Posts Tagged ‘body image’

The Use, Abuse, and Profits of Shame and Pride

March 24, 2022 — The economy of shame and pride is at work in human cultures everywhere. Public shaming can take aim at whole countries and companies or at random individuals. In The Shame Machine, Cathy O’Neil describes shame as the foundation for an industry that can destroy people: “Humiliation lingers in the mind, the heart, the veins, the […]

The Complicated Anachronism of “Best Diets”

January 5, 2022 — The concept of dieting – restrained eating for the express purpose of weight loss – has hit a well-deserved rough patch. For three decades the implicit answer to obesity has been simple and simplistic: eat less and move more. It doesn’t work well, so dieting has gained a bad reputation. And yet here we are. […]

Is Facebook Promoting Self-Stigma?

September 17, 2021 — For some time, it’s been clear to mental health professionals that social media could be a problem for teens. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has long minimized the issue. But reporting this week from the Wall Street Journal tells suggests that Facebook knows from its own research that Instagram promotes self-stigma for teenage girls. Slides from […]

Navigating Perceptions of Normal Bodies

August 11, 2021 — Normal and healthy are tricky words. They provide a reference point but at the same time they have the potential to alienate people. Pressure to conform pushes against a desire for acceptance. The culture imposes ideas about sizes and shapes of bodies that are normal or healthy. From this pressure, weight bias emerges. It is […]

Is It Possible to Separate Obesity from Body Image?

April 29, 2021 — One reason that obesity can be such a difficult topic is because people link it to appearance. Thus we live in a culture where people presume they can diagnose a person’s health based on body image. Looking healthy becomes a surrogate for being healthy. People do very unhealthy things to reach for a healthy appearance. […]

Did the Pandemic Kill Skinny Jeans?

April 18, 2021 — It’s official. We seem to be in the early stages of a new denim cycle. Looser fitting jeans with a high waist or a flare at the bottom are in. The pandemic may have hastened the demise of skinny jeans, says Levi Straus CEO Chip Bergh: “This is not the first time we’ve seen this […]

Cast in Amber: Before and After Weight Loss

February 4, 2021 — Writing in the Guardian, Dejan Jotanovic captures a fundamental flaw in the public conception of obesity. It is a singular fixation on weight loss, before and after. It squeezes life into two snapshots, leaving little respect for diversity: “My difficulty with body transformation photos is that we’re all somebody’s before and somebody else’s after in […]

Conflating Body Image and Health

January 10, 2021 — It never fails. In the UK, Cosmopolitan can stir up a controversy simply by suggesting that people of all sizes can have good health. A provocative cover story did the trick. Piers Morgan is happy to participate and stir the pot. But in the end, this is not a story about obesity. In fact, conflating […]

Childhood Obesity Care and Psychological Health

February 10, 2020 — Childhood obesity is a difficult subject. Many adults are walking around with intense feelings from rejection and derision in childhood because of their body size, shape, and weight. Children can be cruel. Sometimes adults are even crueler. So an obvious question arises. When children and youth need obesity care, what is the effect on psychological […]

When Your Body Image Becomes Your Business Card

October 13, 2019 — The fitness industry is booming. But is it promoting fitness and health? Or is it promoting an unhealthy preoccupation with body image? Writing for The Lily, Nicole Chung reflects on this dilemma. Becoming a fitness instructor, she got herself into great shape. However, she found that her body image issues grew worse than ever as […]