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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Nov-27-15, 11:40
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Default The Wacked Narcissism of Self-Hatred in Acceptance, Women and Fat

The whacked narcissism of self hatred

in Acceptance,
Fat and Women


I was reading an article the other day, and one of the commenters accused people who say their love their bodies of narcissism. I thought that was interesting. Is loving our bodies narcissistic?

Maybe for a few people, but body hatred is more so.

When I think about the narcissism of body love, I think of the scene in a gym locker room in Toronto, described to me by my husband: naked (and probably gay - it was the right neighborhood) men posing and flexing in front of mirrors, showing off to each other. It sounded funny; maybe even a little sweet. Made me wish I was a fly on the wall. My husband, who is a small, non-musclebound dude and was just changing into shorts to play squash, did not feel judged or denigrated. It was a fundamentally a benign show of narcissism.

Meanwhile, I was in the women's locker room. While the men were loving their big, strong bodies, the women were not. Stepping onto the scale. Looking disappointed. Hiding behind towels and changing one half at a time to avoid nudity. Can you imagine women posing naked in front of mirrors, in public, silently admiring their bodies? I can't. Because although we women are socialised to be vain, we rarely view ourselves positively and if we do, there's a stigma against expressing it.

The thing is, negativity is stickier than positivity. Loving the way you look doesn't imply hating how someone else looks. Only a sad and paranoid person would hear "I hate your red hair" in "I love my brown hair." But when someone with thinner, leaner, firmer arms than yours says "I hate my arms! They're huge and disgusting. Look how they jiggle!" then it takes a strong person and a conscious effort not to hear the logical extension of that: "if my arms are ugly, your arms are unspeakably horrible."

Yes, yes. It's your issue, not mine. You were not thinking about my arms when you said that. You see your body in a more negative light than you see others' bodies. Of course, that's how it almost always is. That was almost certainly not a passive aggressive, indirect criticism aimed at me.

And it usually isn't meant as indirect criticism, but it certainly could be.

Negativity is sticky; it's adhesive; it gets all over other people.

Although applying a set of standards to one's own body, clothing, or even achievement does not mean that those standards are meant to be universal or to relate in any way to the standards others set for themselves, the language can tell a different story. It's difficult to use negative and judgemental language - even about ourselves - without sounding self righteous as well as insecure.

But we women tend to be perfectionists, we hate it when we don't live up to our own standards, and we almost never do. We see this in our mothers and other role models; this intolerance towards self; this idea that anything less than perfection (however that's defined) is unacceptable and makes us worthless. And at the same time, we're meant to be much more tolerant and understanding toward other people.

This is not a good thing.

We could blame it on the patriarchy. It definitely weakens women. It keeps us obsessed with insignificant details, and that prevents us from being as active as we could be in business, politics, and discourse. But, it is a form of self absorption, and it is narcissistic. Who are we to expect perfection from ourselves? Is being flawed human beings not good enough? So many women are so busy; so weighed down with responsibilities. There's a need to give ourselves some personal, mental and emotional space. Why do we wrestle these precious bits of time and attention from our busy lives, only to waste them spreading around this negative, self hating muck? And demanding perfection of ourselves gives the negativity so much more power.

Loving our bodies isn't necessarily vain. I've heard that the English language has too few words for love, and perhaps people associate the idea of body love with romantic love; starry-eyed new relationship energy. That does seem a bit over the top to me. But isn't body love - self love in general - more like loving a family member or a very old friend? There's familiarity, a deep history, tolerance for quirks and foibles, steady affection, and an ability to forgive. Mature love isn't about perfection or the elevation of an idealised object. It's about respect and understanding. Don't we all owe ourselves that?

http://www.bigfatblog.com/whacked-n...ism-self-hatred
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Nov-27-15, 11:53
Quasimodo's Avatar
Quasimodo Quasimodo is offline
The Patient Loser
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Thanks for sharing. I was just feeling super dumpy today, and this was really refreshing for me to read.
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  #3   ^
Old Fri, Nov-27-15, 17:14
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Kelly_L Kelly_L is offline
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I have always believed that "love your body" also meant you need to take care of it. Stop filling it full of junk food, get more sleep, stress less, that type of thing. In that sense I will love my body, but love my batwings...never!
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Nov-28-15, 21:29
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meme#1
The thing is, negativity is stickier than positivity. Loving the way you look doesn't imply hating how someone else looks. Only a sad and paranoid person would hear "I hate your red hair" in "I love my brown hair." But when someone with thinner, leaner, firmer arms than yours says "I hate my arms! They're huge and disgusting. Look how they jiggle!" then it takes a strong person and a conscious effort not to hear the logical extension of that: "if my arms are ugly, your arms are unspeakably horrible."

Yes, yes. It's your issue, not mine. You were not thinking about my arms when you said that. You see your body in a more negative light than you see others' bodies. Of course, that's how it almost always is. That was almost certainly not a passive aggressive, indirect criticism aimed at me.

And it usually isn't meant as indirect criticism, but it certainly could be.

Negativity is sticky; it's adhesive; it gets all over other people.



This is the part of the quote that got my attention right away because I read these types of self hate comments and I know that it effects many people who are working on their weight but adding shame to the journey isn't something that anyone needs in the process.
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  #5   ^
Old Wed, Jan-27-16, 23:46
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CallmeAnn CallmeAnn is offline
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Plan: HFLC/IF
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I was sitting in the same room at a church activity that draws young people, with a group of girls who were mid-teens to 18 or so, who had been friends since they were children, who were having a typical teenaged girl conversation. One of the girls was outstandingly tall, with the large bones and extra weight of her parents. When one of the smaller built girls whined about being 'fat', the heavy girl tried hard not to take it personally, but I knew she wanted to shrink out of that moment.
When I had a chance for a private moment with the girl complaining about being fat, I asked her how she thought it made her other friend feel, I knew she was sincere when she said she just never thought about it like that. I knew her better than I knew the other girls so I just asked her to slip a word to the others to think about how it makes truly overweight people feel to have thin people whine about being fat.
I think it helped. They just don't consider others' perspective sometimes.
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Jan-28-16, 07:13
jschwab jschwab is offline
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I go to the Y where the women let it all hang out. You can be walking around naked as a jaybird and some woman, sitting in nothing herself, will look you up and down and say "You looking good. You took some weight off!" or "You got strong legs!" (both true stories that happened to me BTW). I love it that the culture of the Y where I'm at sounds more like the men's locker room you describe.
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Jun-20-16, 03:12
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shewolf38 shewolf38 is offline
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This was VERY interesting because I finally found some people who feel the same way I do! I can be feeling good about a new pair of jeans and feeling like I look good, and someone else will start to pick themselves apart about their "fat thighs" which makes me look in a mirror again with my fat eyes, or how they ate a hot dog and feel like such a fatty (and they are about 90lbs soaking wet) and that makes me feel like the fatty they are referring to. I feel really great today, one week of induction down, my jeans feel loose and I did my makeup so cute, and I feel feisty. I am making the decision that if anyone starts downgrading themselves, I am going to remove myself from the situation to keep my confidence! One day at a time. Have a great week everyone!!
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Jun-21-16, 14:46
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JLx JLx is offline
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When I was in college there was a girl in our dorm's communal shower that would saunter around completely naked without any apparent self consciousness. I envied her despite the fact that she was heavier than me at the time, because she was somehow more beautiful in her serenity than she actually was. How does anyone get like that, I wondered.

I was a normal sized teenager when I started dieting, 5'7.5", 140 lbs, but Twiggy was all the rage back then, at 5'6 90 lbs! Or Brooke Shields, modeling jeans, 5'10", 115 lbs. I dreamed of weighing 120 or even 115 and knew that I would still not be thin. I starved myself down to 122 for about a minute and yo yo'd up and up through the years. If I could have one decision to do over in my entire life, it would be that first diet.

It's not just girls and women, though. Consider the contrast here between his comments and the pics:

Quote:
I was just never comfortable until about four years ago, when I started feeling comfortable with my body overall. As you go through life, you get more comfortable with yourself. It's like everything else with life -- you change, you grow. People might think it's simple, but for me it was hard to even feel comfortable walking around naked when it's just me and my wife. So the thought of doing it at a photo shoot in front of people [laughs] -- it was like, "No way ever."



http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/sto...e?ex_cid=espntw

https://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyan...Q77j#.ird2b2nnW
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Jul-08-16, 11:49
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shewolf38
look in a mirror again with my fat eyes,


That's it! Sometimes I look in the mirror & see good things. Other times I see a fat old lady. I recently saw a picture of a cousin who's a couple years younger than I am, but she looks older. So now I'm wondering - why do I see a fat old lady in the mirror when I've lost weight, I'm in better health than I've been for years, and I have few wrinkles? It's those "fat eyes"!
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  #10   ^
Old Thu, Dec-08-16, 11:14
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Plan: Atkins DANDR
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You know there is another thread similar to this that asks, can we still be happy if we are fat and I think we can. Happiness comes from the inside out.
I tried to explain this the other day about the fact that we need positive reinforcement and not negative self hatred thoughts, especially if we are actively trying to work on our weight and health.
I think that self loathing only serves to create inner turmoil and pits the brain in a dark place whether we have lost all of our weight or not.
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, Dec-08-16, 11:26
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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I see self loathing as not that different from narcissism. Both are forms of extreme self involvement. If there are things about yourself that you do not like then you can work at changing them. If you think you are perfect just the way you are then you better take a closer look at yourself. A kind of middle way between narcissism and self loathing is practicing kindness to both oneself as well as to others. Neither narcissism or self loathing is the result of body size although sometimes people latch onto body size as their explanation. "I am thin therefore I am perfect." "I am fat therefore I am horrible." Most of us need to do a lot of inner work on ourselves along with the outer work we do for our bodies and our health. That way can lead to contentment no matter the state of our bodies.

Jean
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  #12   ^
Old Thu, Dec-08-16, 22:03
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is offline
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Plan: Atkins DANDR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
I see self loathing as not that different from narcissism. Both are forms of extreme self involvement.


Interesting observation and now that you mention it, that does ring true.
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  #13   ^
Old Sun, May-07-17, 06:07
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JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
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Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
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Progress: 96%
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I remembered this thread when reading a new post from a favorite blogger about body acceptance and stress. The body acceptance part includes 100 affirmations if anyone is in need, you'll likely find one that resonates.
And another list of what to do when stalled on weight loss and stress is one of the causes.

From Kelly Pounds, the LCRN: When is it NOT time to lose weight.

https://lowcarbrn.wordpress.com/201...to-lose-weight/
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