Love Bytes: three must-click love and relationship links. Action figure gifts, why men love your body and romantic dirty talk.
As unique as we all like to think we are, there's more lemming in us than we realize. Not only are our actions open to suggestion, as previous studies have shown, so are our opinions about non-essential things like beauty. A new study explains that we have our unconscious brain to thank for that.
Everyone from my mother to Mr. Rogers had articulated some version of 'beauty is only skin-deep.' What really mattered, they said, was inner beauty. But the concept of inner beauty was tough to comprehend. That other famous platitude, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," suggests that there's always someone who will think someone else is beautiful, and always someone who will think that same someone else is ugly. In other words, everyone is beautiful, and everyone isn't—so objective beauty doesn't exist. It's a nice thought, but scientists have told us for years that humans instinctively equate facial and bodily symmetry with attractiveness, because it connotes health.
Women aren’t the only ones dissatisfied with their bodies. Studies show a growing trend toward negative body image and self esteem. A recent Harvard study shows that, eating disorders among men are on the rise across the country and this scary trend seems to be going under the radar, because men are less likely to talk about it. "I'm not the only man who wishes his body looked more like Michael Jordan's and less like a vat of pudding. A recent survey showed that only 18 percent of men are happy enough with their physiques that they wouldn't change them."
Last month during an intimate girls' night in, I publicly posed the question that many overweight women wonder but never say aloud: "Is someone only going to marry me to get US citizenship?" I don't mean to knock cross-cultural love, but the fear I'd always had confronted me a few days before. A woman I knew, a good-looking gal with a great job and also about a hundred excess pounds, just got engaged to a weird-looking guy who I don't think speaks English. And, apparently, my fears are pretty commonplace among bigger gals.
Victoria's Secret is the world's most famous lingerie brand, that's a fact. But a summer working there taught Rajul Punjabi that it's also great place to observe the female body image and it's self-esteem counterpart. It turns out, irrespective of the facts at hand, that women with enough self-esteem were happy with how they looked. All the thongs, bras, and garters in the store didn't matter as much as what was beneath them... way beneath them.
Pepper Schwartz, a seasoned lover, psychologist and author, writes about the things she wish she knew about sex at 30. How much do body image, fantasy, oral sex and sex toys factor into a healthy sex life? Read on to find out. Plus, the revealing connection between foreplay, orgasms and faking it.
Women are plagued by physical imperfections or a negative body image that go virtually unnoticed by the object of their affection. Is it possible for us to find beauty in our flaws? "Many women swagger confidently through business meetings and cocktail parties. But once they shed the armor of Diane von Furstenberg and True Religion they become flustered schoolgirls, ashamed of everything from scars and birthmarks to stretch marks and small breasts. n an age when many women yearn for the airbrushed perfection of Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston, it's easy to assume that men do, too."
Have you ever wondered what happens when readers follow an advice columnist's sex tips to a T? In this piece, read tongue in cheek letters to the fictional "American Vixen" magazine and see how the (imaginary) readers handled advice on how to deal with a poor body image.