Monday, March 1, 2021

Caitlyn Jenner’s still Ideal Beauty Image

June 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Body Image

Before you tell me how to do it better, before you lay out your big plans for changing, fixing, and improving me, before you teach me how to pick myself up and dust myself off so that I can be shiny and successful—know this:
I’ve heard it before.
I’ve been graded, rated and ranked. Coached, screened, and scored. I’ve been picked first, picked last, and not pick at all.
And that was just in kindergarten.”

THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen (2014)

And I will add, I’ve even been kicked off teams. The title of this book and the opening quote in its introduction is a great reminder that positive feedback must come from within. Outside sources such as media, school, the workplace, and places of worship, partners, friends and siblings can be sources where you can experience negative feedback. For the purposes of our blog, this negative feedback contributes to negative body image, which can lead to disordered eating.

The title of this blog is Caitlyn Jenner’s still Ideal Beauty Image because frankly, Bruce Jenner admits to creating himself to live up to the American image of the perfect male. This image on the outside conflicted with his gender identity. Ironically, his embodied (physical) female gender identity still conforms to media’s beauty ideal of the perfect female body. In effect, it appears that Jenner is transitioning from one ideal to another. It is not in the least an intention of mine to criticize the personhood of Jenner; I love Cait just as much as I loved Bruce. The point here is to show the power of media influence and those around us that provide feedback to us, good bad or indifferent. The key is, to know how to take it and where to find sources of positive authentic feedback. Negative feedback can make us conform to the demands of others, which I am guilty of and have done many times myself. I am not sure if that is what Cait is doing but outwardly, it looks like she is going from one beauty ideal to another. The question is what happens when she completes the transition and becomes the perfect woman?

Former NORMAL Board Member 2011-2014
Now MentalFitness
Dr. Mensah

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