Reader Christine sent me this question via e-mail, and although it’s not strictly style or body-image related, it hit so close to home for me, I felt I should share our correspondence:
What if someone feels bad about him/herself, not because of body/appearance insecurities, but rather accomplishment/intellectuality insecurities? What would you suggest to help that person back on a path to self love? For example, the university student who can’t forgive herself for her terrible GPA, and since she valued herself based on her intellectuality, now feels as though she has no worth? Or the career woman who has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is and was passed up for that promotion (or worse, demoted) and now feels as though she has no value?
Originally posted 2011-09-19 06:10:13.
Many years ago, a friend mentioned in passing that she never wore shorts because of her fat knees. I had never given the girth of my own knees a single solitary thought, but I immediately began scrutinizing them. And yes, they were saggy and weird and kinda fat-looking. Now, I had something new to worry about.
Over the course of this blog, I’ve received several comments and e-mails instructing me to “get a tan.” Rather forcefully and with the implication that my pasty whiteness was an absolute affront. It had never occurred to me that my pale skin was marking me as an unstylish person. Now, I had something new to worry about.*
Originally posted 2011-08-04 06:08:24.
Advocating for self-love and body acceptance is important to me. I mean, obviously. But over the years, I’ve realized that many messages about body image and loving your physical form regardless of its shape or size can be interpreted as exclusionary. Sometimes, when I say, “Love your body as it is,” people hear, “Wanting to change your body is bad,” or, “Nothing is as important as self-acceptance, including your health.”
Health is relative, and it’s a hot-button word. In my opinion, health is deeply personal and not something that can be easily measured by statistics, averages, or numbers alone. Health is complex and different for each of us. There is evidence to support the idea that people can be healthy at many, many weights and sizes, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that.
Originally posted 2012-05-03 06:27:28.