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Especially if you’re a woman, you probably have a specific part of your body you wish you could change — it’s an unfortunate consequence of a thousand cultural cues and media representations. The fitness industry and women’s magazines are happy to market to this wish with their thousands of pitches about toning your arms, flattening your belly, and building a butt that defies gravity. It’s a little bit truth and a little bit snake oil. You can spot build — that’s the principle of bodybuilding: zeroing in on muscles and developing them to the desired size — but you can’t spot reduce. (Well, not with diet and exercise — cosmetic surgeons can help, though.)

This illustration comes from a series that takes those critical assessments head on and changes the focus. If your body parts seem to be jerking you around and making you feel bad, take a step back, pull yourself together, be kind to yourself, and learn how your body works so you can take good care of it.

Image from How To Fix Your Body’s Trouble Areas.

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