excerpt from my book, Feel Good Naked:
Did you know that:
-Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14?
-If Barbie were a real woman, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her proportions?
-A recent psychological study found that three minutes spent looking at models in a fashion magazine caused 70% of women readers to feel depressed, guilty, and shameful?
-On any given day, almost half of all American women are on a diet?
As shocking as these factoids are, what’s even more staggering is what they say about our female state of mind—how our perceptions about the female body, whether positive or negative are so warped, we’ve backed ourselves into a harsh corner of expectation and judgment. And the target we set our sights on most? Ourselves. It’s not just the average woman who buys into this self-directed negativity. By looking at the expressions and body language of celebrities, whether it’s in person, in a magazine, or on television, I can immediately tell how they feel about being naked.
The sad thing is, as the Feel Good Naked program teaches; happiness and contentment are not nearly as dependent on a perfect body as we’re led to believe. Think about all the people—famous or not—who embody the textbook definition of leanness, yet lead troubled, even destructive lives. As devoted as we are to a "think thin" mentality, skinny is obviously not a magic pill for happiness. What’s more, this self criticism is not only limited to our physical qualities. As women, we are amazingly quick to pass judgement on others, as well.
At the beginning of my fitness career I was working with a single woman in her late 30’s. She had just found herself on the receiving end of a traumatic break-up. One day she was late to our session, which was out of character. She arrived breathless, apologizing. I could see she had been crying. "I’ve been going through all of his old love letters," she choked. "Oh, no," I moaned, "why torture yourself that way?" "Because he says such wonderful things about me," she replied. "Even though I’m dying over losing him, there’s something about seeing compliments written down that makes me believe them." A light went on in my head. For this poor woman, feeling good about herself wasn’t possible without the affirmation from someone else. Even though the source of the compliments was highly suspect, his letters were better than nothing; certainly more credible than trying to convince herself of her worthwhile attributes. This episode exemplified how brainwashed and passive we’ve become when measuring and determining our self worth. How can it be that the (supposedly) most progressive, self-aware, self-actualized people are willing to let others tell us what to think of ourselves. Yet something good came out of the experience. I learned the importance of written words to help us discover and believe in our individual strengths.
Posted by laure at 11:25 AM