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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday's Psychology Trivia: How Often Do Women Have Negative Thoughts About Their Bodies?

Thought for the Day: I came across a bit of psychology trivia yesterday that I felt compelled to share with you today. Here's the question:
What percent of women report that they have one "I hate my body" thought a day?     a) 15%     b) 30%     c) 55%     d) 77%     e) 97% 
What do you think the answer is?  Read on to see...

The disturbing answer is a shocking e) 97%. The finding was reported in an info graphic (Facts About Women and Body Image) below an article, "Study Finds One Of The Reasons Anorexia Is So Hard To Treat" in   By 

     Those of you following my blog know that psychology trivia is never trivial. This finding in 2014 is discouraging for all women. Somehow women's liberation and all the advances that women have made in the workforce have failed to help women feel better about themselves and their bodies. The same post reports that women have an average of 13 negative thoughts about their bodies every day. 

     What can we do about these and other worrisome findings about women's body images? Every woman, teacher, mother and grandmother and the men who love them, can make a conscious effort to change these negative self images. Start with yourself. Learn to recognize and embrace your unique beauty. Replace negative thoughts about your body with positive ones. If you have daughters help them recognize their beauty as well. 

     My grandmother always taught me to pay attention to inner beauty. Instead of focusing on the external which changes and fades over time, she encouraged me to focus on becoming a caring "beautiful" person inside. Inner beauty radiates outward. Have you ever met someone and thought that they were not attractive until you got to know them? It is amazing how the exact same physical appearance changes when you get to know their inner qualities. Teach your daughters and granddaughters to smile, help others, and be kind and their beauty will shine through. 

     It has always been ironic to me that my grandmother, whom I felt was one of the most beautiful women I have ever known, did not think she was beautiful. She was a youthful vibrant woman who helped my mother raise me and my brothers. She was often mistaken for my mother and loved by all of our friends and family. As a young woman, she had a tooth removed in Europe. The butcher of a dentist removed the tooth from the outside, leaving her face a bit asymmetrical.  She was very self conscious about it. When I would tell her she was beautiful, she would laugh and say, "You must love me." As a child, she cared for her sickly, often negative and punitive mother. Her younger sister was seen as the beauty in the family. The only physical trait that her mother would compliment my grandmother on was her hair. Sadly, although my grandmother knew she had inner beauty, she thought that her hair was her only strong physical asset. 

     If you are reading this and have not been taught to recognize your unique inner and outer beauty, please make a conscious effort to erase the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones . Help your daughters and granddaughters do the same. My grandmother was able to give that to me and everyone she knew, except for herself. It is time to change the way women see themselves.

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