How to talk to women about their bodies
When it comes to dating, most women will tell you that they don’t feel comfortable talking about their own bodies, but a growing number of women are saying that they are having trouble talking to other women about what it’s like to be their own body image.
A growing number say they don�t know what to say when they talk about their feelings for their body, or how to talk about themselves as their body image becomes a topic of conversation, writes Rachel Shipp.
Women say they feel ashamed to share their body or their bodies with others because they fear being judged, even though that fear isn�t always the case, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
It can be difficult for women to express their own feelings and desires in a respectful way when talking about our bodies and our bodies in general, writes Shipp, the executive director of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
The survey found that nearly one in five women surveyed have had to say to someone that they feel “unsafe” expressing their feelings about their body.
This is especially true for those women who are still learning about how to present their bodies to others.
One woman told us she felt unsafe expressing her body to other men when she was dating because she was trying to figure out how to get men to see her as a person.
She said that she felt like she was being judged by her appearance, that she didn�t fit into the stereotypical male role of the femme fatale, or that she could not meet men� expectations of who they could be, she said.
And that fear of judgment can be a real barrier for women when it comes time to discuss how to express our bodies.
We need to find ways to talk with each other about our feelings, but there needs to be a safe space where women can say, �No, I don�m uncomfortable with being my own body,’ Shipp says.
While we have more to learn about the experience of women who feel unsafe talking about how they feel about their weight and appearance, we also have to learn to work together to address the underlying issues that contribute to women feeling unsafe expressing their bodies.
Women also have a responsibility to speak out about the experiences of other women when they feel unsafe, Shipp writes.
That means listening to our own voices when we share our experiences with our partners, learning to be more compassionate when sharing our own experiences and, of course, taking the steps to talk more openly with our partner about our own body.
When it comes down to it, women need to stop hiding their bodies, Shuck says.
It�s time to speak up.