Girls and women alike have been sold a bill of goods. We are nearly force-fed daily doses of propaganda that whispers in our ears, “Want to know how to make guys want you? Easy – lose weight!”
When we take in this propaganda without filtering it first for both suitability and truthfulness, we get two messages – “guys want thin women” and “getting guys to want you is the most important goal”. While neither of these messages can hold up for more than a few precious gasps when compared to either the reality of the couples in love around us or the reality of our manifold priorities and goals, they can nevertheless dictate our behavior – and our spending – on a level we may not yet even perceive if allowed to persist unchecked.
For instance, how often have you sat down with a group of women or girls for a meal – lunch, brunch, dinner, happy hour – only to be required to first wade through an unpleasant menu-driven verbal categorizing of “good” and “bad” foods, statements about “I really want that but I shouldn’t” and – just in case anyone else at the gathering is missing the point – accompanied by a generous patting and pointing out of the so-called “problem areas” that are prompting the need for such rigorous privations?
Yup. I have too. So have the guys in my life, even though none of the men I have dated up until now have ever uttered one peep about my weight (although I know that some guys do say things – as do some gals to their guys – and those folks rather collectively suck). But frankly, even if my dates in the past were feeling so inclined, none of them have ever needed to open their mouths. Good luck if they had wanted to get a word in edgewise on the topic – just in case, I was prepared to forestall them at every turn and outdo any criticism, real or perceived, that they might ever have cooked up.
“I think I’ve put on weight.” “I am rounder around the middle.” “My boobs are starting to sag.” “All of my clothes were tight today.” Sheesh. And to think he still feels amorous enough later to give it a go…well, that (to me at least) is nothing short of a bona fide masculine miracle.
Even when we believe that “thinner” is a direct line to how to make guys want you, it is not the truth. We don’t want to be thinner. Our men don’t want us to be thinner. We want to be happier – and they want us to be happier. And they want to be happier….all of which is becoming increasingly challenging in a culture which directs us to focus on attaining physical perfection to a level that excludes all else. In a culture where messages about how to attain the ultimate quality of life are directly linked to messages about how to obtain the perfect physical form, it is understandable that we can sometimes – individually and collectively – get confused.
But before your next whining outburst to your man about how you just “want to be thinner!”, consider this. I had an eating disorder for 15 years. It took me 10 more years after that to heal in body, mind, heart, and spirit from my many years associating life’s every happiness with my body shape and size. That time span represents more than one-half of my life to date.
Eating disorders are biological, yes, but they are triggered by our environment. Like any other repetitive behavior pattern, including good habits like daily meditation, getting enough sleep, healthy moderate exercise, and spending time with loved ones, thought patterns about “thinner” and body hate can be repetitively ingrained in our brains to the point where ejecting them again can take as many years (and then some) as it took to install them there in the first place.
So I urge you to push back now – do it before “I want to be thinner” gets so confused and intertwined with “I want to be happy” and “I want to be accepted and loved” that you can’t tell the difference anymore. And men, if you have contributed to the myth that how to make guys want you is all about how a woman looks on the outside, trust me when I say that it is not – it is never – too late for a take-back.
Are you allowing a desire to be “thinner” hold you back from going for it in other priority areas such as romance, career success, financial well being, and closeness with family and friends? How can you start to take back your ability and RIGHT to be happy right now?