Tiny Oranges Book Club discussion

Chapter 2 Questions > Body Image Fear

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen | 39 comments Mod
She admitted she was caught up in the "appearance and body-image fear - the most common shame trigger for women." Do you agree? Why do you think this is such a trigger for women?

message 2: by Taite (new)

Taite (tbtravels) | 12 comments I agree. We are inundated with this from the time we are little girls and into teenage and early adult years. There is always pressure to look better: thinner, longer eyelashes, better clothes, etc. Of course we feel this as pressure when we can't keep up with images that don't even represent the common woman.

Those who have the luxury of youth and beauty do not fully realize how our outward appearance affects how we are treated. My mom has talked to me about feeling invisible as she gets older. There was a Humans of New York post just yesterday that touched on this. As I move into my 40s, I am trying to come to terms with it myself.

I also think about how body shaming or teasing can stick with us for a lifetime. Words that make us feel less than, or ugly, tend to carve a place in our long term memory - sometimes even more so than the positive things we also hear.

message 3: by Christie (new)

Christie (christievalenzona) | 8 comments Yes, absolutely agree! We are inundated more than we understand with messages about body image- it's the #1 selling point in advertising- if you look this way, you'll feel so much better. If you dress this way, you will be successful or attractive, It's starts unbelievably young (barbie!) and children start to see and believe these things about their bodies. So much of it is subtle yet powerful. One thing we've started to be conscious of in our house is staying away from complimenting our girls on their beauty or how cute they look in their outfit and instead using comments like "You showed such courage there" or "I appreciated your effort so much".

message 4: by Angie (new)

Angie Kendall McCunniff | 6 comments Yes, I have learned so much about how to address and greet young children with regards to this topic. Years ago in teacher training, I remember one of my favorite professors emphasizing this. At that time (at least 24 years ago) I had not thought about this topic much because I was lucky enough as a young child to never feel body shamed and also lucky enough to be raised in a household that did not overly emphasize looks.
I really enjoy saying to young kids "I am so happy you brought your smile with you today!" or "I can tell you are ready to learn" or "you look so healthy today. Maybe I can guess what you had for breakfast..?!"
It is amazing how automatic it is to compliment a girl on her dress, or new adorable shoes, or bow in her hair. None of this is bad, but it is so rewarding to watch the response when kids are greeted with a comment that is not about their physical appearance.

message 5: by Christie (new)

Christie (christievalenzona) | 8 comments Thanks Angie- your thoughts are so helpful! I'm always thinking of ways I can encourage my girls without emphasis on appearance and the ideas you shared from teaching are great. Sometimes it almost feels like swimming upstream to positively impact our children in the midst of all-encompassing media influence. Thank you!

message 6: by Jen (new)

Jen | 39 comments Mod
I am as a mom of two girls, working VERY hard to make the emphasis on our physical bodies about strength and health. You look strong. You are healthy. Aren't our bodies AMAZING in what they can do?

Never will I use the word, "diet" and we don't ever talk about weight.

Truly I feel like our generation of moms are going to be WAY more sensitive and enlightened when it comes to body awareness and self-image. We can't control the media or outside our homes, but we can control how we view our bodies within our homes.

I am curious to see the effects it might have on this next generation of girls growing up?

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