Girls learn, from the time they are young, to hate their bodies. We learn to focus on and work to fix so-called “flaws” — everything from weight to wrinkles to body hair to skin “imperfections.” Once we hit puberty, things often become worse, as men begin to gaze at, comment on, or grope our bodies, now sexualized and deemed available for public consumption. Considering that these messages are so widespread in culture, what can mothers of daughters do to try to counteract this learned self-hatred and self-objectification? What does it mean to love our bodies under patriarchy? Is it even possible?
In her new book, Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as We Are, Hillary McBride, a registered clinical counsellor and our resident feminist therapist, looks at these issues and shares her own story of dealing with an eating disorder.
In this episode, I speak with her about all this, as well as about what it means to approach therapy from a feminist perspective.