Why Do Women Hate Their Bodies – Poor Body Image
It is a widely known fact that women, more often than not, hate (not dislike) their bodies. Many wives no longer allow their husbands to see them naked. A full 1/6 of women have not undressed in front of their husband in more than 365 days. Those that do, opt for sexual intercourse with the lights out, ensuring no eye-to-eye contact may be made, which damages relationship intimacy and self-perpetuates the cycle of poor body image; that is, once a woman starts down this path, the action and mindset are reinforced into habits.
In America, the rates of obesity are exploding in recent decades, while our professional models are being emaciated. From adolescence, girls are forced to witness the imposed (supposed) ideal of what a woman should look like. There is no longer a desire for a girl to wish to be in the like mother like daughter mindset. Instead, girls now look to women on magazines and in other forms of media to compare themselves to. Instead of there being a realistic expectation of one’s shape, it has become distorted as a few select models and actresses have defined what the ideal form is.
Why is this so?
Our youth have become increasingly exposed to the media and the false ideal that is presented. Even knowing that the models and actresses are being retouched and Photoshopped does not prevent these images from creating a longing desire for conformity. All of the images have been doctored in a manner that redefines what beauty is and should be. One should stop to ask if the imposed standard is one that should be lived up to despite 100% of the images being doctored. Unfortunately, family and spouses can detrimentally affect a woman’s body image. The result is perpetual misery and strain on relationships. It is common for Hispanics to refer to a chubby child as Gordo/a, Spanish for fat. This can become a child’s moniker for life from their parent, siblings and close friends. Even though it is of cultural significance and not meant to necessarily hurt one’s feelings, it nevertheless has serious repercussions for the body image of the affected woman.
A husband may cause irreparable damage to a woman’s body image and the marriage by pressing her to lose weight. Men also give body language that reinforces the perception that they do not find their wife attractive. A husband may indicate that his wife should wear something different, due to how it displays her curves. He may also show dissatisfaction on his face when seeing her naked or even clothed. But it isn’t necessarily the negative verbal and non-verbal cues given. A woman that is attractive to her husband will receive much praise and licked-lip expressions. Removing the negative cues only focuses on half of the problem. The only way a wife will feel attractive to her mate is for him to give evidence, therein.
I don’t approach this subject only from a relationship perspective, but also one of concern for our society’s mental health and the implications it has on childbearing.
What can men do about it?
-Love her unconditionally.
You chose this woman out of all of the other women on the planet. As such, you should not love her despite her body; love her for her body. Cherish every inch of her body in appearance and touch.
-Give words of affirmation via pet names.
What do you call your wife? Do you call her honey? If so, consider replacing it or using it in conjunction with words that imply her attractiveness to you, such as: cutie, sexy, beautiful.
-Accept her negative self-image
The best way to accept her is to show her that it is utterly inconsequential. When she indicates that she does not like something about herself, be completely surprised or confused. With verbal and (mainly) non-verbal cues, you will show her how silly it is that she does not share your view of her beautiful body. You are reacting as if it is one of the craziest things you have ever heard. In awe that the view of perfection you have is not shared.
-When she mentions a bodily dislike:
1. Tilt your head to one side
2. Raise one eyebrow
3. Say “hrmm, really?”
4. Shrug your shoulders
What can women do about it?
-Focus your attention on the positive.
By focusing your attention, you inherently quiet the mind. With positivity in your crosshairs, the perception is shifted, which outweighs the negative thoughts circling inside of your mind. I want you to fully appreciate all of the beauty that you do see. The more this exercise is performed, the more you see beauty elsewhere.
-Define what the ideal image really is
With a piece of paper, define what the ideal image really is. Draw what the perfect nose should be. Draw the perfect butt. Draw the correct stomach shape. Draw the correct size and angle of the thighs. Then find that person that exists. Most likely, you will utterly fail at even coming up with all of these images of perfection, even if you have some reasonable level of artistic talent. Whatever you have come up with, attempt to find the real person that has these body characteristics. Good luck! This will show you how ridiculous the standards of beauty have become. What sense does it make to limit self-happiness to the less than 1% of women who actually have SOME of these characteristics? Why is the happy body the rare and computerized body?
Happiness does not depend on whether or not you can eat healthier or go to the gym more often. Realize that the only reason you are unhappy is because of the internal belief that you should not accept your body for what it is. If you were given a steak, would you not want to season it and cook it to your best ability so as to most enjoy it? If you were given a body, would you not want to love and appreciate it so that YOU could enjoy your life? Explain to yourself why exactly you do not deserve happiness with your body.
Set an achievable goal for your body, not the image. Do not set criteria that you must look like so and so or weigh so much. Do what individuals do that have positive self-images. They eat healthy and exercise. That is your goal and criteria for happiness, the actual effort. Diets fail because they are unsustainable. So, create a sustainable goal for your body that maximizes successful commitment to the effort.
Like women, men find women more attractive when they are confident. Women that have a positive self-image are more attractive to men, whether or not they are of the “ideal” shape. Sexiness is not a look; it is a feeling that is worn on one’s sleeve. In a relationship, nothing can turn a man on more than a woman that appreciates her body and flaunts it. Dress the part. Walk with confidence. Feel sexy and become sexy.