Negative Body Image
Do you love your body?
Are you one of those people who obsesses about your body or are you a person who really doesn’t give it a second thought (just a second helping of cheesecake, perhaps?) It is said that our bodies are an outward sign of what is going on in our minds and I think there is probably something in this. Have you noticed what you do when you feel bad about yourself? Exercise? Food? Love-making?
What did people do in the olden days?
When did this whole body image thing start? It might come as a shock to some of you to know that the world has not always been so obsessed with the body and how the body looks.
According to Wikipedia: ‘The phrase body image was first coined by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Paul Schilder in his book The Image and Appearance of the Human Body (1935).’
mmm. That goes back further than I would have thought. So, when did body image becomes a part of the everyday lexicon? Surely this has been a slow progression. Maybe it started as we moved from a rural-based economy to an urban-based one? Maybe as industrialisation took hold and people started to use machines to do more tasks, then the shape and fitness of the body started to change.
Add to that the introduction of fast foods – that word entered the dictionary in 1951 – and our bodies began to experience a different way of being.
Body Image is now very much a part of Western culture, particularly for women.
The Perfect Body
Well, does it exist? Not in my neck of the woods it doesn’t.
Again, according to Wikipedia:
Researchers confirm that the waist-hip ratio (WHR) for a female very strongly correlates to the perception of attractiveness across all cultures.
So ladies, do you come anywhere near this? You may be surprised?
Women with a 0.7 WHR – where the waist circumference is 70% of the hip circumference – are rated more attractive by men!
You just have to look at images of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and statues such as Venus de Milo to have this confirmed.
Of course, there are cultural difference but the point remains that attractiveness is measured in terms of hips and waist, not thigh measurement, height, or breast size.
And, as an added bonus: the WHR is also directly implicated when choosing a mate for breeding – because scientists also not a direct relationship between the WHR and fertility.
So, there you have it. The perfect body probably isn’t what you thought it would be.
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