Category Archives: psychology

Beauty Tricks To Remove Your Self-Esteem

cameron-russell-tedxtalk1“Can I be a model when I grow up?” 

That’s a question girls often ask model, Cameron Russell.

The lure of big money is likely a draw. But there’s probably also a yearning to feel beautiful, and therefore, worthy — and at the top of the pecking order.

As she was prepping for a TED Talk on the subject, Cameron learned that:

Of the 13-year-old girls in the United States, 53 percent don’t like their bodies, and that number goes to 78 percent by the time that they’re 17.

But if you are looking for self-esteem, modeling is not the way to go, she adds,

I am insecure. And I’m insecure because I have to think about what I look like every day. And if you ever are wondering, “If I have thinner thighs and shinier hair, will I be happier?” You just need to meet a group of models, because they have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they’re the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.

The models portray an ideal to grasp for. But the goal cannot be reached — given the mix of starvation, Photoshop, and 14-year-old bodies that is required.

But it goes beyond that. Cameron says the pictures aren’t even her. They are constructions.

This picture is the first modeling job she had. She looks like a sex vixen. Yet she hadn’t even had a period yet. And it was the first time she had worn a bikini. Next to that picture is Cameron with her grandma just a few months earlier.

cameron-russell-pic-grandma

And as she says in the caption below, she’d never even had a boyfriend before this shot was taken:

 cam-russell-bf

Now check out the contrast between Cameron in V Magazine and Cameron on her soccer team:

cameron-russell-soccar

And here she is today. In real life, and as fashion construction.

cameron-russell-today

So if you look at these kinds of pictures in fashion mags and don’t feel as sexy and hot as Cameron, no matter how hard you try, don’t feel bad. She didn’t – and doesn’t – look that way, either.

She adds,

I hope what you’re seeing is that these pictures are not pictures of me. They are constructions, and they are constructions by a group of professionals, by hairstylists and makeup artists and photographers and stylists and all of their assistants and pre-production and post-production, and they build this. That’s not me.

You can see the whole TED Talk here:

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Men Are Naturally Attracted To Unnatural Women

Low Self-Esteem? Blame Beauty Myths

Are Women Sexually Ravenous?   

hello boysWire women up to measure vaginal blood flow and, it turns out, they get aroused at the sight of pretty much anything having sex, according to widely cited research by Queen’s University psychology professor, Meredith Chivers.

As Daniel Bergner described it at the New York Times:

No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, (women) showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men.

Even bonobos — an ape species — got women going.  Read the rest of this entry

Only Virgins Can Be Sexually Assaulted

Indians protesting the way rape survivors are treated.

Indians protesting the way rape survivors are treated.

Once upon a time in America only virgins or married women could be raped, people thought. In some places people still think so.

The problem comes from failing to see the world through the eyes of victims.

And so an article from the 1952-53 Yale Law Journal explained that sexual assault is illegal because,

Women’s power to withhold or grant sexual access is an important bargaining weapon… it fosters, and is in turn bolstered by, a masculine pride in the exclusive possession of the sexual object… whose value is enhanced by sole ownership.

Even though this is the crime women most fear, outside of murder.  Read the rest of this entry

Pose Once to Look Female, Again to Look Male

Erika Linder plays both male and female in JC Jeans commercial.

Erika Linder plays both male and female in JC Jeans commercial.

Sex is biological: testosterone, estrogen and xx or xy chromosomes…

But gender is performance.

The act is easy to see when boys put on a tough guise and girls act sexy, because sexy on little girls and tough on little boys just looks a little weird. (Think “Little Miss” beauty pageants, for instance.)

But then we grow up and what had once been play and mimicry begins to feel natural and normal.

Then along comes model, Erika Linder, posing one way to look female and another to appear male.  Read the rest of this entry

Can Friends Survive Friends w/Benefits?

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in "Friends with Benefits"

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in “Friends with Benefits”

Sometimes friendships between women and men turn into “friends with benefits.”

Not surprising, really.

Friendships between men and women often start when one of the two – usually the guy – is hoping for sex.

Or sex is wanted without the baggage that relationships can bring, and FWB seems more inviting than hookups with strangers — especially for girls who want to avoid being called sluts.

Still, many fret that if things don’t work out, FWB could bring the loss of their friend. To keep things platonic, many avoid discussing the relationship, and make sure to bring up romances with others. And no flirting.

Still, the line is crossed at some point in the lives of about 60% of college students. What happens next?  Read the rest of this entry

Real vs Cartoonish Sexuality

Real sexuality? Or just cartoonish?

Real sexuality? Or just cartoonish?

I believe we should afford our daughters and ourselves a right to our own authentic sexuality. Not the cartoonish MTV kind, but the kind where we respect ourselves enough to listen to what our bodies and hearts feel is right for us.

Paraphrasing psychoanalyst and author Joyce McFadden, there.

What is authentic sexuality? In my last post, I suggested it is neither shameful nor a crutch for powerlessness or low self-esteem. But what else?  Read the rest of this entry

Authentic Sexuality v Dressing Like Prostitutes

Hello Kitty thong

Hello Kitty thong

Why do moms let their daughters “dress like prostitutes?” asked Jennifer Moses in a Wall Street Journal piece that got people talking a while back.

Moses thinks it’s because the moms had a sexually free past, which they now regret. “Not one woman I’ve ever asked about the subject,” she declared, “has said that she wishes she’d ‘experimented’ more.”

Well, wouldn’t you want your daughters to NOT look like prostitutes, then?  Read the rest of this entry

Your Pain: A Small Price for My Pleasure

scarsPolice in Salinas, California conducted a home welfare check after three children, ages 8, 5, and 3, didn’t arrive for an unspecified appointment. What they found was gruesome. The isolated children, who were ostensibly being homeschooled, were malnourished and bruised.

But the eight-year-old girl seems to have gotten it worse than her brothers. She was periodically locked in a closet or chained to a wall, 4 feet off the ground. She was sometimes shackled by the ankle, and other times by a collar around her small neck. And starving, she resembled a concentration camp victim.   Read the rest of this entry

Girls Chasing Boys Chasing Girls

Ingrid Michaelson’s “Girls Chase Boys” is a tribute to Roger Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible.”

A tribute. And a commentary on changing times.

When I first saw “Simply Irresistible” years ago, it seemed pretty natural and normal. But after seeing Michaelson’s gender bending switch — and thu more feminist eyes — I see so much more.

In “Simply Irresistible” the girls are dolled up to passively attract.

simply irr-dance

In “Girls Chase Boys” it’s the guys:

simply irr-dance guys

Read the rest of this entry

Sex Gets in the Way of Friendship, For Men

when-harry-met-sallyHarry told Sally that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Sally didn’t believe him.

Maybe that’s because the sex part often gets in the way for men, but not so much for women.   Read the rest of this entry

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