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Old 10-15-2006, 08:53 AM   #1
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Shocked by body image confessions

So last night I was out with a few good girlfriends. We had a few drinks and went dancing. I am the only 'taken' one in this group so most of the night was spent checking guys out. Anyway drama went down in the fact that two of my friends found one guy attractive and he was obviously into one of them and not the other which caused her to have a mini breakdown in the carpark.

We all ended up in a deep and meaningful right in the carpark and I was shocked at the revelations that came out. Here were 4 girls, of what would be called "normal" size who are all VERY pretty (and this is not just a friend being supportive, they are all very attractive) and all of them revealed how they hate themsevles, how they feel so fat and disgusting. They feel horrible about themselves, and when they go out they compare themselves to other women till they feel shit about themselves and then go home and cry.

Why does this happen? What is in this world that causes people to get so down on themselves, to the point where they want to die, and these are not even people who have clinical depression, or problems within their lives to get to this point?

Is it magazines? celebrities? Is it all women and i'm just not normal for feeling like this? Is it just women, or do men feel this way as well?
Is it just western women?

I just feel so sad, that such wonderful, sweet and gorgeous women can have such low selfesteem and feel so utterly despondant about themselves.
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:22 AM   #2
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It's so hard not to compare when you're bombarded by "perfect" and "beautiful" women all the time...through TV, magazine covers, movies, etc. It's the society we live in, and it's sad.

I try not to compare myself to famous women but sometimes I just can't help thinking "Why can't I be pretty like her?" Even when I know that it's silly for me to even begin to compare myself to some celebrity.

It's a rough world...
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: Shocked by body image confessions

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Here were 4 girls, of what would be called "normal" size who are all VERY pretty (and this is not just a friend being supportive, they are all very attractive) and all of them revealed how they hate themsevles, how they feel so fat and disgusting. They feel horrible about themselves, and when they go out they compare themselves to other women till they feel shit about themselves and then go home and cry.
well, you've pretty much described me to a T, there dazzlingamy.

i think it's a combination of society, media, and just men and women themselves, as well as a person's ability to drown all of that out, that contribute to the whole problem.

i think there are a lot of women who need their beauty to be validated somehow by others, whether it be by the media or by men specifically. if you never see yourself in the magazine pictures and when you go out and notice that men always seem to gravitate towards the tall, skinny blonde - is it any wonder that you begin to feel unattractive?

i'm not sure i can respond to your questions at the moment and still remain objective, so i'll have to come back to this.
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:27 PM   #4
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women tend to judge themselves by their appearance

men tend to judge themselves by their success


men tend to judge women by their appearance

women tend to judge men by their success


I know
these are generalities


men should strive to be more successful and have more self confidence

women should strive to make a nice appearance and have more self confidence

self confidence adds to a woman's attractiveness

self confidence adds to a man's success
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Old 10-15-2006, 02:30 PM   #5
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I don't know what to say about this because I see this type of thing all the time. Personally, I am unhappy with my body not because of how guys react, but because there was a time when I was doing sports and I liked how I looked and how I felt (energetic, sporty, etc) and after "entering the real world" (college, work, etc), I've gained weight and my physique has changed significantly. I wish I had my old body back, but more for myself than because I think I'm ugly and guys won't like me. I miss being thinner, way more toned, and having more energy than I do now.

I think the real issue here is how susceptible women are to the cultural ideal of a beautiful, thin women Why does it affect some women, but not others? That's what I'm most interested in. I don't think that the fact that this unachievable perception of "perfect women" exists is the problem because if people weren't willing to buy into it, it would go away.
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:11 PM   #6
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dazzlingamy, I am amazed by the number of attractive (and usually very thin) friends I have that make derogatory remarks about their own bodies. These women are all successful, both in careers and with men, and yet this does not seem to stop them from being so hard on themselves.

Just yesterday, when out for coffee and cake with some friends, one said, like it was no big deal, that if you pig out and feel you´ve eaten too much just throw up. We were quite shocked that she just came out with this, but she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "so what if its only like once a month". She is one of the strongest (I thought) women I know. REALLY tough job, very outspoken, in many ways an extreme feminist, and yet even she comes out with this stuff.

I´m not saying I don´t have afew issues with my body. I know my flaws, but I don´t put such signifance on them. It frustates me when I see otherwise wonderful women putting themselves down like this. For me whats worst about this phenomenon is that its not simply a case of succumbing to the ideal of being thin, its that they are never happy once they get there. So its like for some reason women have to put themselves down for something, rather than celebrating that they are pretty great.

And you know, sometimes I just get pissed of at the pure self-indulgence of it. What do you say when the thinnest girl in the room complains about being fat. What does that make the rest of us!?
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:41 PM   #7
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Re: Re: Shocked by body image confessions

Quote:
Originally posted by lmjhitman

I think there are a lot of women who need their beauty to be validated somehow by others.
I think that's very, very (and sadly) true.
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Old 10-15-2006, 04:14 PM   #8
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This is really sad. It's the media and society's expectations that make it so hard for some women to feel good about themselves. Kate Moss was recently chosen as the most influential celebrity in some poll, I forget who did it. It figures.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:35 PM   #9
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I like to think of myself as someone who is secure enough not to freak out about body image, but if I have to hear my size 4 co-worker say one more time how "fat" she is I think I will smack her. If she's "fat," what does that make me at size 12?
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's shades
I like to think of myself as someone who is secure enough not to freak out about body image, but if I have to hear my size 4 co-worker say one more time how "fat" she is I think I will smack her. If she's "fat," what does that make me at size 12?
Hot!
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:41 PM   #11
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Hot!
BEST. ANSWER. EVAH!!!!!
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:26 PM   #12
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Well, I don't think self-esteem and confidence are always affected by the present. Sometimes a person's past or childhood can affect the way they perceive themselves. Also, it seems to me that some of the women with low-self esteem are the very ones all over the media, i.e. Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spears, etc.

Plus we all know about the airbrushing, makeup and soft-lighting, don't we?
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:27 PM   #13
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I think a lot of it has to do with the media. Of course they'll all say Nicole Richie's too thin, but in the next breath they're calling Mischa Barton "curvacious." I mean come on.

Lies I know what you mean...I've always been a competitive athlete, but I've sort of been in between sports lately and haven't been part of a yearround team since May. And even though I run 30-60 minutes a day and generally stay in shape, I'm not as toned and overall just not as happy with my appearance. Just having a sport to devote (far too many hours of) your life to is a really positive thing and makes the focus athleticism not emaciation. Of course there are exceptions to the other extreme, especially with ballet etc, but I've noticed that teenage girls that really have a sport they're devoted to tend to have better body images and freak out less about everything they put in their mouths.

Of course as I say that, me and my friends (who are all athletes- last year it was rowing) have always sat around watching TV, eating, and talking about how fat we are. It's a really common bonding thing, completely normal.

And guys aren't always helpful either...I have a friend that is 5'10 and 125-130 lbs, naturally lanky body type. But she does have- god forbid- like a tiny little pouch of fat in the stomach area, and guys in our group will jokingly poke at her and shit. I mean what the hell?

so this post has no point...society is to blame!!1 argh.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
Well, I don't think self-esteem and confidence are always affected by the present. Sometimes a person's past or childhood can affect the way they perceive themselves.
that's very true. I think once you perceive yourself one way it's hard to let go of it. I doubt I know a single girl "happy" with the way she looks.

I like how Deep put it... a little confidence goes a long way in making a person attractive.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal

Lies I know what you mean...I've always been a competitive athlete, but I've sort of been in between sports lately and haven't been part of a yearround team since May. And even though I run 30-60 minutes a day and generally stay in shape, I'm not as toned and overall just not as happy with my appearance. Just having a sport to devote (far too many hours of) your life to is a really positive thing and makes the focus athleticism not emaciation. Of course there are exceptions to the other extreme, especially with ballet etc, but I've noticed that teenage girls that really have a sport they're devoted to tend to have better body images and freak out less about everything they put in their mouths.


I did competitive gymnastics, which most people associate with eating disorders, but in our competitive division, the best girl was VERY athletically built. She was in no way thin, but she was so amazingly strong and had the most diverse set of skills and always won. Coming in as an insecure 13 year old using the team almost as more of a social opportunity at first, I think it was good I had someone like her to look up to. Also, being in sports bras and leotards everyday, in a gym with mirrored walls actually helped me become more comfortable with my body rather than hate it.

4 years later, I've put on 30 pounds, lost a lot of muscle tone, while only having grown half an inch. I don't think I'm fat or ugly, I just miss my athletic self. Often, it's more about just feeling more nimble and energetic than caring how I look on the outside. I'm not going to sweat it though since I just don't have the time to be doing gymnastics for three hours a day and on weekends.

One thing that came to mind with this thread was how do you approach the issue of weight with a young woman when you really do have reason to be concerned? One of my best friends has gained a LOT of weight in the last four years. Not only that, but she never exercises (not even things like going for a short walk - she wants to lay in bed all day), has a terrible diet, very bad sleeping habbits, and has always struggled with depression and anxiety. She seemed in denial about her weight gain - she'd wear the same clothes we wore when we were 12 and look really inappropriate. We finally did our own "What Not To Wear" and helped her find profesisonal clothes that look really nice on her, but she still gets lazier and eats more fast food. I never know what to say, because her extended family has problems with obesity, high cholesterol, etc. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I want her to know I'm serious. I've tried encouraging her so many ways. Once she wanted to try the Shape Challenge, so her bf bought us our own elliptical machine. I did it religiously for weeks, only to find out she tried it once and decided she hated getting sweaty. I just don't know what else to say because I'm concerned for her physical health, but she has low self-esteem (she was in an abusive relationship) and problems with anxiety, so I don't want to set her off....
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