11 tips to boost your body confidence (and your sex life)!

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.

 

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.

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Here are some other practical tips to get you started:

  • 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).

xx

14 Replies to “11 tips to boost your body confidence (and your sex life)!”

  1. Shame shame shame WW. Targeting women where they are most vulnerable is not okay. I can’t believe no one red flagged that before it got out to the public.
    Thanks for sharing, but more for YOUR tips! Completely spot on!
    Once upon a time, I was a size 10. I’m now a size 16 and my sex life is better than ever. The reasons for that? I’m confident in my body and how it can turn on and pleasure my husband, and my husband is fan-bloody-tastic at making me feel sexy.
    Weight has nothing to do with it.

    1. hello@louisaclaire.com says: Reply

      Amen to this sista!

  2. OMG I haven’t seen this campaign (I do somewhat live under a mainstream media rock – only watch ABC Kids, don’t buy mags and rarely follow mainstream publications on social media). I am going to throw a totally sexist comment out there and ask “was this campaign designed and ok’d by men?”

    1. hello@louisaclaire.com says: Reply

      It’s such a good question! I only came across the ad via Mumbrella – thankfully I encountered it that way and not by just seeing it. Ugh!

  3. Thanks for addressing this issue. I gave up my scales years ago when my husband told me that he wasn’t looking for a skinny wife, he liked me just the way I was. Plus, I hang out with him and his friends and the general consensus that I hear from them is that men like women that have those curves! Let’s stop trying to give them away! I say us ladies bring back “Mom Bods” now that Dad’s Bods are in (which I also agree with! 🙂

    1. hello@louisaclaire.com says: Reply

      What an ace husband! Mine is much the same and yet I’ve not yet thrown the scales. I did for a long while and it was better – I brought them back to help me track progress but of course, that’s not what they do!

  4. I was stunned by that terrible PR campaign, what were they thinking? Excellent points every single one here 🙂

    1. hello@louisaclaire.com says: Reply

      Thanks lady x

  5. Fuck you and your fat-shaming bullshit, Weight Watchers.

    1. hello@louisaclaire.com says: Reply

      It’s just so staggering, isn’t it!? Very revealing about how they really see the world (and women!)

  6. I am genuinely really interested to hear more about why you think we should get rid of our full length mirrors. Scales yes I understand.. but mirrors too?

  7. Agree that confidence isn’t linked to weight; if there is a weight connection it’s from the person whom you have sex with criticising your body and making you feel less confident.

    You can deal with this by losing a lot of weight – ditch the person who says this crap to you.

    But I can’t agree with the full length mirror I’m afraid. Looking at ourselves, dresses and unclothed, is a great way to build confidence. To appreciate ourselves we need to see ourselves.

    Plus feeling body confident has a lot to do with how we look clothed too. If we try on outfits and see the difference in our full length mirrors, this can help us to appreciate our bodies. That emphasised my waist. That showed off my bust. That skirt length makes my legs look longer. The round neck looks better on me than the V neck. Look how creamy my skin is in this off the shoulder top.

  8. Oh my…thank you for addressing this ridiculous marketing campaign (yet important issue), which has SO much wrong with it I can barely contain my anger GRRRrrrrr!!!
    For a start, just because ‘half of Australian women prefer to have sex with the lights off’ why do we assume thats because they are overweight?? Some of my larger friends are the most body-confident and vibrant people I know, yet some of my smaller friends are riddled with insecurity due to stretch marks, skin disorders, being too skinny-looking and one million other reasons that are NOT because they are over a size 12!
    It’s also a know fact that dieting and losing weight can negatively affect libido, as a body in calorie deficit is often not in a happy place. Ugh, WW – wake up and be responsible for the message you are putting out there.
    Thanks Louisa, for engaging in a realistic dialogue about this – and YES to all women of all types of appearance, who are worthy and valuable and amazing for who they are, not how they look. And for our daughters and nieces and young friends who are trying to make their way in this world, while navigating through these confusing messages.

    1. hello@louisaclaire.com says: Reply

      SUCH good points! xx

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