Arthro-Pilates and Lupus





Women In Groups…Denigrating Our Own Body Image… Why?

Why is it that women in our society are habitually scrutinizing and belittling their own body parts? This phenomenon of defamation and denigration of our own physiques occurs frequently, and anytime women congregate as a group and begin talking.

It is inevitable that when we ladies get together we trash ourselves and how we look. It happens whether we are out for dinner, having coffee or lunch with our girlfriends and even at the gym. There I was standing at the lockers of my health club just having finished a lengthy workout when I overheard this common exchange of words.

LADY IN PINK TANK TOP: “I ate so much this weekend, my thighs are just getting way too big”
LADY IN BLACK TIGHTS: “I know what you mean, I hate my stomach it looks so huge”
LADY IN BLUE SWEAT PANTS: “I hate mine also, if I can’t work the fat off, then I am going to see a plastic surgeon for liposuction”.

Now if you think that this was some random freakish occurrence of inappropriate conversation then think again. This type of verbal bashing of oneself amongst one’s own peers is commonplace for women.

But somehow I don’t see the “boys” getting together for a drink at their local sports bar having this same conversation. If it did occur, would it go something like this?

GUY IN GREEN SHIRT: “Hey Al, this food is so fattening, I think I had better watch it or my thighs will get even bigger than they already are.”
GUY IN BASEBALL CAP: “I know what you’re saying, my stomach is so big, I should stop drinking this beer
GUY IN JEANS: “I Just had liposuction done on my behind and if I keep eating, all that pain will have been for nothing”.

Common folks, this is a conversation that would never take place. And while it would never happen amongst a group of men it is unfortunately an everyday occurrence for women. Maybe it’s societal pressures placed on women, due to the media portraying women as viable only if they are young, size six, and basically perfect looking. Or maybe, it’s the fact that we have been taught over generations by women before us, and our mothers that this “bad habit”,  is okay.

The fact remains, that if it is just a “bad habit” of self-denigration and reinforced low self esteem on the part of women, then it’s a “bad habit”, that needs to be broken. They say that when a woman looks in the mirror that she sees herself as 10 pounds heavier than her actual weight, and that when a man looks in the mirror, he sees himself as 10 pounds lighter than he actually is.

I believe that this is so.  In a world where men measure their success, not by their waistline but by their achievement in the business arena or through other endeavors, other than appearance based, they come out with an enhanced if not overly praised body image.  Men have not had constant pictures of other men thrown in their faces as standards by which to live, and unrealistic ideals forced down their throats saying “This is how you have to look”. 

Although I must admit that lately, more and more talk has abounded about men with washboard abs and six packs and not in reference to the beer they are drinking. Still, men don’t seem to be taking it all too seriously as we women do.

Women in response are running to the plastic surgeons to have these “horrific” body parts that are so much the topic of discussion, nipped and tucked. While this is becoming the mainstay in our society, men seem to understand that “beer bellies” and “love handles” are just a part of getting older and it doesn’t affect who they are as a person anyways.

Us ladies have been getting the short end of the stick for way too long, and what makes this even more upsetting, is that we are doing it to ourselves. Lets break this “bad habit” and let’s start telling each other when we get together how beautiful we are, and maybe one day we’ll actually believe it.


©Lori Weisbrod


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