laci green

Do I look pretty?

This happens to me every damn day: I must decide what I have to wear. 

It makes me want to say Clay Davis's line from the Wire repeatedly. 

Being a woman and getting dressed is kind of absurd. Depending on where I'm going, I feel like I've got certain things to keep in mind.

Am I trying to look professional?

I better hide any part of me that might look young or sexy.  

Will there be any men staring at me during my journey? What streets am I walking down?

I shouldn't wear too tight of pants that draw attention to my butt or my legs. I better make sure my bra and my neck aren't showing too much. 

Am I seeing a particularly body conscious person today? 

Some friends seem to comment on whether I look skinny or not.  Since my skin is pale now, I feel like I should wear a different color shirt. 

How am I feeling about myself today? 

I feel a little bloated today from eating Chinese food yesterday. I don't know if I should hide my body in a big cozy sweater or put on something that makes me look sexy. 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guessing that I'm not the only one who feels this way in the morning. 

This experience of seeing myself as other people see me is something called self-objectification. Self-objectification is seeing oneself as an object. In the current US media culture, this self-objectification often takes its form as sexual objectification. 

Studies have actually shown that this self-objectification increase rates of depression, habitual body monitoring, increased risk for eating disorders, lowered sexual pleasure, lower GPAs, and lower self-esteem. 

The answer, my friends, is to subjectify instead of objectify yourself. 

Here 3 Ways to Make Getting Dressed more about you:  

1. Function

What are you doing today? Do you need to walk through the elements? Will it be hot or cold? Dress for the weather. 

2. Self-care

What makes you feeeeeeel good and I mean this in a non-objectifying way. I mean this quite literally for myself. I like to wear soft clothes. I like to wear clothes that don't dig into my body and leave marks. I'm working on finding shoes that don't give me blisters. 

3. Wear what YOU want. 

One of the coolest and most liberating things about living in New York City is that you could walk around wearing a paper bag as an outfit and I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't look at you twice.  I'm firmly of the belief that if you think you look awesome, other people will too. Confidence is the sexiest, most professional thing you can put on. 

But the whole point is not caring what THEY think. You're the subject. 

Love Your Body

The 8th principle of Intuitive Eating is "Respect Your Body."

It sounds simple enough but I have to tell you that it's not easy. This one principle is CRITICAL to becoming an intuitive eater. 

I'm probably going to write about 10 million more blog posts about this because believing your body is good enough is really hard. It's especially hard when there's tons of magazines, advertisements, and pictures everywhere reminding us that we need to buy wrinkle cream, botox, a fast car, or McDonalds to be good enough or in order to love life. 

In fact, they made a whole documentary about it. Our culture very much values appearance. This is especially true for women.  When we don't meet the standards, it can be hard to feel good enough. Even if you don't have a diagnosable eating disorder, managing food can be one way to cope with this very human and very normal feeling. 

For me, the process of coming to love my body came from learning to recognize that my body weight was NOT somehow an indicator of my worth or my health.

The idea that your body should look like the cover of some magazine is not only unattainable but not necessarily healthy for your body.  I would argue that the fallacy that we can all fit into one size is one of the worst myths out there. 

Here's the big thing: 

Weight doesn't really matter the most when it comes to your health. 

Socially, we  have conflated the two. And GURRRRRRRRRRRL, (or BOOOOOOOOOOIIIII) do I have some youtube videos for you to watch:

1.  You can be healthy at every size: 

This video unpacks one of the largest nutrition studies in the world and shows how weight is not a significant factor in health and longevity when people exercise regularly, eat fruits and vegetables, don't smoke, and drink minimally. 

Stop stepping on the scale to measure your "health."  Focus instead on healthy habits. 

2.  BMI is bologna:

 BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a formula that takes your weight and divides it by your height squared. In this video, Laci Green unpacks how it evolved from a simple formula that was explicitly not to be used as an indicator for health to being co-opted by life insurance companies and the dieting industry. Now, BMI is the rallying cry of people fighting the "obesity epidemic."

I give you these videos because the conversation around weight has bled into the conversation about health and part of learning to love your body is learning to know the difference. Taking care of your body is about listening to it, not berating yourself for being "overweight." 

Because, c'mon, how well has hating your body worked so far?




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