The Pressure To Be Skinny: Women Do The Most Damage

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pressure to be skinny
It's women — not men — who perpetuate an unattainably skinny body image ideal.

Health, life and wellness coach Nicole Burley sheds some light on girl-on-girl bashing: "We have internalized the unrealistic idea of 'perfection.' We feel held to an unattainable standard  and, as much as we don't like it for ourselves, we tend to inflict it on other women. When someone like Kate Upton comes along  who doesn't conform to what we've been 'told' is our goal, but who is still considered very sexy and beautiful  it creates a conflict. Rather than cheer, some women tend to double down on a punitive, unforgiving ideal of how we should look."

It's an exhausting place to be, and as the divide between what we're told men find attractive and what they actually do find attractive continues to grow, how do we bridge the gap, shut off the noise and listen to the voices that truly matter? Wellness, Health and Life Coach Tatiana Abend suggests digging deep. "I ask people to identify their most prominent and deepest values in a life well spent. Seeing your most important values clearly can help to shed the notion that that you 'should' be doing x-y-z for beauty. Honoring your deepest values might mean just knowing deeply that not only is it 'enough' but that you are a gift to the world when you do this."

It's unrealistic to think that our attitudes towards beauty, self worth and weight will change over night — especially while we're hearing a confliciting message everywhere we go. And though you can't control the things that have been ingrained in you in the past, you can control the things you choose to believe or listen to now. This might mean distancing yourself from friends who constantly tear you down or canceling subscriptions to the magazines that make you feel like crap every month. Perhaps instead of reading articles that promise to tell you, "The secret ways to get a sexy body any man will love," ask your own man exactly what he loves about your sexy body.

Chances are he won't want to keep it a secret.

What do you think about the concept of body image in today's culture? Do women put too much pressure on one another to be unrealistically skinny?

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