Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When we loose contact with our self image

Recently I was reading a blog in Ivillage about a woman who experienced the same 'sickness' many of us have: unrealistic body image.

She recounted how awful was for her to discover how 'misshapen' she was when her mother took her a picture in her adolescence. To her, this picture was evidence of how her family genes "had hung themselves on my frame with an unnecessary flourish of cruelty".

In her opinion, her hips were the most terrible part of her aspect. She even took a marker and 'hide' this part of her body. She described how she felt and I think she had the same emotions many women have had before: feeling almost a deformed person who could not appeal to anybody.

The image that make her feel like this is this:

This proves how frail is our self image (specially women, who suffer a lot of pressure from media, culture and even family). I believe this happens more in adolescence, when we are defining our adult personality and evaluating ourselves to discover who we are.

The irony of this is that when we see ourselves in a wrong way it is more probable that we loose control of our own body, gaining and loosing weight without control (as happened to the author of the post and I believe to many of us growing up) to finally discover that it is after self acceptance that we can find a healthy image.

I think we should be vigilant of how we see ourselves and how our children, especially girls, are coping with the media and culture pressure to be 'perfect'. I would hate my daughter to think one day that only being of certain size she can be accepted, no way I'm going to let this happen.

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