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Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

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Change the World, Not Yourself

Women are taught to change themselves to fit into the world—get a new hairstyle, learn some tricks to dazzle your guy in bed, do what you can to make people comfortable, try an exotic recipe, forge a perfect body—but how often are we encouraged to create a better world, one in which we can be just ourselves? Rarely. We could do more with the Sixties mentality which prodded us to question authority, fight back, and be part of a revolution. In fact, one of the best antidotes to an eating disorder or problem is to practice saying yes to what’s right with the world and changing what’s wrong.

Although disordered eating seems like a personal problem, it affects us all. It’s generated by unhealthy cultural attitudes towards women’s beauty and bodies (sorry, guys) and is a major cause of health problems—undernourishment and overweight. Not to mention how miserable women feel about themselves for not measuring up to beauty ideals. Female attitudes about beauty run along a continuum. At one end are women who will do anything to gorgeous up. At the other are those who have so staunchly rejected these ideals that they let themselves go or purposely make themselves unattractive to make a statement. In between are women too busy to focus much on looks, but manage to be presentable, and those who spruce up as best they can.

It’s impossible to grow up female in this culture and not feel some pressure (even unconscious) to be pretty and body perfect. Perhaps the best we can do is to become aware of the forces that drive our choices and pick and choose wisely among them. It’s important to develop ALL aspects of ourselves. Gone are the days when a woman’s only option was to be some gent’s arm candy. It’s time to look past cultural ideals and develop our own style according to our shape, size, and dress preferences, or to have no particular style—and concentrate on other areas of life. It’s time to speak out when only one kind of beauty is foisted upon us by boycotting products/stores/brands and writing letters to magazines when we see ourselves portrayed in unhealthy ways.

Two websites, among others, are trying to help women view beauty in a healthier way—Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and The NOW Foundation (http://www.campaignforrrealbeauty.com/ and http://www.nowfoundation.org/sexbeauty respectively). If you know of other sites, please share them by posting a comment below. Now is the time to start your own personal campaign to change society’s view of female beauty. Stop being critical of yourself and other women, start seeing past superficial ideals, and challenge male attitudes toward what women should look like.

Limits to Change
Failing Forward

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This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy