Hate working out? Join the club. While exercise is important, it isn’t the only way to improve the way you look. In fact, there are plenty of painless ways to freshen up your appearance and feel better about your bod.
We polled our experts to find out some things you can do to improve your body image without setting foot inside a spin class. In fact, some of their suggestions can be done right in the comfort of your own home. Skeptical? Read more …
This week on “Mad Men“‘s “Dark Shadows” episode, Weight Watchers serves as a type of therapy for Betty Francis, who can definitely use it. Boredom, jealousy, and insecurity dominate Betty’s life as a 1960s housewife on her second marriage, and she’s turned to bags of Bugles to pass the time. Now determined to lose the weight, the former model turns to a new diet plan gaining popularity with women like her, Weight Watchers. Considering Betty’s mother-in-law already tried to push diet pills on her, which contained amphetamines at the time, the group meetings are the responsible approach to weight loss for Betty Francis. Read more …
Julia Bluhm, a 14-year-old from Waterville, Maine, was hearing a lot of negative self-talk in her ballet class. Her peers often complained about feeling fat and exhibited signs of warped body image. “To girls today, the word ‘pretty’ means skinny and blemish-free,” says Julia. “Why is that, when so few girls actually fit into such a narrow category? It’s because the media tells us that ‘pretty’ girls are impossibly thin with perfect skin.” Fed up with such unattainable standards, Julia decided it was time to act. So she wrote a petition to the editorial board of Seventeen magazine, with one simple request… Keep reading »
When I think of locales that are likely to offer me an onslaught of body-related judgment, I think of the beach, the bar, and the gym. I mean, body judgment is incredibly pervasive, but all three of those places are renowned breeding grounds for intense figure scrutiny, comparisons, and body-snarking. Recently, I discovered that my doctor’s office should be added to the list. Doctors are supposed to support and encourage us as we attempt to balance healthy lifestyle decisions with actual life events and pressures. But our country’s current obsession with obesity as the big, bad, magically all-encompassing factor in good health means that doctors feel perfectly comfortable judging patients based on weight alone. As someone who sits right on the BMI border of normal-overweight, I can tell you that when I cross over, I get lectured. Even if my crossover is a mere pound. No fooling.
It irks me to feel evaluated based on my body’s shape and size at the beach, the bar, and the gym. But it infuriates me to feel evaluated based on my body’s shape and size at the doctor’s office because I’m being evaluated by someone who actually knows more about my body and its overall health than the average casual observer. And I started to wonder if there are ANY places and situations that feel completely free of body judgment. Keep reading »
It’s spring! The trees are blossoming! All six of them! Or maybe that’s just on my block. The several tufts of grass are violently green. I suddenly want to buy at least two pairs of gladiator sandals. Because suddenly one doesn’t feel like enough. And also, because it’s spring, weight-loss advice is blooming. It’s everywhere. Shed those extra pounds before summer! Be able to fit into those shorts! Get your bikini bod on! Or, you know, catchier slogans.
I am going to the Caribbean in a couple months. My dad won a trip at an auction, and he’s taking the family, significant others included. When I found out, my first thought was “Yay!” and my second thought was, “Shit.” The “shit” related to the fact that I have not put on a bikini in well over a year, and since then, I’ve gained about 15 pounds. Keep reading »
Recently, I ended up naked in front of a full-length mirror. It was an accident. Seriously, it was. I don’t walk around naked that much. Anyway, there I was, naked, in front of this mirror. And for some reason, I took a long moment, just to look. And it was weird. Because it occurred to me that I never do that. Which I guess is actually pretty normal. But the weird part was that I didn’t really know my own naked body. It was vaguely familiar, of course. I mean, I do take showers and stuff. But I almost never pay attention to it, except to give it some unhelpful critique or be surprised by how chubby it’s gotten in certain places. Actually, ever since I gained some weight, I’ve wanted to be naked even less. Especially when there’s no immediate sex involved. Standing in front of the mirror, I had a small epiphany. I should get to know my naked body. I should get good at being naked. Actually, everyone should. If I was a dictator, I’d mandate daily naked time. And free healthcare for all! And cake! But mostly naked time. Why? Here are some reasons… Keep reading »
I started watching what I ate around third grade. A boy in my class had made a crack about my weight — an aspect of my physical self I’d never even pondered before — and, suddenly, I was self-conscious about and uneasy in my body. I didn’t dive into actual, formal diets until much later, but third grade marked the beginning of my weight obsession. An obsession that lasted beyond my college years. I won’t bore you with the details because honestly? They’re textbook self-loathing and body dysmorphia. My story could be anyone’s. Keep reading »