The features of our face are hardly more than gestures which force of habit has made permanent.

—Marcel Proust, 1919

Flesh was the reason why oil painting was invented.

—Willem de Kooning, 1949

The human body is the best picture of the human soul.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, c. 1947

The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body.

—Anaïs Nin, 1935

My face looks like a wedding cake left out in the rain.

—W.H. Auden, c. 1967

If I see something sagging, dragging, or bagging, I’m going to go have the stuff tucked or plucked.

—Dolly Parton, 2003

The body says what words cannot.

—Martha Graham, 1985

I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king.

—Elizabeth I, 1588

One’s body, hair, and skin are a gift from one’s parents—do not dare to allow them to be harmed.

—Classic of Filial Piety, c. 200 BC

Shame on the soul, to falter on the road of life while the body still perseveres.

—Marcus Aurelius, c. 170

As the saying goes, an old woman is always uneasy when dry bones are mentioned in a proverb.

—Chinua Achebe, 1958

Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.

—Miguel de Cervantes, 1605

What are men anyway but balloons on legs, a lot of blown-up bladders?

—Petronius, c. 64

The enlightened man says: I am body entirely and nothing beside.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, 1883

Carnal embrace is the practice of throwing one’s arms around a side of beef.

—Tom Stoppard, 1993

O flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified!

—William Shakespeare, c. 1596

And your very flesh shall be a great poem.

—Walt Whitman, 1855

Very shy people don’t even want to take up the space that their body actually takes up.

—Andy Warhol, 1975

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.

—Oscar Wilde, 1890

The world is made of the very stuff of the body.

—Maurice Merleau-Ponty, 1961

To know intense joy without a strong bodily frame, one must have an enthusiastic soul.

—George Eliot, 1872

All God’s children are not beautiful. Most of God’s children are, in fact, barely presentable.

—Fran Lebowitz, 1978

To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself.

—Simone de Beauvoir, 1949

I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do.

—Phyllis Diller, 1981

It hurts to watch the fluency of a body acclimated to its shackling.

—Leslie Jamison, 2014

Celibacy goes deeper than the flesh.

—F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1920

If I had the use of my body I would throw it out of the window.

—Samuel Beckett, 1951

There is only one antidote to mental suffering and that is physical pain.

—Karl Marx, 1860

Every man must descend into the flesh to meet mankind.

—G.K. Chesterton, 1910

Your body is the church where nature asks to be reverenced.

—Marquis de Sade, 1797

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

—Kate Moss, 2009