Bodylore is the quest for the body’s role of communication, along with its social meaning. Psychology is the analysis of the individual, in order to assess their possibility for mental illnesses and overall mental health. If both practices were intertwined the results would be exceptional. Bodylore’s principles are, but not limited to, one’s identity and feelings toward their body. Many who suffer from depression battle self-hate, due to their feelings about their body. The lack of intersectional analysis may be due to citizen’s uncomfortable nature with their bodies and the bodies of others.
Bodylore states that the body is something our nature cultivates. We, as a people, cling to clothing to ensure comfortability and style. Our garb speaks volumes when it comes to our identities. Pertaining to psychology, a psychologist may look at someone’s dress to determine mental state. How one takes care of themselves speaks to mental health professionals. Bodylore states we have a dual mind and body, similar to Freud in his psychodynamic approach (id, superego, ego). In regards to dualism of the mind and body, we see how body image can be self-destructive for young adults in today’s world. Researchers have found that risky appearance behaviors in college aged women were in response to gendered social norms, indicating the prevalent feeling that the body is malleable and considered to be under individual control. The sociocultural constructs found the women socially comparing themselves to their peers, their world views, and, the influence of others (Rudd). Bodylore is crucial to psychiatric research due to its “state of mind” practice. Focusing on the history of clothing and why one might dress a certain way potentially gives researchers the ability to discover where their patient’s problem stems from, especially at the level of body issues and self-efficacy.
Bodylore brings psychological research to new heights, intertwining sociology and psychology world views, and highlighting the importance of the body in social settings. Ultimately, narrowing the phases to the individual, society and the environment, the body emphasizes the isomorphism between the microcosm and macrocosm; the similarities between the structure of the individual and the structure of the world (Fournier). This belief elicits political consequences; whenever social gatherings bring social hierarchies together with tranquil order. It knocks the balances of power, forcing socioeconomically lower class individuals to be the outliers in poor dress and the upper class, distinguished, in flashy attire. Psychiatry can benefit from this research, because it is an implicit form of discrimination and privilege that may be affecting their lower income patients.
Bodylore and the senses is a psychological concept rarely studied. D. Sklare theorized “movement is a corporeal way of knowing. It is loaded with significance, with who people take themselves to be, as verbal media” (Sklare), interpreting one’s movements with thoughts they may be thinking about the subject or task they are participating in. Essentially, one’s movements and facial expressions are linked to thoughts. Micro-expressions, in psychology, are uncontrolled physical gestures of the face. They form in feelings of discomfort, disgust, fear, etc. Bodylore is the analysis of why we do these expressions, stigmatizing other individuals on weight or appearance in the process. Pertaining to the practices of bodylore, the history behind our thoughts toward our body can bring to light psychological theories. Undiscovered territory is arising in this new practice of bodylore.
How one views themselves, along with peers, is a big piece of self-esteem and efficacy. The practices of bodylore shines light on the issues of body image and our communication with ourselves about our bodies. The underlying root bodylore wants to discover is our connections between our mind and body practice. Psychologist are striving to do the same. Intertwining the two practices of science and social construct could open doors for medical professional research on the body and its communication between a person and the world around them.
Rudd, N., & Lennon, S. (2000). Body Image and Appearance-Management Behaviors in College Women. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 18(3), 152-162.
Fournier, L. (2009). The Embodiment of Social Life: Bodylore and the Kirkwall Ba’ Game (Orkney, Scotland). Folklore, 120(2), 194-212.
Sklare, D. (1994). Can Bodylore Be Brought to Its Senses? The Journal of American Folklore, 107(423), 9-22.
Ashlyn Brown is currently a student at Old Dominion University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies. She is a thick girl with style and grace who is learning to love herself each day. She enjoys reading, She could create movies in her head all day, along with reality television. She hopes to grow in her understanding the meaning of Bodylore and its commandments. With her growth she intends to help others blossom, while learning the hacks of the life and body. May our journey be a safe and powerful one.