Posts Categorized: body image

On Variety

Many of the messages we receive about bodies have to do with conforming. The current standards for physical female beauty are narrow and exclusionary, yet we are pressured to deprive, manipulate, and punish our bodies into fitting those narrow, exclusionary standards. We are told, “Be the same, or be wrong.” We are told, “Look this way, or be lesser-than.” We are told, “There’s no room for variation here, so do everything in your power to conform.”

But no two human beings are alike. Even identical twins, who have the same genes down to the last, have distinct personalities, needs, voices, desires, and ambitions … and frequently metabolize, tan, and take hair color differently from one another. That “unique snowflake” cliche exists for a reason: We’re all marvelously individual. And that marvelous individuality is what makes human life interesting. read more

Originally posted 2012-01-10 06:37:03.

Partner Conflicts Over Sartorial Choices

fighting with husband about clothes

It’s POSSIBLE that a certain husband dislikes this dress. Rather strongly. And said husband is generally spot-on when it comes to what works and what doesn’t for my style and body. But he’s also extremely open-minded. Often times he’ll hate something on first glance, but then compliment me when he sees it worn in the context of a fully styled outfit.¬† That’s what I expected to happen with this dress. I bought it in New York back in February, brought it home, showed it to him, and he didn’t like it. Trotted it out MONTHS later as part of this ensemble and felt smashing in it. I asked him if he’d changed his stance. Nope. Still dislikes it. read more

Originally posted 2011-10-18 06:02:08.

Self-consciousness, Focus, and Projection

Self-consciousness is a funny beast, don’t you think?

We human beings seem to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about how we look, how we look compared to others, how we’re being perceived, whether we’re cool enough, and what others might be thinking about us. And all of these concerns are natural extensions of life in an active society, and especially of life in an active society that puts great stock in physical beauty.

But there’s a piece of wisdom that floats through my brain any time I feel myself starting to truly obsess about how I’m being perceived: The vast majority of human beings are so busy worrying about THEMSELVES, they hardly even notice YOU. In other words, self-consciousness isolates and cancels. Yeah, if you walk into a crowded bar wearing a yeti costume most of the bar patrons will focus on you. But if you walk into a crowded bar wearing bar-appropriate clothes, you are unlikely to become the sole object of intense scrutiny. Everyone there is too busy wondering what you think about them to spend much energy sizing you up. read more

Originally posted 2011-10-11 06:28:58.