Great article from one of our contributors, Pamela J. Ginsberg, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist:
I have noticed lately a lot of press about how the fashion industry, Hollywood, and the media have such great power over the standard of beauty for women, but that it is based on photoshopping, retouching, and altering images that we see every day. This results in a standard that the vast majority of women can never achieve, and some of it is even biologically impossible!
Yes, we are bombarded by these images and by the damaging messages they send about perfection, weight, and ideal beauty. However, we do have some control over what happens in our own heads and in our interactions with others. Women have a tendency to undermine each other with petty gossip, social comparison, and putting each other down. We also undermine ourselves with negative self-talk, perfectionism, and not being able to celebrate our accomplishments without also finding a flaw. When we participate in these practices, we cooperate with these damaging messages from the media and from society.
Think about how you participate in this, with yourself and with others. Talk to yourself, and to your sisters, girlfriends, daughters, mothers, and female colleagues about paying more attention to stopping these practices. Make each other a promise to compliment each other, find and express the good, accept compliments with grace, and encourage women to be themselves. Encourage your female friends to be true to who they are and embrace their imperfections. Be more open about your own imperfections…it is really what makes you interesting and different from those around you. I find myself drawn to those who are open about their imperfections because then I know they are more like me. We are all flawed. We have scars, cellulite, a little too much belly or hip fat, and wrinkles, and we all make mistakes. Let’s make these things part of the conversation.
Let’s redefine female beauty to be about love, generosity, humor, acceptance, and grace. Let’s pay more attention to our physical and emotional health rather than our pant size. Let’s support each other and accept the milk of human kindness in the form of true friendship. This is true beauty.
Pamela J. Ginsberg, Ph.D. is a licensed Psychologist in Doylestown. She has been in practice for over 20 years. She specializes in women’s issues, women’s health, women with cancer, grief and bereavement, relationships, and stress management. She is on staff at Doylestown Hospital and on the Board of Directors of The Cancer Support Community of Greater Philadelphia. Dr. Ginsberg has worked with individuals, couples, and corporations to help people take control of their lives, make better life choices, learn good coping skills and decision-making skills, and live happier, more fulfilling lives.Robin Coppinger Bucks County Women’s Journal http://www.buckscountywomensjournal.com firstname.lastname@example.org