We’re big movie fans. We’ve seen most of this year’s Oscar contenders. Our favorite was The Sessions. It is based on the true story of Mark O’Brien, a young man who spends twenty-one of every twenty-four hours in an iron lung, mostly paralyzed from the neck down from polio. When he decides that he wants to experience sex, friends help him find a sex surrogate. The relationship between them is the story.
The New York Times columnist Frank Bruni uses The Sessions to illustrate the foolishness of the way we relate to our bodies—he calls it a war. Bruni observes that we are constantly talking about how imperfect our bodies are, and that we keep trying to do something about them, often in vain. He tells us we are so much more than “these wretched vessels.” He reminds us that we should make peace with our bodies and define ourselves not by “what is measurable from the outside” but by “what glimmers within.”