Disclaimer: This post is less counseling-related and more of a personal observation on women and culture, but I’m a counselor and I’m thinking, so technically I’m still on theme!
I’ve been watching the new season of House of Cards, and while it is a fabulously well-written show with great acting and a compelling storyline (which somehow manages to make me care about political scheming), I keep getting distracted by something.
Not in an “oh my gosh, I love those shoes where can I get them?” kind of way, but in a “those heels are ridiculously high. There is no way these women would be wearing shoes like that all day and still be changing the world, because they would be too distracted by how badly their feet hurt and just be trying to find somewhere to sit down” kind of way. I can barely manage to get through an evening with high heels on, much less an entire workday. Some women do, I’m sure, but I wonder if the political powerhouses who run this country are doing so in Christian Louboutin stilettos. Continue reading
Image via Flickr
I realized after my last post that I accidentally committed one of my own pet peeves, in that I presented a problem, discussed it at length, but didn’t really give any suggestions about how to go forward and make any changes. I always hate when an article documentary does that to me, because it basically just spent an hour and a half convincing me how terrible people are or how the world is going to hell and all the polar bears are going to die but doesn’t give me any clue as to how to fix it. I just walk away feeling crappy and pessimistic from that sort of experience, so I apologize if I did the same thing to you.
“Okay, I forgive you. So what do I do about this body image issue?”
So, here’s some homework to follow up on the issues of body currency and self-esteem that I discussed in the last post. I know, I know—everyone hates the term “homework.” Believe me, I’ve seen client’s eyes glaze over enough times at the mention of it to realize how universal the scarring is, but what I really mean is “here are some suggestions for ways to put these ideas into action” (I admit, I’m lazy, and “homework” is just easier to say). When people don’t have ideas on how to follow up on issues, they nod and smile and agree with me in session and then walk out and completely forget what we just discussed. I think counseling should be about making things better, not just talking about how terrible things are, so in that spirit, here are some ideas for kicking over that crab bucket! Continue reading
Image via Flickr
I feel pretty confident in assuming that everyone, at some point, has been concerned about the way they look. Male, female, skinny, not skinny, different ethnicities, different ages: no one is immune. I do admit that I’m writing from a white, middle class, female perspective, which may be one of the more obsessive populations when it comes to body image, but I don’t think this group is alone in feeling pressured at some time or another to look a certain way or have a certain body type. This is why I absolutely love the recent influx of body-positive messages and encouragement toward self-acceptance in the media, especially on the radio. Here’s the short list:
Meghan Trainor, “All About that Bass” (Featuring my new favorite male dancer in the world and making it impossible to feel negatively about yourself for at least 3 minutes and 9 seconds); Colbie Caillat, “Try” ; Mary Lambert, “Secrets”; Taylor Swift, “Shake it Off”; and a bonus article about Kate Winslet’s great perspective on body image and expectations.
These women seem to be reacting against the incessant message that we aren’t good enough unless we look, act, or behave a certain way. Continue reading