Basically I'm trying to rig this character and I was curious if there was a way to use cc bend it on the body layer of the character and still have the arms and skull stay in their original positions while the body is being distorted with the bend it effect. I was also wondering how to go about creating a good squash and stretch for the body while keeping the arms and skull as they are. This is my first real character set up in after effects and I'm trying to get a really cartoony feel. I'm sort of stumbling my way through it right now. Thanks for your help.
You can keep the body parts separate, but parented to each other.
You might also look into using the Puppet Pin tool.