Photo credit: Portland Press Herald Staff photo by Gregory Rec
Have you ever felt ashamed of your body and how you look?
I know what a bummer but it happens all the time. We judge ourselves for the beliefs we hold about our bodies. Part of it is programming from Mass Media, maybe it consumerism, it could even be from neglect, abuse or trauma.
A few weeks ago my client Heidi was traveling, she texted me and made a negative comment about the size of her body in relation to how it fit in the bus seat. My answer was, “You are objectifying yourself. Stop looking at yourself from the outside in. See what we all see from the inside out.” Yes we had an earth shaking conversation via text about how we feel about our bodies and self. We released the judgement and created a new frame of mind. She was able to take off on her trip with a light hearted feeling of joy, gratitude and excitement for the adventure ahead.
I honestly get so riled up about this. We think that sexual objectification is all. But honestly any time you look at your body and make yourself smaller, less than or not good enough because of how you look you are objectifying yourself.
This took me years of therapy and many traumatic experiences to stop.
I remember being on a date in NYC. The man (who knows his name) commented on my breasts. And I placated him. Immediately, I was disappointed in myself and said to myself, “Again this is the direction I am going with yet another man.” Heartbreaking to see myself as just an object of their pleasure. I actually got up and left the date.
So I brought it to the table to talk about with my therapist.
While I thought all I was was tits and ass at that time and most of my life, I have learned from years of therapy and from my clients there are many forms of objectification.
How often do you look in the mirror and say “You look Marvelous DARLING!”
Most of the time we say to ourselves
Look at that bulge...
Ohhh I look tired. What do I do about these bags...
I need a lift. Man how did that sag so much….
If I just lost 10 lbs I would be better….
Are you participating in the game against yourself?
Today my best friends daughter was on the front page of the Portland Press Herald for classroom clothing restrictions and being publicly shamed by her teacher for wearing a tank top. I am so thrilled that her daughter Molly, who is in 6th grade, is able to stand up for herself, her beliefs about her body and her right to wear the clothing she desires. Being made to stand in front of a classroom and have your clothing measured is shaming and no one should be objectified that way.
Yes there is a little fire in my belly about this!
My friend Christina Neuner, Molly’s mother, stated “she wants the dress code changed because the policy unnecessarily sexualizes children and sends a message that their bodies are shameful. It also presumes boys are incapable of controlling themselves based on how someone else is dressed.” I am so proud of these two women taking a stand for their beliefs.
Check out the article it is a powerful movement towards awareness of shame and objectification in our culture. It helps us learn where the inception of an idea can breed into our culture and create a subconscious standard on how we see ourselves and how others can shame and objectify us. (It might bring a tear to your eye.)
Molly has the opportunity to see herself through a powerful lense and as a young woman with an ability to make an impact on how others are treated and how they feel about themselves. I know someone has a different pep in her step today. If we all raised children to focus on similar values our world would be a very different place.
Take a moment and think of where you might allow yourself or someone else (a boss, a partner, a passerby) to objectify you. While you may not be able to change them awareness is the first step in creating change.
Feel free to respond to this email if you have questions or concerns.
Join Us for an evening of Style. I am co-hosting an event The Art of Style with Brass Clothing. The Art of Style is all about how to find your unique flair and create a refreshed look that’s all your own. Bring a friend and sip and shop beautiful basics from Brass and learn how to build your style around a foundational wardrobe.