We women are obsessed with our bodies. Whether it’s our wrinkles or our butts or our lovely varicose veins, we can’t stop critiquing and trying to improve. To wit:
- Americans spend more than 40 billion a year on diet and beauty products
- 8 out 10 women are not happy with at least one aspect of their physical appearance
- The average American woman is 5’4″ and 140 pounds
- The average American model is 5′ 11″ and 117 pounds
- The current media ideal of thinness is achieved by less than 5% of the female population
And it gets worse. We pass along our obsession to the next generation:
- More than 50% of 10-year-old girls wish they were thinner
- 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted and 90% of high school junior and senior women diet regularly
- Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents
What to do about it? Here are 3 simple things we can all do to feel better about ourselves in no time:
- Stop the beat-down- Would you ever tell your boss she looked fat in that dress or your friend she had sausage legs? The answer is probably no, so extend the same courtesy to yourself. ”Treat yourself as you would treat others, and you’ll find negative thoughts will lessen over time,” explains Leslie Goldman, body image expert.
- Get rid of all the things that make you feel less than- negative friends, fashion mags with photo shopped supermodels, or TV shows that portray unrealistic women with unrealistic lives.
- And most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!
And what can you do for the girls in our lives?
- Compliment them on qualities other than looks.
- Talk about the unrealistic sizes of women in the media.
- Encourage them to get moving and get messy.
How do you help the women around you feel better about themselves? Please share your strength!
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity. ~Gilda Radner
Today I wanted to talk about ambiguity and how uncomfortable it can be at times. I, for one, would like to know that my life is laid out at least a teensy-weensy bit. But there are constant reminders that it just ain’t so.
This week a work friend lost her husband. They were all packed up, ready to retire and hit the road in June, but within a month of being diagnosed with cancer her husband passed away. We were all so excited for her and now everything’s changed.
Sometimes it’s hard to accept that life throws such devastating curve balls. But I have learned that while the world is confusing and complicated, it is equally wondrous and beautiful.
How do you handle ambiguity? What deliciously ambiguous situations have you been thrown into? I would love to hear from you!