Let’s start with the obvious. The solution to body confidence (and great sex) is NOT going on a diet.
Can someone please tell me why this is not completely obvious?!?!
Also obvious is this: if a woman has low self-esteem and is struggling with body confidence issues that are having an impact in the bedroom department here’s an idea: LET’S NOT DEVISE AN ENTIRE AD CAMPAIGN TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS INCREDIBLY PERSONAL AND PROBABLY UPSETTING, ASPECT OF THEIR LIFE.
FFS Weight Watchers. What were you thinking?
I’m more than a little mad right now. Just when I think that the tide is changing, that my daughter might grow up in a world that doesn’t tell her she needs to hide her body at every turn, this happens.
How many people thought this was an okay idea before it arrived on my desk as a piece of PR pic.twitter.com/7tH37yyqsS
— Bridie Jabour (@bkjabour) October 14, 2016
In case you missed it this week Weight Watchers launched a new campaign to address the fact that over half of the women they spoke to don’t like having sex with the lights on because they don’t feel confident about their bodies.
I am so enraged and disgusted by how emotionally manipulative the full ad is that I am not going to link to it here. And whatever the intended ‘body positive’ response the ad was meant to elicit, the fact that it was approved says that no-one stopped to actually think it through and that is just not good enough. Not in 2016.
While it’s ignominious that WW thinks the solution to this problem is to go on a diet, it IS worth discussing this: Over half of Australian women prefer to have sex with the lights off, with a quarter avoiding sex altogether, due to body self-consciousness (Body Confidence Report 2016, commissioned by Weight Watchers).
We have no idea what the bodies of the 50%+ of women identified in the WW report look like but my guess is that they are as varied as they are in the streets we walk, and the communities we inhabit. Body Confidence issues are not the special domain of people with a BMI over 25. Obviously. (This is obvious, right?!)
The truth is that 99.9% of women experience negative self-talk around their bodies, regardless of what those bodies look like. (Source: life experience!)
So let’s STOP suggesting that there is an ideal body shape, size, look that women should aspire to. As if there is some ideal point at which all negative talk and self-doubt magically fades away.
No, let’s keep (and increase!) the range of women profiled in the mean. A variety of ages, nationalities, shapes and sizes.
Let’s stop linking weight to health because anyone who has any experience in this area knows that it’s a total fallacy that the two always go hand in hand.
Let’s find ways to help women (and men) deal with the negative voices that stop them from enjoying life fully, feeling that somehow they are not worth enough to do so.
And to go back to the issues at hand, sex and body confidence – let’s remember that that issue is not weight. It is confidence. And YES, a lack of body confidence can have a terrible impact on your sex life.
And why, you may be asking, is the solution to all these problems not as simple as losing weight? Because women who are currently living at your ideal weight, have their own insecurities about their bodies. Because everyone is insecure, even the model-like folk posting selfies on Instagram have their insecurities. Truth.
Losing weight is not going to solve your body confidence issues. Managing your mindset and learning to ignore the negative voices around you, ones that have been creeping in and claiming their place in your mind since you were a child(!), that’s what is going to help.
- Have sex. Having sex is almost 100% guaranteed to make you feel better about having sex.
- Excercise. Move your body and your mind will thank you.
- Get some underwear that fits and makes you feel good! (Hot tip: if you don’t currently have the Simone Perele Celeste Control Bra in your lingerie draw, then you should totally do something about that!)
- Have a date night, spend time emotionally connecting with your partner. (Do this often, if you can!)
- Wear clothes that make you feel good (it’s time to chuck the daggy clothes that are your default. You know you have them, and yes it really is time to let them go).
- Do something that relaxes you. A massage, a long bubble bath, a quiet cup of tea, a night of dancing!
- Go to bed at the same time as your partner.
- Get rid of the scales
- Get rid of any full-length mirrors in your house
- Stop reading women’s/fashion magazines (before you think I’m a party pooper, I did my honours thesis on body image and if you stop looking and women’s magazines and get rid of full length mirrors you will be doing yourself a HUGE favour when it comes to your self-image. Promise.)
Weight Watchers hit on a huge issue with this campaign. They just executed it terribly, and I guess that’s because they are in the business of making women feel like they need to change.
Maybe you do need to change but if so, I’m willing to wager it’s your mind that needs the adjustment, not your waist. (So please, pick something on the list above and give it a try).