We’ve had a fewÂ posts about body image and what is and isn’t sexyÂ here at Skepchick, and they always seem to generate interesting, intelligent discussion. So I thought I’d base today’s Inquisition on some of the gender dynamics behind body image perceptions and the peripheral issues involved.
This articleÂ from Sunday’sÂ Telegraph basically tries to answer the question: “How canÂ a man look at an ad featuring a male model with six-pack abs and laugh, while a woman might look at a photograph of female perfection and fall to pieces?”
Obviously, this premise is based on generalities. Where the cultural conditioning angle the article takes appears to be in line with what we observe, many supporting points seem to relyÂ on “social hearsay”, and the gender differences are explainedÂ with some sketchyÂ aspects ofÂ psychological evolution.Â Nevertheless, there isÂ some measure of accuracy in the article’s description of those differences. Many of the readers here (gay andÂ hetero)Â have no doubt experienced something at least similar to the pre-party meltdown, where theÂ partnerÂ looks perfectly fine, but due to some perceived inadequacy/flaw/short-coming refuses to go to the party.
The big question is: “WhyÂ does that happen?”
ButÂ since the A.I. is all about you. Let’s dig into your experiences and psyche to revealÂ the answersÂ . . . .
Do you ever have a crisis of confidence about the way you look? If so, what do you do about it? Does it happen often? Is there any pattern to it? What do you think causes/caused it? Can you rationalize it? Is there a way to make your partner/family/friends understand what you’re going through?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.