All Beauty Natural

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Body Image -

A Huge Problem For Small Self Esteem

Body image is a HUGE (excuse the pun) problem with women in the U.S. A recent Glamour Magazine survey found that 75% of women ages 18-35 believe they are fat. Even though only 60 percent actually are overweight, they have a skewed body image. The vast majority of women don’t see themselves as slender and attractive.

According to the 2000 census, the female population of the United States is over 140 million. This means over 84 million women in our country are overweight. Nearly 40 million women are medically obese. If thin women feel lousy about themselves, you know how large women feel. They have even more serious body image issues.

Researchers at Penn State who surveyed women about their sexual satisfaction found that the less attractive a woman felt, the less sexual desire and activity she experienced. Since women who are overweight are conditioned by society’s pervasive “thin is beautiful” message, the combination of these statistics suggest that, at the very least, 40 million women, and quite possibly, 84 million women aren’t having the kind of love life they want to have, and it’s because of their poor body image.

In Overcoming Fear of Fat, Laura S. Brown and Esther D. Rothblum suggest that the link in our society’s mindset of fat with being out-of-control and with laziness and ugliness creates in a woman an “energy-draining self-hatred.” It’s no wonder, then, that in a McCall’s Magazine phone poll, 40 percent of 350 participating women reported they were less interested in sex when they felt overweight.

In her article, “Factors in the Sexual Satisfaction of Obese Women in Relationships,” published in the January 15, 2002 issue of Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Wilka Woodward Areton includes this quote offered by an overweight woman: “…when I go up a few pounds, I can’t enjoy myself in bed. I’m afraid to let my belly out. I feel embarrassed to make any noise, and I’m less relaxed about being touched.” This woman undoubtedly speaks for millions of women when she says that she feels too heavy to be attractive. She goes on to confirm how her poor body image intrudes into intimate moments: “I know in my heart I should be thinner…. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in thinking about it that I can’t really enjoy Rob touching or even wanting me.”

The message that women must be thin in order to be attractive is what drives women to diet. Unfortunately, the dieting, even when successful, isn’t enough to change a woman’s body image enough to enjoy sexual satisfaction. In a study of 60 obese women who dieted “successfully,” 47 percent of the participants reported that they were disappointed because their weight loss didn’t satisfy them. They lost weight, and still felt awful about themselves. They still didn’t feel sexy.

If big women (and even so-called normal-sized women) are to enjoy their intimate relationships, they need to address their body image. Learning to accept yourself and enjoy the pleasure in your life is the key to changing the way you think about your body.

When you learn ways to please a lover and take proactive steps to leave old body perceptions behind, you can change your love life. A changed love life is a wonderful way to completely transform a bad body image.

A Big Beautiful Woman’s Guide To Great Sex


  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger Kathryn Cuillerier said…

    I found your blog while surfing on webbizinsider. I am bothered by the emphasis populaire culture places on thinness for women. I can't look like that. I weightlift and jog because I want to be healthier. Forget trying to get thin. It won't happen and worrying about it ruins life's pleasures. I was watching reruns of the Sopranos last week and I noticed that a lot of the males actors have gained lots of weight but not the female actors. It is more acceptable for men to gain weight but not women. Unfair! Visit my blog.

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger Heidrun Peters said…

    Hi Kathryn,

    thank you for your post! I fully agree with you. After all feeling constantly NOT OKAY is much worse for your feeling of self repect and thus for your health than those pounds.

    I have looked at your website and your blog with those beautiful photos of Temagami! How lucky you are to live in a place like this.

    I have also noticed you are a woman of many interests, some similar to mine. I would like to invite you to visit and join me at MyLot:

    so we can get to know each other better. There are many discussion forums there where I would like to exchange views with you. (It's free and even better: they pay you for contributions.)

    Greetings from Germany

  • At 9:57 PM, Blogger Vlad said…

    I agree. Women should be comfortable with their bodies, regardless of their appearance! Good for you to finally come out and say it.

  • At 4:04 AM, Blogger Nathalie said…

    Great post, I think everyone should just be proud of how they look, and not try to copy others. I do want to loose weight, but it's more a health issue than cosmetical.
    As long as you don't change your appearance to please others, then it should be okay, I think.


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