, kill squats, and fill out my jeans. On the other hand, the weight around my stomach is a reminder of the times I have lost my self control after a tough day at work or laid on the couch all day feeling bad for myself due to fibromyalgia.

    While I elected to strengthen my body and am accepting of the physical outcomes, I am less likely to accept the outcomes of experiences in which I did not elect to partake, like having a chronic pain syndrome. I seem to be happy with the parts of my body that reflect control or accomplishment in my life, and unhappy about the parts that are physical manifestations of mental struggles I am working to address. I don’t really have any sort of final conclusion/epiphany, other than that my own perception of my body image will always be a conscious decision I have to make.

  • Annie Butler

    SOS guys! Which episode was it when Leandra talked about having nine lives??

    • Leandra Medine

      I think that came up in the editorial process one!

      • Annie Butler

        Woah, hey there! Did not expect you to be the one to reply haha. Thanks so much!! ??

  • Amy

    What is the name of the song at the end of the podcast? It is great!
    Goes well with the positive message 🙂

  • grez

    i don’t even know why you even think about those rolls (that are normal if you’re seating down, just saying), you’re very skinny Leandra… ugh

    • Chloe

      Agreed. It’s actually hard to hear you talk about this, and frankly offensive to women. Please take this down.

  • Is it weird that reading Roxane Gay’s memoir in which she detailed navigating life as a 577-lb woman helped me best understand that we’re all still learning how to accept our bodies more than any unretouched Anthropologie ad ever has?? I think there’s an authenticity in her story (obviously coupled with severe trauma from sexual violence) that speaks to me more than any plus size model with perfect curves.