I know that we are technically in a new month and therefore onto a new topic, but this is a topic that is very important to me and I couldn’t pass up the chance to share this book with you even if it is a little later than I planned.
I will be writing later this week on this month’s new topic as well so you can get excited about two blog posts in the same week! 🙂
In the area of intellectual growth and the relationship with my body one of the most influential books I have read this year is “More Than A Body” by Lindsay Kite PhD and Lexi Kite PhD. This is not an affiliate link, and I don’t gain anything from you buying this book other than the hope that this knowledge will spread and we can start to change the narrative we have around body image.
The subtitle of the book is “Your Body Is an Instrument, Not an Ornament”.
Lindsay and Lexi are sisters, and identical twins, who have studied body image resilience and work to help women recognize the harmful messages they receive in regards to their bodies, worth and potential.
The book has so many good points and it was so thought-provoking that I know it will be one that I find myself reading over and over.
To begin in the introduction they state, “Our feelings about and perceptions of our bodies – our body image – becomes warped into our feelings about how we appear to ourselves and others. We learn that the most important thing about women is their bodies, and the most important thing about women’s bodies is how they look.” (pg 3)
This self-objectification then becomes the water we swim in. Remember in a previous post the analogy of the fish, and the question, “What is water?”
Objectification, and more specifically self-objectification, is this “water” we are so accustomed to. It is this way of thinking and being that has become so normal we don’t even see it as an issue. The connection between body image and how we look and our personal value or worth are so intertwined that it is challenging to separate them.
Again from the introduction, “Positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good; it is knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks.” (pg 7)
So how can we learn the body image resilience they are suggesting in the book? There are so many facets to how we can develop these skills. There will be ripple effects as we continue this work, not only for ourselves but for those around us as well.
The authors suggest one place to begin is in our relationship with media.
As you participate in media do you stop to consider who is profiting off of these items that we are sold as the “answers”? Do these people really have your health and well-being in mind or is it just their bottom line?
If it was your health more than “fixing” what society says is “wrong ” with you, would there be so many different anti-aging products? When did living longer become problematic? Or more specifically looking like we have lived longer?
Why do we feel the need to look “better than our age”? And who decides what our age should even look like?
Pay attention to the media influences in your life. How do they make you feel about yourself?
How do they make you feel about those around you?
What are you willing to do to fit into the everchanging standards that society set for us?
What if you could just be yourself?
There is so much I love about this book. I can’t recommend it enough!!
There is far too much for me to share in this short blog post but I will share some skills we can all learn to develop.
I’m Michelle. I am learning how to minimize my overwhelm, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and I am ready to help you do the same. I’m a certified Life Coach and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come with me and learn how.
Your Body Image Resilience Skill Set (Chapter 6)
- See more in your disruptions
Disruptions in your body image will continue to happen. Get curious to see more in those disruptions. What is bringing up your body shame? What are you thinking and feeling? Name the disruptions and be more intentional in your chosen response.
- See more in your world
Question the perceived ideals you may be holding around your body image. Look at what you may be able to create a better environment for your body image. Is there someone or something that you can take a break from? Are there ways you can create and contribute to helping others remember their worth outside of their bodies?
- See more in yourself
Look inside yourself. Be honest about what you are thinking and why you are thinking it. Get curious about ways you might be able to see things differently. Tune into the greater purpose of your life and reconnect with who you really are and what you can do.
- See more in each other
Be compassionate and recognize that we are all both guilty of and victim of society’s objectification lens. Extend kindness and be supportive to those around you.
- See more in your health
Take back your power and see what fitness and health mean for you. Don’t judge health by size, weight, shape, or appearance. Rather measure health by what you can do, how you feel, and the internal measures of how your body is functioning.
- See more in your self-help
When our self-help relies on how you are perceived by others it isn’t empowering or sustainable. Remember you can be in control of your own sense of self and you don’t need to delegate that to outside sources. No one can give you more value and no one can take it away.
These skills remind us that, “what we do today is setting the bar of beauty expectations not only for ourselves, but also for those who look to us to see what it means to look normal and acceptable, let alone beautiful.” (pg 307)
“Achieving peace with our bodies through positive body image is the final frontier for too many women – the last and most stubborn barrier to our won confidence, fulfillment, power, and self-actualization.” (pg 293)
This is the work I am doing for myself and helping others do. It is time that we as women see the value we have. And rather than comparing and despairing, we begin SHARING all our gifts, talents, skills, and abilities in ways that create a better world today and for the future.
Send me a message and tell me your thoughts about the book. Have you read it? Do you agree or disagree with their conclusions. How did it influence the relationship you have with your body? Let me know by clicking the link to “Contact Me”. Share with me how you continue to develop this relationship and what you find most challenging. Tell me what, if anything, you would like to be different in your relationship. If you prefer, you can “Schedule a Conversation” for a free session to discuss what you want to work towards and how to get started.
Remember…..It’s ALL good!!