Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and hate what you see staring back at you? Here's how to love your body with the curves and flaws that come with it.
Therapeutic photography can be a useful tool in helping heal a distored self-image. In 2009, the New York Times published an article on this emerging practice of using images as a healing modality. The story, titled "Behind the Scenes: A Camera as Therapy", was written by professional photojournalist Alexandra Avakian.
Ever wonder why we’re all so crazy about breasts? Because they're so damned desirable, that's why. This is a reality that every women who's undergone a mastectomy deals with each day. The idea of reconstruction is like a big security blanket that makes us feel that whatever it is we're about to go through, we'll be fine and dandy in no time. But, as a woman who's lost a breast to cancer and had reconstruction, I can tell you first hand: the reality is more complicated than that.
Usually, we refer to femme fatales as sirens. But what if being a siren meant that your beauty and your capacity to give and receive pleasure were so magnetic that you naturally attracted high-quality men as life partners? Wouldn't that make being a siren positive, sexy and fun? Learn more at the Become Your Inner Siren Telesummit, available online for free (May 18-20).
Today (May 6) is International No Diet Day. Frankly, I think every day should be a 'no-diet' day. The media's obsession with body image has resulted in women hating their bodies. That's why we turned to one of the most beautiful starlets in history, Marilyn Monroe, who embraced her status as a sex symbol. Maybe if she were still alive, women might perceive themselves (and each other) differently today.
I wanted to love myself. I wanted something to change. After years of therapy, coaching and other healing work, the world began to look up. I was full of possibility. The secret that I kept close to me, hidden in the shadows for 31 years was now ready to be shared and I was ready to share it. I chose to bring my secret to the light. I wanted to celebrate It, and who I had become. I wanted to use It to help others – people like me, people who felt ashamed; men who felt embarrassed, and women who felt ugly.
All of us have secrets. We learn to live with them. We usually keep them close. And of all of them, there’s usually one biggie. One we hope and pray will never come out. But what are we so afraid would happen if others discovered our secret? Why do we hold it so tightly against our chests?
Mindless consumerism can lead us to believe our value lies in what we wear. I wanted my daughter to have the freedom to divorce her self-worth from her clothing. But how could I teach her that when here I was — 29-years-old, wallowing in a pile of cheap cotton-poly blends and feeling worthless? It was time to go on a clothing fast. I called it "No Pants 2012."
I HATE my thighs. My butt is so big. I am so fat. I am so ugly. I would be attractive if I could just change my nose. How often do these thoughts run through your mind? Why do we do this to ourselves? I cannot tell you how much time I have spent criticizing my body. Analyzing it from every angle, squeezing chunks of flesh and berating myself because I wasn’t perfect. Well, I’m done. I think in some misguided way, those actions were meant to motivate me in some way. It motivated me alright! It motivated me to eat my dissatisfaction.
Three kids later, I still see beauty when I look in the mirror. I don't see just a body. Sure, I see crow's feet snaking out from my eyes when I smile; I see a mass of curly hair. But mostly, I see a person: my husband's wife, my children's mother, my students' teacher...
Being "too thin" may sound like a problem most women would give anything to have, but my reality is different. My culture places a greater emphasis on being curvy. I didn't realize the irony of my "problem" until I started working in a predominantly caucasian office. Most of my coworkers with were obsessed with being skinny. It was strange to me; all of these women were struggling for a body like mine, but when I looked at them, I secretly wished I were their size.
Too naïve to grasp the real root of my worries, I concentrated on the more quantifiable issue: My ex's new girlfriend was far skinnier than I was. My short, frumpy body paled in comparison to her long legs and magazine-worthy abs. I became determined to reshape my body.