Entries Tagged 'Body Image & Self Esteem' ↓
September 12th, 2011 — Body Image & Self Esteem, Mentors, Role Models, Peers, Mother-Daughter Emotional Osmosis
“You’re lucky you got my hair, it’s gorgeous,” I say while I am curling her hair before school. The last six months is the first time in her life she has allowed me any access at all to her hair, because she wants more intricate styles than she can do for herself.
“Yeah, well I got Dad’s teeth,” Ainsley said.
“They’re straight and you won’t need braces,” I said.
“You also got my eyes, which are really beautiful,” I continued.
“Quit bragging about yourself,” she chastised.
“Hey, I’m bragging about you. You’ll notice as you get older that girls will criticize themselves to death, “Oh, I hate my teeth, I hate my hair, I hate my . . . whatever. Until they really hate themselves”
“Demi Lovato hates herself,” she interrupts. “She hates her show and she hates herself and she got fat and all the kids at school made fun of her, so she started throwing up and she hates herself now.”
“How do you know all this?” I asked.
“All the kids at school saw it on the Internet,” she explained.
“Well, now you see why it’s important to look in the mirror and see what’s good – like your hair and your eyes – instead of listening to what the other kids say or focusing on what you think might be bad,” I say.
“Yeah,” she concedes. “My hair is beautiful.”
“I think those kids have way to much access to the Internet,” I say.
I stand back to look at my hair masterpiece.
“Why’s it all messy!?!” she demands.
Then we have an argument about her talking to me like I’m “the help” instead of her mother doing her a favor.
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August 24th, 2011 — Body Image & Self Esteem
Time Magazine has an article stating that the “difference between earnings between the typical good-looking worker and the below-average-looking worker over a lifetime is $230,000.”
David Hammerish has spent 20 years researching this and wrote about it in his new book, Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful. Evidently, 59% of men are average (I’m betting because the bar is lower) and 51% of women are average, while 27% of men are good-looking and 31% of women are good-looking, only 2% of men are strikingly handsome and 3% of women are strikingly beautiful. The majority of us agree on who is and who isn’t.
My bet is, the only people who really know this better than good looking people are average looking or below-average looking people.
Think about it: if Gloria Steinem were ugly would anyone really have paid attention? Probably not.
I’m pretty certain that I’ve gotten a few jobs because of my looks. And I’ve lost at least one because I had roots and wore the wrong clothes (yeah, that Texas socialite actually took me out back and told me my looks were unacceptable).
We talk the talk and tell our girls that beauty doesn’t matter, that looks aren’t what counts. But, from a very early age, they know we’re lying. When Ainsley was barely two, she had clearly defined ideas about what was beautiful and what was not. She knew it counted for a lot in this life. She cared very much about what kinds of clothes she wore. As she’s gotten older, it has only mattered more.
As parents, we know this is true and we care deeply about it. This is why we’ll spend hundreds every year on school clothes. This is why we’ll spend thousands on braces and retainers. Why we’ll spend money on cool haircuts and accessories. This is why many of us had hair wars with our mothers that left emotion battle scars, curling iron burns and hideous photographs of bad perms and ’80s bangs. This is why many of us have hair wars with our daughters that are sure to leave future emotional battle scars and burns on their ears from Chi’s. This is why black girls spend millions of dollars every year in relaxers and weaves (I just saw Chris Rock’s Good Hair, oh my). It’s why more than one parent I know has prayed their sons got the tall gene.
This is why I’m letting Ainsley whiten her teeth. She has “mottled teeth.” I Googled it. It’s a discoloration of teeth caused by fluoridation in the water when children are getting their adult teeth. When she was little, she had perfect pearly white teeth. They grew in yellowed in some areas and white in others. She noticed. How could she not? Other kids notice and comment on it. This does not sit well with her. How could it? I noticed, probably long before she did. I had already talked to the dentist about it. I had already decided we were doing something to fix it as soon as possible, well before she brought it up. But, when she brought it up, well, it was a no-brainer. Whitening strips it is. We’ll have them Zoom! whitened at the dentist if we have to. Cost be damned.
The only surprising part is that looks matter more for men than for women. Above average men earn 17% more than below average men, while above average women earn 12% more than below average women.
Hammerish says that plastic surgery won’t change your attractiveness rating, or your income. His advice: You get what your born with. Work with what you’ve got and focus on your other strengths. Oh, and he rates himself a 3.
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July 15th, 2011 — Body Image & Self Esteem, sacred feminine
. . . and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,
Luke 8: 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
- Addiction (smoking, xanex, beer, food)
- Physical Illness
- Hopelessness or feelings of Failure
- Cyclic Negative Thinking
- Worthlessness and/or lack of Self Esteem
Oh wait, that’s just me.
But, there’s something universal about the demons, though they can take many forms: eating disorders, addictions, afflictions, victim identities. God frees me from one at a time, but I pick them back up and have to beg, plead and barter to be freed again and again. God frees me from one and I switch it to another. Sometimes, for years even, I feel like I’ve “got it” and make huge strides running forward with confidence.
Then BAM! I find myself wrestling with another demon, usually one I’ve met before, one so familiar to me that it almost feels like it IS me, but it is not. It’s only the demon, or the “Pain Body” as Eckhart Tolle calls it in A New Earth. It is on me, it is tackling me, it is trying to win me over, but it is not ME. It is not who I am. It is a separate identity from my inherent self as God’s child, of God, having God within. It is a demon telling lies in my head, believable and painful lies, but big fat lies just the same.
Fall down. Get back up. Fall down. Get back up. Fall down. Get back up.
Was it a Rocky movie that quoted Gen. Custer, “It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up?”
It is just the human condition. Now, if I could learn to forgive myself the sin of being human it would be easier to get back up and get back in the fight.
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March 25th, 2011 — Body Image & Self Esteem, Feminine Heritage, Media, Marketing and Advertising
I know it could be perceived as controversial. I realize it might be taken wrong. I know I’m on a tight rope, walking a very fine line . . .
Still, I want you to know that TGR Body was born of Love. Love . . . the kind you feel for your kids, and you wish you felt for your self. The kind that knocks you to the floor when you see sex and violence mixed on television and you want . . . better. Better for these beings you’ve taken the trouble to birth, teach and raise. Love . . . the kind that makes you look at advertising and marketing towards girls and you know it’s condescending . . . hateful. . . minimizing . . .painful . . .heartbreaking to internalize. It’s so poisonous to their very selves. Intrusive to their sense of wholeness and being. It. Is. Not. Who. They. Are.
TGR Body was born of the love that answers that media conflict. The labels. Oh, how important they are. Labels have a choice to say . . . the creators have a choice to say . . .You’re enough. or You’re not. The labels can say, “I love the incredible miracle that is who I am.” or they can say, “I am not good enough as I am, unless I devote a portion of myself to improvement with the products of this bottle, which might improve my flawed, imperfect self.” Or they can choose to say, “I am. I am a beautiful human being, which has a right to exist and be heard just as I am and seen as beautiful in the way I was made, by a miracle of birth and natural selection and holy creativity.”
Yes. All of that is what I hoped to provide with the labels of TGR Body. See, the thing is . . . we’re here, all of us, to serve a purpose and that purpose can get derailed by the wrong marketing, advertising and labels.
The wrong messaging to our reflections in our mirrors. The kind we see on beauty products and television commercials and Internet ads. It can. Get derailed. And we can lose our place in the knowing of the incredible miracle that we actually are.
TGR Body – me – knows that every person born IS a miracle. IS the person who was supposed to be born. Is the person who was supposed to look in the mirror with gratitude and joy and say, “Yes, this. This is the miracle that I am. This is who I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to look like and it. is. good. It is a miracle, after all. Miracles are bountiful and beautiful and I am one of them.”
Is that too much to ask of a skincare or haircare product? As I am the creator of TGR Body, I have to say that No. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I think it’s the minimum we should ask of every experience we have and every product that we buy. It should be something affirming of the miracle that we are. The miracle we were created to be.
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March 15th, 2011 — Body Image & Self Esteem, Fit Girl
One reason I chose to offer sunless tanning products on TGR Body was personal. I laid out, went to tanning beds and never wore sunscreen or sunblock as a child or teen.
In my 20s, when I got pregnant, the hormones and my previous sun damage had a war on my face: melasma. Melasma is a darkening of the skin. Which was exactly what I was shooting for when I was sun worshiping. The problem was, it was a blotchy darkening of the skin. Blotches on my cheeks, forehead and around my mouth.
I had it in my first pregnancy and even more pronounced in my second. And it didn’t go away after the births. I kept waiting. Then I started spending dough on over-the-counter creams. When that didn’t work, four years after my son’s birth, I plopped down some more dough and bought the pricey creams that finally faded those blotches. Except they can come back, which is why I am adamant about sunscreen use.
The other reason is that I interviewed several dermatologists for a skin cancer article I was hired to write. It wasn’t pretty. Every single doctor I spoke to – doctors who treat people for melanoma from sun exposure – was crazy in love with sunless tanners. They love the invention. Understanding they weren’t effective in fighting the beauty ideal which promotes a tan, they praised sunless tanners as the happy medium. The solution to a practical issue.
Girls, seriously, stop laying out and hitting the tanning beds. It’s dangerous. It feels good now and by virtue of youth, you think it won’t matter to you whether you have great skin when you’re over-the-hill at like 30. But, when you turn 30, you still care about your skin. You do. When you’re 60, you care. Mothers, promote sunless tanners and sunscreen. It’s a safer alternative.
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