Archives for Body Image
So, I own a pet bird. (That's him on the left.) Actually, I hesitate to call my parrotlet a pet. He's more like a little bird friend -- a tiny little feathered dinosaur who talks. He's a comical little guy: he knows how to play peek-a-boo, he loves shredding tissues, and he's learned to imitate my laughter with near-perfect pitch. But when he gets angry -- when he doesn't want to be touched or bothered, for example -- you know it. And how do you know it? Well, he fans out his tail feathers if I try to touch him. He also fluffs up the feathers on his back. This birdie non-verbal language lets me know my little featherbutt doesn't want to play. The feather fanning and fluffing makes his pint-sized, hollow-boned bird body look bigger and stronger, as if to say, "Hey! I'm big and powerful, mom! Go away. We play by my rules because I'm the boss around here." FLUFFING UP: IT'S NOT JUST FOR THE BIRDS I don't think it's any secret that adopting a "power posture" (say, standing with your hands on your hips or reclining on a chair with your arms behind your head) can communicate a nonverbal message to someone else. Using a power posture tells others that you're the boss. You're in charge. You're the alpha. But can these confident postures tell yourself anything? Can they tell yourself that you're in charge and in control?
(Note: the following is a guest post written by Kayley Eshenaur, a 21-year-old senior at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. I haven't done much yet in this blog to address the anxiety that many young women feel when it comes to body image. I thought Kayley's well-written piece -- originally published in The Lycourier, the student newspaper that I advise -- would help to fill that gap.) Growing up in today’s society can be strenuous on a woman considering the ideology of unrealistic female body types. Everywhere she looks there are magazines with bold headlines shouting the same reoccurring words, “loose twenty pounds in two weeks,” or “achieve radiant and perfect hair by using this product!” The television does not offer an escape from this call to “perfection” either; specials like the E-Entertainment “30 best and worst beach bodies” pinpoint all the rights and wrongs of the female body. The messages that the media is sending out to girls today is that they need to have the perfect hair, clothing, and body; overall they should be gorgeous. The media coverage on the female body puts a lot of stress on a woman’s appearance which deflates her self-confidence and leads some to self-destruction.