I remember when I first met our guest writer and guru, Tarisha Tourok. I was completely and utterly in awe of her. There is something very magical about the way she inhabits her body. Its as if, more than any other person I’ve ever witnessed, she just lives in it. She lives in her body and is one hundred percent at home in it. That sounds like such a simple (and surely necessary?) idea, to be fully living in our bodies, but I’m not sure I always do…and I think so many of us are disconnected from the vessel that we live in, because we’re constantly wishing the bodies we have are different, and wading through that deep shame that the media and society has sadly brainwashed us into feeling, that our bodies will never be ‘good enough’.
In the first of this 3 part blog, Tarisha presents a powerful image of the ‘Iron Maiden’ that governs our body image.
#1 Mistake Women Make in Disliking their Body – and What to Do Instead
A lot of women are influenced by “Iron Maiden” in the way they relate to their body.
Are you one of them?
What is Iron Maiden? It’s a medieval German instrument of torture, a body-shaped casket with features of a lovely, smiling young woman. The victim was slowly enclosed inside by a lid laced with spikes to cause immobilisation. The victim would die, either of starvation, or less cruelly, of the metal spikes embedded in her interior.
I know this is a very strong image, but it gets my point across, because nowadays women seem to be either trapped or to trap themselves in a similarly rigid, cruel, and yet nicely painted image.
The beauty that is portrayed in media is unrealistic.
It’s constructed by make up artists, professional photographers, and that self esteem crushing program called photoshop.
Do you realize models don’t look anything like the photos that are displayed in magazines?
If a model can’t fit herself into that image, no woman can. It’s unreal and unattainable beauty. Yet we live in a world where women are expected to become happier when they achieve that unattainable image.
When you think back to the Iron Maiden, there was a victim and an executor. Nowadays, women and girls internalize the executor and play both parts, creating a huge inner conflict that eats them up from inside.
Somehow in the modern world of women, to be skinny is the highest value.
It’s the reason to be celebrated, and admired. It’s as if skinny women have innate physical and even moral superiority. Have you noticed that models become thinner and thinner, so it’s even harder to sustain? With that set up, a lot of women are ashamed of their curves and lack self-confidence.
What goes in a lot of women’s heads is “if only I lose more weight, I’ll become loveable, I’ll be enough, I’ll receive love and affection, I’ll be happy”.
Do you know anyone who thinks this way?
Women who have smaller bodies quite often suffer from Iron Maiden as well, because they might be on the receiving end of jealousy and mistrust by women who are struggling with their weight. Equally, no matter what your size, you still might judge your skin, or your age, or the shape of your breasts and bottom.
We are human, so there is no way we can fit into a rigid Iron Maiden image.
Ignite Your Radiance Guide
Tarisha is a transformational coach and facilitator dedicated to unleashing women’s confidence and igniting their radiance, and power. Helping women transform their relationships with their bodies is her passion. She loves to see a positive self-image passed on to daughters.
She knows far too well from experience that many women dislike, and even hate their bodies. They feel like they are lacking the beauty and happiness gene. She sees how many women are struggling with body image, keeping their body in shape and their overall health. She also know how much this affects women’s confidence and self-esteem.
Tarisha believes there is no perfect shape or size and she uses her integrated system to create a loving partnership with the body so that joy, health and happiness become possible for her clients.