Part two of Tarisha’s powerful blog further delving into the ‘Iron Maiden’ body image. You can check out part one, if you missed it, right here
Above, are some images of the modern models that most women are influenced by
Here is an image of Madonna that we are made to believe is true. And beside it is an unphotoshopped version. Incredible what we are made to believe, right?
Here is an image of Ralph Lauren model, Phillipa Hamilton, next to the photoshopped image of her.
So even the “skinny” girls are not good enough now for the media. The scary thing is, the more we look at these images, the more we believe they are normal and beautiful.
No wonder our daughters are suffering from eating disorders, and no matter how beautiful they are, they feel ugly and fat. Heartbreaking, right?
Apparently, there is a new movement that says ‘feminine hips’ are beautiful. So now there are a lot of places that promote ‘butt augmentation’, through pills, creams and cosmetic surgery. This is just another type of Iron Maiden, which says the way a woman is born, is not good enough.
There is always that ideal that she needs to strive for, and only then she will feel beautiful and be loveable.
Apparently, if you want a bigger butt, you shouldn’t do any yoga or pilates as it will strengthen your core, and your waist won’t be as thin as it needs to be. Great advice, right? Sacrifice your health and strength to fit someone’s else image of beauty.
Women are susceptible to making this mistake because, in general, women are focused on others, on how to take care of others, and how to please them.
We have this beautiful organ, the womb, and it gives us our innate desire to take care of others. We were born this way, because otherwise, how would our children survive if we didn’t take care of them? But sometimes this quality works against us.
Why is it important to understand the Iron Maiden mistakes mothers make?
Women who continue making the Iron Maiden mistake are prone to body shame and self-loathing, simply because it’s really hard, if not impossible, to reach that ideal for some body types. And what’s more, even women who achieve this ideal still don’t like some part of themselves.
So it’s a race that nobody will win. It’s like a mirage that tired travellers in the desert are trying to reach for, but it always moves away.
What the Iron Maiden mistake also does, is that it puts women in competition with each other. It creates a lot of mistrust among women because they constantly compare themselves to other women.
Women might walk into a room and their first thought would be “Am I more attractive or is she more attractive?” In this way, women create an unspoken hierarchy that separates them. Especially when women are feeling self-loathing, they so need support of other women. But the Iron Maiden separates them, encloses them in the casket and they feel lonely, stuck, unable to get out without the support of other women. It’s a dark and a scary place to be in. Have you been in this place?
So, what the Iron Maiden does to women, is that they feel dissatisfied with the way they look. Women spend thousands of dollars on cosmetics, clothing, cosmetic surgery in the hopes to feel better about themselves.
As Virginia Wolf says “why is it never said that the really crucial function women serve, as aspiring beauties, is to buy more things for the body? Somehow, somewhere, someone, must have figured out that they will buy more things if they are kept in the self-hating, ever-failing, hungry, and sexually insecure state of being aspiring ‘Beauties’.”
Media is very alert to what social roles are demanded of women to serve the interests of those who sponsor their publication. Here i’m particularly talking about women’s magazines, because there are some very positive and useful publications. However, women’s magazines for over a century have been one of the most powerful agents for changing women’s roles.
They have consistently glamorised whatever the economy and advertisers needed at that moment from women. In fifties and sixties magazines enabled the burdened housewife, to make contact with her ideal self: that self which aspires to be a good wife, a good mother, and an efficient home-maker, as Ann Oakley writes.
Why was that role important? Because it got women to buy lots of household products, cooking utensils and other household stuff. Isn’t that interesting? Outrageous, I’d say.
Now the magazines are very clear on the new role – we need to look beautiful even in our pyjamas and aspire to look youthful and sexy no matter what.
By feeling insecure, women are actually feeding the giant demons of several industries. It definitely works for industries, but what about women? Isn’t it time women wake up?
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.