What Shibani’s Reading: More Than A Body, by Lindsay & Lexie Kite, PhD  

I began to more deeply explore my perceptions of aging really only after turning 40 years old.  For many of us, within this decade, aging’s inevitability and its inability to be thwarted or reversed has to be reckoned with – by both male and females.  As I gracefully get older, I am entertaining stepping back from the relentless pressure I put on my body to be perfect to shift to…something else. What that is, is still emerging. My readers see this unfolding across this blog.

What I am certain of is that I want to appreciate my body more for what it does with less emphasis on what it looks like. It is only slowly sinking in that my body will not go back to the way it ‘used to be.’ It has been an active process trying to surrendering into certain aspects of getting older while putting effort into others. I’m also not giving up on being my best self, my presentation included. Where’s the balance?

That’s what inspired me to pick up both More Than A Body and “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf.

Wolf’s book is a classic, an exploration of the myths around beauty that disempower women and an explainer for the pressure we may feel as women to focus on our outward appearances.

As a mother to a pre-teen daughter, I am also a witness to how early and pervasive the pressure begins for girls around their bodies and looks.  That’s one of the reasons I picked up “More Than A Body,” after hearing the Kite sisters, both with PhDs in in the study of female body image, after hearing them on a podcast.  During it, I found myself saying “me, too” and questioning why my self talk is programmed so negatively. They shared the backdrop.

Chelsea Clinton’s praise for “More Than A Body”

Their work has opened their readers and listeners to the lies we are told from an early age that our female bodies need to be better or attractive to be acceptable. Their non-profit, Beauty Redefined, asserts that “having positive body image isn’t believing you are beautiful. Instead, it is having a positive perception of your body overall. So many times we confuse “my body” with “how my body looks” and think of ourselves from an outside perspective.”

I would love to hear what you think about these books and your own experiences with body positivity. xx

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