The global women's marches this year helped us find our collective voice in response to a political climate that left us feeling devalued. It would serve us well to focus on other aspects of a woman's experience in today's world that are similarly broken. This blog focuses on the upswing in the last 50 or so years in a form of objectifying women. MyBodyMySelf focuses on our culture’s obsession with women’s bodies and how it shows up in an individual woman’s perception of her own body -- her body image.
The number of images of perfect women’s bodies that we have seen on a daily basis for decades has ratcheted up the stakes of everything we women put into our mouths. One of its ugliest byproducts, eating disorders, was practically unheard of 60 years ago. Today, the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) predicts that 20 million women in the US will be diagnosed with an eating disorder in their lifetime.
This number is staggering; nearly one of every eight American women will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder around body image and eating. This number does not include the incalculable number of women who don't have a disorder, yet exhibit symptoms of a body image disturbance -- a negative body image. This blog is for every woman who spends more time than necessary worrying about her body and what she eats.
I locate a woman’s personal body image and eating issues within a concern shared by all women in our society. There is a certain amount of shame and self-judgment around women’s bodies and eating behavior that keeps this issue hidden. Each of us believes there is something flawed about her body. But, we could be wrong. What if it is society's standard that is flawed? Not us. What if we are just living at a point in history that is horrible for body esteem of its women? I think we are. I believe it is time to listen to our own intuition around body image and eating as an exercise in self-care.
MyBodyMySelf offers an opportunity for self-care. Here you can engage in thought and self-awareness around body image and food issues to move past them, on to bigger and better things in your life. MyBodyMySelf suggests tried and true theory and tools to help you cultivate emotional eating intelligence -- an understanding how your emotional life affects your body image and eating behavior. You can become your own agent for change in your relationship with your body and eating behavior.
- MyParadigmShift discusses how our culture became obsessed with women's bodies, offering a paradigm shift in how to think about your body and food going forward;
- MyEmotionalWorld pieces apart the complicated way your emotions may fit into your eating behavior;
- MyBodyImage offers advice on how to cultivate a positive body image; and,
- The Method lays out comprehensive workshop tools to apply the blog's concepts to your life.
The entire discussion in MyBodyMySelf is about re-connecting you with your own inner voice for how you want to think, eat, and live in a food-filled, body-obsessed world.
My wish for you is that you can help yourself with your own body image challenges, and then turn around and be a role model of self-assurance and self-care for your daughters and granddaughters.
Mother, wife, friend, feminist, lawyer, University of Chicago graduate student, blogger
No one can make you feel that your body is flawed without your consent. Don’t consent.
-Adapted from Eleanor Roosevelt