Of course, as a man, I have no knowledge of what it's like to live in that situation. But there's one thing I do know: in our society, it's the norm for women to find fault with their bodies and the exception to feel like you're good enough, and that's true even for the most physically perfect people. Isn't that basically insane? If you look around at other people, you wouldn't proclaim that four fifths of them are defective and only a few are adequate, would you? Yet that's how too many of us treat ourselves.
I once listened to a talk by a guy named Dr. Stan Dale, who told a story about how he was once, many years ago, hired by Hugh Hefner of Playboy. Hefner's problem was that he'd recruit these gorgeous women to pose for his magazine, but they were often so ashamed and inhibited about it that it was a big difficult effort to get any photo shoot accomplished. So he asked Dale to work with them and see what he could do... and Dale gave a bunch of these playboy models a questionnaire to investigate how they felt about their bodies. He asked them, how do you feel about your hair, your forehead, your eyebrows, your eyes, your cheekbones, your nose, etc etc all the way to their toes. And what he found is that almost every one of these women found a way to despise almost every part of themselves. The only body part that didn't come in for intense negative criticism was their teeth. And these were women who had already been selected to be in the most perfect-looking top tenth of a percent of the population.
Isn't this crazy? Why do this to ourselves? (I say "ourselves" because this is not rare among men either and I've certainly felt ashamed of my looks sometimes.) When so many people fall into this kind of fault-finding, obviously the cause is not that everyone's body has so many faults. This means the problem is in the way of looking at the body, not in the body itself. Read more