I decided to “bite the bullet” as they say and go bathing-suit shopping.
What the hell was I thinking?
I have now decided I am never going swimming again, nor am I ever taking my clothes off in fluorescent lighting.
What is it with our own body image? Why are we so hard on ourselves? According to several surveys I read, more than 80 percent of women are unhappy with their bodies; in some cases, it was more than 90 percent. That is crazy! That is some serious self-hate we have going on. I performed a highly unscientific survey and the top three body parts women hated the most were:
The three parts women liked the most:
- Ears (I think this made the list because some women just could not think of a single part of themselves they truly loved.)
If you Google “why women hate their bodies,” the amount of information that comes up is insane. I found a great article from PsychCentral that had an interesting write-up on body image and the media. There were a few statistics that really stuck out to me:
- According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 42 percent of first- to third-grade girls want to lose weight, and 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat.
- According to a study in pediatrics, about two-thirds of girls from the fifth to 12th grades said that magazine images influence their vision of an ideal body, and about half of the girls said the images made them want to lose weight.
- By adolescence, studies show that young people are receiving an estimated 5,260 “attractiveness messages” per year from network television commercials alone. According to Teen magazine, 35 percent of girls ages six to 12 have been on at least one diet, and 50 to 70 percent of normal-weight girls think they are overweight.
As a mother of two daughters, this is so concerning. As unhappy as I am with my own body, it stays in my head. I have never even uttered the word “diet” in my home, nor have I ever complained about my own body-image struggles out loud. It comes down to that old adage, “monkey see, monkey do.”
On a lighter note, after my shopping trip I decided to do some research on how to find the right suit for my body type. I learned a lot of interesting shopping tips.
For example, one “fashion expert” will tell you to pick a print that complements your hair and eyes. My hair and my eyes? I was thinking more my ass and thighs!
Then there was the tip that you should never go shopping on a full stomach. Oh. So that’s been my problem all this time.
There was also a genius who said to bring a close friend for a second opinion. Not sure how close we’ll be after I subject her to “Cirque De Cellulite.”
Finally, apparently I am supposed to “close my eyes to size.” I tried. I can’t do it. I wish I could, but I can’t.
I decided that there is actually something and someone I can blame my messed-up body image on — and I am thinking of taking legal action. The “mind” crime was committed back in the fall of 1991 when Pamela Anderson appeared on Baywatch in the high-cut red one-piece. From that day forward, every woman was doomed to a life of bathing-suit hell. I think I have a case.
How do you feel about bathing suit shopping? Do you dislike it as much as I do?
Dee Brun is the award-winning author of Libations of Life: A Girl’s Guide to Life One Cocktail at a Time, a cocktail chef and stylist, TV personality, home entertaining guru, writer, humorist, wife, mother of 4, TV Junkie, shoe-aholic, and borderline George Clooney stalker. Read her column, Isn’t it Deelightful, every Friday on Slice.ca.