Self-Identity

Beauty Ideals: A Look At The Bigger Picture

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If we were all programmed with the same exact genes, experiences and interpretations, I suppose globalized beauty ideals would be adequate goals to reach if they represented all of us. But, do they? Well, what beauty ideals do represent and where they come from have numerous theories, which all seem to have a valid point to make.

Beauty depends on the angle from which it is explained. It involves attraction to posses, hold, value or admire attributes that are recognized in oneself or elsewhere, whether it is a landscape or a face.

Will the Real “ME” Please Stand Up? – A Holistic Approach to Self-Discovery and Self-Acceptance

        

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So, what’s in a plan, anyway?

In short – the answer is NOTHING. But, it took me a while to realize and fully understand this.

I thought that my plans defined me, and when I deviated from them it automatically meant failure; as a person, in my beliefs, and every part of my being. My plans were what made me proud, made me feel like I was successful, and made me feel complete. 

Fitbit Shackles, Candy Crush, and Dopamine

             

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I was watching my doctor type when my heart dropped. Around her already slim wrist, just under the sleeve of her white lab coat, was a black Fitbit.

I felt physically sick.

I’ve seen my GP for a few months now and overall I really liked her. She listened to my needs, didn’t have the fake “concerned” face when I described my struggles, and laughed when I made stupid jokes. But seeing this Fitbit? I started to re-evaluate everything.

Wife No. 3 in Abu Dhabi - Bulimia and Broken Dreams

                                              

                                                  Photo taken by Maha Khan in Abu Dhabi.

TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.

I had a very strange childhood. I was born in Belarus and raised in the UK by my father’s mother, and learned many life lessons in very hard ways. I was raised by a grandmother who lived on benefits(British welfare) and enjoyed watching EastEnders (a British sitcom) all the time. She was an addict. My father eventually remarried and was absent from my life. 

The Silent Shame of Bulimia

                

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TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.

Unlike anorexia, which is characterized by discipline, restraint, self-sacrifice—traits that society upholds as virtuous—bulimia traffics in a consuming, corrosive sense of shame. After all, there is nothing respectable about gorging yourself past the point of physical discomfort. There is nothing dignified about jamming your fist in your mouth to induce vomiting. Habitually wrapping lies around your self-destructive behavior is far from honorable.

Mental Health is for Everyone

We hear the statistics: one in five people have a mental illness but what does that say about the mental well-being of the other four? Mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. It’s a state of well-being. Mental health is something we all can benefit from working towards.  

What If Body Acceptance Doesn't Work? How About Body Neutrality?

I see a life coach.

The funny thing is, I call her my life coach when I’m doing well. I call her my therapist when I’m doing not-so-well. Because really, she’s one in the same.

According to her — and the firm for which she works — the difference between a therapist and a life coach is just that: where you are in life. If we were looking at a scale that goes from -10 to 10, a therapist would be there for you if you were on the negative side of zero, helping you to reach a healthier, more neutral place. If you’re already there, though, a life coach helps you improve that position, moving you up the scale into more happiness and life satisfaction.

A Worthwhile Journey

 

It didn’t start out as an eating disorder. If you had asked me back then, I would have never admitted to having one. I was a collegiate athlete, studying health…there was no way I would allow something so terrible to ravage my body. I needed my body, and so did my teammates.

EDAW Reflections: Thinking Beyond the Stereotypes

So often we discuss body image, weight preoccupation, and eating disorders as issues that affect girls and women. However, when you take a closer look, through research, clinical cases, or through discussion with boys and men, it’s very clear that these issues are not exclusive to one particular gender. Throughout my pregnancy, I often thought about how I would promote a positive body image and healthy eating attitudes in my son. I never thought of difficulties in these areas as “girl problems.” As a new mom, I continue to reflect on the topics of body image, self-esteem, and eating related issues, and I’m already trying to put some positive practices into place. Thus, as this EDAW has come to an end, I’d like to share a letter I wrote for my son, with the hope that others will be inspired to share similar messages with the boys and men in their lives.

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