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Keep Your Boobs, Get Better Guys

boobsIf I had I been more spiritually evolved, or more grounded at 22 when I got breast implants, I never would have gotten them. Yes I got lots of attention, sexual attention. And for awhile I enjoyed it. But as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. It became apparent that the attention I received was not from quality people… Why did I mutilate my body to appease the tastes of SOME men? We were all duped by the media, the medical profession, our low self-esteem. I am now ready to have these D cups removed.

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How to Look Like a Victoria’s Secret Angel

“How to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel” Jezebel’s banner teased. “Not that you can be one. You can’t,” ran the verdict following the hopeful headline.

“What people don’t realize is that they’re rarer by far than superstar athletes,” proclaimed Ed Razek, Limited’s chief marketing officer (they also own VS). “The numbers of people who can do this are probably under 100 in the world.”

After all, angels must be skinny and buxom, but also fit enough looking to believably hold up heavy wings. Hard to do all three at the same time (or even two).

Sometime-angel, Angela Lindvall told the New York Times she jumped rope and ate nothing but spinach, chard and kale to lose 20 pounds, post-pregnancy, to “make weight.” Others hire personal trainers, take many-mile runs, do squats and lunges, and generally “kill ourselves,” as one put it.

This Thanksgiving angel Adriana Lim ate no solid foods — only powdered egg-enriched protein shakes. She then added twice-a-day workouts. Finally, no food at all 12 hours before the show, which helps her lose up to eight pounds.

And the resulting body is what all women are supposed to look like? What sort of completely insane society do we live in?

The models “kill themselves” for a few months to acquire angel status. Yet the message is that all women can look like them by simply dawning VC bras and panties.

Much of advertising works by making people feel inadequate – which comes easily when an unachievable ideal is placed before us. But Victoria’s Secret offers a product to help! Really?

The message must be working. Sales are up.

A little VS can add some fun. But don’t stress if you don’t look like an angel. Most of the time, the angels don’t either.

Originally posted on January 6, 2011 by

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Beautiful Women’s Hips Are Thinner Than Their Heads?

Are women more beautiful when they are thin, thin, thin?  Are they more beautiful when their hips are thinner than their heads?

Ralph Lauren apparently thinks so. Check out these images of model, Filippa Hamilton before and after photoshop:

         Before photoshop                       After photoshop          

Ok, I’ve definitely been duped by insane notions of beauty. But these go too far.

I don’t care how much the camera gazes at this eerie image, telling me it’s beautiful, I don’t buy it.

Oddly, this bizarre figure is making me rethink the attractiveness of considerably less touched-up photos.

Does Britney Spears really look better thinner? Many will say yes, but (surprising even myself) I don’t. I’m happy to report that I think Britney looks just as beautiful smaller or “bigger” (she’s not really that big).

Google images

Recently the new Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton, was photoshopped making her tiny waist appear impossibly thin. Is the new wasp-waist more lovely? I think not.

Kate Middleton's waist was slimmed down on the cover of Grazia magazine. Photos by Getty Images; Grazia.

Fortunately, Germany’s most popular women’s magazine, Brigitte, has chosen to stop using professional models, keeping to real, non-starving and non-photoshopped women. What a breath of fresh air! They may be more attractive, taller, and thinner than average, but at least they’re not abnormal.

      Click to view image       Click to view image

Who’s more beautiful, a Ralph Lauren fake lady or a Brigitte real woman?

I vote for the real woman, any day!

A version of this piece was originally published Nov. 1, 2010.

Bad news to update ladies. Looks like two years late Brigitte recanted their decision. Kinda sucks.

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You Are “Less Than”?

How could anyone ever tell you
you were anything less than beautiful?

How could anyone ever tell you
you were less than whole?

How could anyone fail to notice
that your loving is a miracle?

How deeply you’re connected to my soul.

The song “How Could Anyone,” has had a worldwide healing impact. The lyrics have touched AIDS orphans, cancer survivors, disabled teens, and women and girls redefining beauty.

These words by Libby Roderick have touched me, too.

I first heard them soon after I’d broken up with a boyfriend. This man had said nothing outright about my being “less than,” but sent heavy cues by his occasional gaping at women who took up all the space of his vision while I disappeared.

When I asked about it, he said, “Well, yeah, other women are more attractive than you.” And added, “There’s an archetypal image that men are just naturally drawn to.” Archetypal Playmate, that is.

Men are naturally drawn to something unnatural? Plastic-chested, unnaturally starving and airbrushed? The current ideal is actually both new and strange.

In his eyes I felt less than beautiful. And less than whole.

But this song made me reflect on whether I wasn’t whole or whether he simply had a partial view.

Just what is whole, really? What is beautiful?

False, synthetic, shallow?

Genuine, sincere, heartfelt, deep connection?

When we meet those who dwell on the surface, living with limited sight – whether ourselves or others – forgiveness begs. For blocked vision brings suffering to the seer.

And remember:

Every loving thought is true

   Everything else is an appeal for healing or help

                                                      From Accept This Gift

It’s not that we’re not whole. But in obstructed vision, we aren’t entirely seen.

How Could Anyone
Words and music by Libby Roderick c 1988
From the recordings “How Could Anyone” and “If You See a Dream”
Turtle Island Records Anchorage Alaska

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Men Are Naturally Attracted To Unnatural Women

Ask a guy why he looks at porn and he’s likely to say that men are just naturally attracted to women. But the women in porn don’t look too natural.

Actually, women in fashion magazines and billboards don’t look too natural, either.

Women and men both learn to admire a feminine ideal that ends up frustrating both men and women.

Most women have to starve themselves to be ideally skinny. Many models are so thin that they have stopped menstruating. Isn’t the natural instinct to stay alive and well?

And how about fake breasts? If men are naturally drawn to breasts, why do so many women go under the knife and mutilate themselves so that men – and society – will find them attractive?

Then there’s the preference for blondes. Few women past puberty are true blondes. But unnaturally bleached hair is the top color of choice, both for men and for women who want to look beautiful. Well, at least peroxide doesn’t require enormous amounts of money or risk much bodily harm.

So models go through all their pain and suffering, but it’s not quite enough. Next, the malnourished, plastic-chested, bleached out images go to be photoshopped and airbrushed to look even more fake than they already are.

So women try in vain to match ridiculous notions of beauty. Then get depressed because nothing they do seems to work.

But the models don’t look like “themselves,” either!

At the same time, male students have told me that all this hurts them, too. “What’s wrong with me?” they wonder. “Why can’t I get women who look like THAT?”

Well, those “picture perfect” women don’t actually exist.

So women can never achieve the ideal. And men can never have the ideal woman.

Meanwhile, men are left feeling “naturally” attracted to something that isn’t natural.

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Keep Your Boobs, Get Better Guys

boobsIf I had I been more spiritually evolved, or more grounded at 22 when I got breast implants, I never would have gotten them. Yes I got lots of attention, sexual attention. And for awhile I enjoyed it. But as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. It became apparent that the attention I received was not from quality people… Why did I mutilate my body to appease the tastes of SOME men? We were all duped by the media, the medical profession, our low self esteem. I am now ready to have these D cups removed.

That’s a comment a woman placed on a web site called “48 Reasons Not To Get A Boob Job.” The response followed the male author’s contention that:

If you want more male attention, implants may increase the quantity but only with a corresponding decrease in quality. You’ll probably get your biggest gains in approval among guys who are most prone to objectifying you.

Whether you see all this as good or bad depends on what you’re after. If you want all eyes on you, or random sex, fake boobs could do the trick.

So I’ll address this to those who want something else. Quality men for quality relationships.

Fake boobs seem to create an image of “sex object.” Consider this experience:

A woman asked me about implants last week and I told her about the risks. But I told her the things people don’t talk about, like not being able to buy every little cute top, how no one looks you in the eyes, how people think of you as a bimbo.

Sex may not be so fun, either. Men don’t see objects as having feelings, and feel little empathy in return. Women exist to fill their needs, as far as they’re concerned. In Pornified Pamela Paul talks of objectified sex lives as all about bodies and positions, and not about intimacy.

But the culture worships its fetish, leaving a young woman asking the following question.

Are big boobs important to guys? Because as you can see from the photo, I have really small breasts and I have really low self-esteem because of it. Do guys only think a girl is hot by the size of her bra cuz if that’s true I am in big trouble.

Here’s what some guys thought about guys who judge women by bust size:

  • If someone would not date you based solely upon the size of your breasts they would not be worth jack squat anyway.
  • If any guy judges you differently because of your breast size, he doesn’t deserve you!
  • I like girls more for how the face looks. Nice eyes, lips, smile, hair, eyelashes… Any guy getting with someone just because they have a nice rack doesn’t seem like it could be a stable relationship.
  • Don’t worry about your boobs, period. We love you for who you are.

These are some higher quality men.

There’s only a two-inch difference between an A-cup and a C-cup. Or between a B-cup and a D-cup. Two inches! That is the measure by which a woman judges herself? Or the measure by which a man judges a woman? Please! Be glad to lose those guys!

Do you really want to be wanted for your boobs and not for you? Are these types of
men even worth bothering with?

And here’s some good advice:

I’m not busty, nor am I gorgeous, but when I was single, I had NO TROUBLE attracting plenty of great men. I have some hints for women who are interested in attracting men — they have NOTHING to do with your boobs!…. #3 Carry yourself well! Stand tall… #5 — Don’t apologize for your body…. If the man you’re with constantly makes you feel insecure, you don’t need a boob job – you need a new man!

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Self-Esteem Falls with Rise in Power? Blame Beauty Ideals

Even as women’s power has increased over the last fifty years, self-esteem has too often diminished. Why? Blame unachievable beauty ideals.

Since the mid-twentieth century, the number of women and girls with poor body image has greatly risen. A big problem, since feminine self-worth has become closely tied to body image.

As Naomi Wolf explains in The Beauty Myth, women have more money and power than ever before but, “a secret ‘underlife’ poisons our freedom; infused with notions of beauty, it is a dark vein of self-hatred, physical obsessions, terror of aging and a dread of lost control… In fact, in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers.” Too bad her book, which was written twenty years ago, is not now obsolete.

Once upon a time, she says, the family was a productive unit so that a woman’s value lay in her work skills, economic shrewdness, physical strength, and fertility, with physical beauty playing a lesser, and less oppressive, role.

Before the industrial revolution – before photographs, photoshop, and plastic surgery – women did not feel pressured to live up to a mass-marketed ideal – one that is nearly impossible to achieve, leaving women frustrated and depressed, obsessed with their looks, and wondering what is wrong with them.

As the beauty myth creates a hierarchy pegging some better than others, I am reminded of a piece by Nick Kristof of the New York Times, entitled, “Equality, a True Soul Food.”

He cites evidence from two British epidemiologists who wrote a book called, The Spirit Level. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that “Gross inequality tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust and an array of mental and physical ailments,” with those at the bottom of unequal societies suffering from a range of pathologies.

The Spirit Level is concerned with economic disparity. But the theory fits with other
inequities. Beauty hierarchies leave too many women depressed with low self-esteem, eating disorders, competing to be plastic on reality TV, jealous, envious, and sometimes dying from anorexia or plastic surgery. Notably, the problem isn’t so much where you stand as where you think you do. Unfortunately, it’s common for women to place themselves at the bottom, and suffer.

Inequality undermines social trust and community life, and people feel stressed when they sit at the bottom of a pecking order. Kristof discerns that the toll of our inequality is a melancholy of the soul.

Why not celebrate the wonderful variety of figures and faces that women embody, instead?

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I Overate Because I Felt Guilty Eating

overeating-obesityWhat if I just have a small slice of raspberry cheesecake? I was good today, I deserve it. Maybe a bigger slice would be okay if I eat celery later? They would cancel each other out, right? Or I could eat the cake while jogging in place?

These are the musings of a young woman’s mind in a Yoplait yogurt ad. (See ad here.) Sound familiar?

Does to me. Evokes the mantra that once ruled my twenty-something brain. Back then, food was both magic and evil. That’s a noxious combination, known to create obsessions and addictions.

A person who feels guilty about eating often overeats. They obsess about food. Food calls to them. Think you’ve had a little too much? Feel guilty! Now that you’ve sinned you might as well go all the way. Besides, a pint of Häagen-Dazs feels sooo good. At least while there is still some left in the container.

Works the same with alcohol. To the Irish, spirits magically change your mood. But overindulging brings shame and disgrace. Imbibed a bit too much? Might as well drink more and feel better. The Irish have fairly high levels of alcoholism. It’s different in places where alcohol is simply a part of dinner. A good wine is a dining must in France. And alcoholism is low.

But back to eating disorders. Some are more serious than mine. Jenni Schaefer survived both anorexia and bulimia. She told the Huffington Post that you start to divide foods into “good” and “bad” categories until they all seem bad. “I was shocked by how (the ad) really nailed it on the head,” she said. “That’s exactly what I thought every time I opened a refrigerator door.”

Experts worry that the ad’s message makes this sort of obsessive thinking seem completely normal, with some responding by eating too little, while others eat too much. To their credit, Yoplait pulled the piece once concerns surfaced.

I was lucky to eventually hear a different message. I was shocked to find a diet that denied the notion that food is bad. Maybe because the book, Eat to Win, was written for athletes with tennis champ, Martina Navratilova, a fan.

The notion that food is good and shouldn’t be an obsession had a profound effect on me. I highly recommend a healthy perspective on food that recognizes the need for nourishment and enjoyment.

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Sex with Men, Hoping to Feel Beautiful

By Anonymous

Imagery is powerful. I remember my mother watching Marilyn Monroe movies and looking at her pictures in magazines. She bleached her hair and styled it like Marilyn’s. Mom dressed in high heeled boots and miniskirts and wore the style of make-up that graced magazine covers. My father loved it. I saw the attention men gave her, especially at parties. Looking back I see how the ideal of the perfect woman had a huge impact on the psychology of my mother. And me.

Although beautiful, mom lacked self-confidence and self-esteem. She gave up on her dreams to pursue the love of a man through beautifying herself. She became a submissive woman at the beck and call of the men in her life. No surprise, she married eight times before age thirty.

I watched men walk all over my mother, treating her like a trophy wife in front of their friends. But behind closed doors they demeaned and objectified her. I grew to dislike men, yet followed in her footsteps. It began in elementary school.

In elementary school super cute girls wore bows in their hair and cute dresses with knee high boots in white patent leather. I was plain looking and had a poor self-image, partly because of experiences with my mom. But also because I looked nothing like the ideal
images that surrounded me on magazine covers.

At the same time, I felt uncomfortable wearing glamour styles and dressed more like a tomboy. I covered my body even though looking back, it was rockin’! I still got attention from boys, but not the kind a girl wants. I was one of the guys.

My low self-esteem carried over into my teen years. Mom made comments about my body and told me I better be careful or no man would want me. I’d never had weight issues until my mom made me painfully aware of it.

I looked in the mirror and saw things that weren’t there. I wasn’t fat, but I thought I was. I wasn’t ugly, but I thought I was. I thought my friends were prettier than me. Funny, my low self-esteem made me less attractive.

With poor body image and low self-esteem women don’t reach their full potential. I didn’t. My life goal: attracting a man. I dropped out of high school. I dropped out of college. I had sex with many men hoping to feel beautiful, adored and loved.

I recently took a photography class and learned the secrets of Photoshop. The instructor showed an un-retouched photo of Cindy Crawford, highlighting the roughness of her face, acne, arm fat, and a “thick” waist. He then showed how they thinned her waist, removed the arm fat, elongated her chin, and gave her a flawless complexion for the magazine cover.

I sat in disbelief. None of the images we see in Playboy, Vogue, Glamour,
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, Shape or InStyle are real images. Men are made to
believe this is what women should look like and they view women who don’t
harshly. Women and girls also believe these images are true representations of
beauty and glamour.

They Aren’t.

But I hadn’t known that.

Hopefully the future will see new media sprout up portraying real women without airbrushing and manipulation. Let women embrace who they are so they can be strong and healthy. I want to get to that point in my life. I am still dieting and still struggling with poor body image.

One day, I will embrace myself for who I am and not worry about what I eat. One
day I will have the confidence I need to make my way through this second half
of life with a great career and a great love of myself. I wish that for all

This piece was written by a student of mine. I asked if I could publish it on my
blog. She requested anonymity.

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I Can’t Believe I Ate A Whole Head Of Lettuce!

1_23_012607_skinnyOnce upon a time I wanted to look like a cover girl, despite whatever feminist consciousness I may have had.

It had not occurred to me that that wasn’t a possibility. It’s what my culture said I was supposed to look like. What I needed to look like to be truly valued.

Full of contradictions, I began my supermodel project. But in a healthy sort of way, I told myself. Wasn’t going to starve. No anorexia or bulimia for me.

I later came to see that I did end up with an eating disorder.

I became obsessed with food. How much had I eaten that day? Constantly counting calories. My worth depended upon how well I had eaten.

At times I swung between overeating and starving. Very little starving – I wasn’t good at it.

I next developed an exercise obsession. You can’t get too much exercise, right? After developing a knee injury from jogging, I tried Nordic Track. Another knee injury. Next, I began walking three miles a day at a brisk pace. Yet another knee injury. Apparently, you can rub your cartilage too much from over-exercise and lack of rest. My physical therapist told me to start biking instead – and don’t overdo it! No more than four days a week, and no hills.

After all the food and exercise mania, I still looked nothing like a supermodel. One day standing in line at a grocery store I picked up People Magazine and read a story on how supermodels did it. I finally understood why I didn’t look like them, and never would.

Kim Alexis had tried every fad diet and at one point starved herself for four days straight.

Carol Alt went on a fruit-only diet. Later, she drank eight cups of coffee a day, and ate salad for dinner.

Andie Macdowell said many models took drugs to deal with the stress of starving.

What struck me most was when Kim Alexis said,

When I first started out, I was rooming in a New York City hotel with (supermodel) Kelly Emberg. One night I came home, and I was eating only a head of lettuce for dinner. Kelly walked in and said, “You’re eating a whole head of lettuce? How could you?” I cried and said, “But it’s all I’ve had all day. It’s not even 50 calories!”

To which I say, “Are you freaking kidding me?!” That big “cheat” would be insane dieting in my book. In anyone’s book, one would hope.

That’s when my hopes for supermodel slim were dashed.

Yes, I had been insane. But not that insane.

And it’s not just me. It’s society. What kind of crazy culture says women must feel guilty about eating nothing but a head of lettuce to “look good”?

So I determined to gain my mental and physical health back. I’ve had ups and downs, but so far so good.

Georgia Platts

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