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What Have We Done to our Women?


Photo Courtesy Rodrigo Basuare

Photo Courtesy Rodrigo Basuare

Being a woman isn’t always an easy job. On top of taking care of kids, managing a household and working a full-time job there is great pressure to have a look that society finds acceptable. At times, women may not only feel the pressure from the opposite sex, but from other women as well. It can be a constant competition to fit in and be better than the rest.

Putting vanity aside, there are positive aspects to having a good self image. Thinking of yourself in a positive light gives you the ability to carry yourself through your daily tasks and allows you to do so with confidence.

But has today’s culture pushed women too far causing them to obsess over the way they look?

An article titled “Women’s Issues Then and Now,” touches on an interesting study conducted by Glamour which states, “three-quarters of women aged 18-35 reported feeling too fat, while only one quarter of them could be so described.” The study goes on to say that almost 50 percent of surveyed women would choose to lost 10 pounds rather than landing their dream job or meeting their future love.

How did the priorities of our women get so skewed?

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Although magazines and the media tend to only provide accolades to women of today who are thin enough or attractive enough, the average woman should not base her self image on appearance alone.

A woman’s self image can directly be related to her self worth. When a woman looks at herself with abhorrence, she may also think of herself as useless. The article “Positive Self Image and Self Esteem” says that, “improving your self-image…takes time and practice. Developing good self-esteem involves encouraging a positive (but realistic) attitude toward yourself and…appreciating your worth. Self-esteem isn’t self-absorption; it’s self-respect.”

While we all want to look good and be accepted, the important issue is our overall health. There are plenty of women today who may appear healthy and meet society’s weight requirements on the outside but are living completely unhealthy lifestyles. Attaining the so called ideal body image can be deadly. Some women resort to starving themselves or eating very little to be appealing to others.

What it boils down to is that being overweight is detrimental to your health. Health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol in women can be directly linked to being overweight. And when your physical health is in decline, your mental health will deteriorate as well. Your body and your mind are directly connected. One won’t work well without the other.

Our society should change the way they look at women. It should shift the focus to losing weight for health reasons, not for vanity. If there wasn’t so much pressure on us to look a certain way, maybe making a lifestyle change would be easier.

Just a thought.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Perez is a freelance writer and blogger living in the Tampa Bay area. She holds a bachelor’s degree is mass communications from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Currently, she works for a non-profit where she writes press releases and web content. Follow her blog and see recent work at her website, WhosGotAPen.com.

Community Thoughts (10)

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  1. MjayNo Gravatar says:

    Obesity prevalence is about 1000x that of anorexia. Women are like men in America – tending towards the obese and overweight.

  2. Frank C.No Gravatar says:

    Wow! Great read! I couldn’t agree with you more and I am a man. The solution to this issue goes back to when you wrote, “Your body and your mind are directly connected. One won’t work well without the other.” To change your lifestyle, you must be mentally prepared. The link below is an article that will explain the power of the mind.

    http://www.FatManUnleashed.com/the-power-of-the-mind/

    What I find funny is that, the rise of obesity in America is our own fault. We have made it easy to be unhealthy. The commercials on TV teach us to love fast food, alcohol (basically anything that makes you fat), and also keeps us on the couch munching away on food. But then the TV shows are what make us care about our appearance.

    Isn’t that backwards? Or am I just trippen? We must look beyond what the world tells us. We need to walk our own path, not the path the media sends us on. I trust only God, My Will, and Me. To be completely honest that all I really need.

  3. I think it was Nivea who ran a commercial for their creams with “ordinary” people with a bit to much on the sides. The commercial was a big hit. So why do Woman in commercials always have to be so skinny?

  4. Keith J.No Gravatar says:

    America is overweight. My God, look at the kids today… they all have cell phones, sit around texting, and eat at McDonalds.

    Our society has turned into a “must have it now” mentality which, I believe, promotes laziness.

    I fully agree with self respect but tend to wonder if most people today pay any attention to it.

    • Good point, Keith. We can’t just sit back and expect things to happen. Patience is a good thing and teaches you discipline. Sometimes getting things right when you want them is not very beneficial.

  5. Thanks, Frank! I am glad to hear the article resonated with men as well. And I completely agree about TV. It is dangerous to those who are young or easily influenced.

  6. AlbertoNo Gravatar says:

    Elizabeth congratulations obesity is a problem in the world. It is terrible here we have to many fast food restaurants.

  7. John RoyceNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not sure how effective it is to lay the blame on “our society” for how individuals perceive themselves. What’s more important is we should work to find a way to help people discover their own confidence and self-respect so that they are immune to how others judge them. Out of curiosity, are there other countries in the world where women are unhealthily affected because of what their culture demands of them?

    • Hi John,

      There are definitely other countries in which the women are affected because of cultural demands. For example, the society of some Middle Eastern countries have taught men that it is OK to kill or beat women for showing too much skin (such as an ankle) or for something completely out of their control such as being raped, which is called an “honor killing.” In African countries, there is something known as female circumcision which is as brutal as it sounds. While our society does put pressure on women to look a certain way, I agree that we (both men and women) should strive to perceive ourselves in a more positive light. Great comment by the way!

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