Viva!: How to Boost Your Body Image; without a Diet in Sight

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), September 20, 2005 | Go to article overview

Viva!: How to Boost Your Body Image; without a Diet in Sight


Byline: By LISA HAYNES

DOES my bum look big in this? This question is the universal code for men to automatically and wholeheartedly tell a woman she looks greatwhatever the outift. But it seems women have developed their very own dictionary to describe the body parts that make them groan in the mirror.

A massive 91% of British women are dissatisfied with their body and have given affectionate pet names like saddlebags and cankles to help them feel better about their physical imperfections, according to a new Dove poll.

When it comes to the naked truth, 72% of women said stomachs topped their list of body niggles, followed by thighs on 50%, and bottoms, 43%.

"Women are hugely preoccupied with body image," says Lynda Field, body image and confidence expert. "All the role models being put forward for women in the media make women very aware of their body image and give them unreal expectations of what women are supposed to look like. This unique language is a way of coping with that BODY LANGUAGE While phrases like bingo wings and love handles have become part of common parlance, others like cankles (thick calves) and spaniel's ears (saggy breasts) might leave men around the country puzzled.

Instead of sobbing at cellulite or getting angry about flabby arms, 71% of the women surveyed said laughing with friends helped them cope with their apparent defects.

"The comical terms women are using to describe the unique characteristics of their bodies suggest a healthy and honest attitude towards the issue," says sociologist Professor Christie Davies. "Laughter is a great way to deal with a dose of body blues - and it may well tone the stomach muscles as well MIRROR, MIRROR A bout of the body blues every now again is entirely natural but Field says negative body image can stop people moving forward.

If you're constantly on a diet aspiring to the size eight dress size of your favourite celebrity, or refuse to go out because you think your bum looks too big, Field says it's time to face reality. "Women have a choice on how they interpret unrealistic images of the so-called body beautiful. …

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