Hi Dr. Stacey,
You may think this is a little compulsive, and, sure, it represents the extreme end of things, but I have neither of the following things:
- a mirror in my bedroom
- a scale in my house
Consequently, I'm extremely happy, and whether or not I feel comfortable in my body has to do with just that - whether or not I feel comfortable in my own body.
Do we even need a scale to measure weight? There are an enormous number of things around us that do the weight-measuring for us, without the numbers. Everything from our own clothing sizes to other people's comments on any ups or downs in our weight serve to remind us of just where we fall on the spectrum. A scale seems, well, superfluous.
So then, why don't I have a mirror in my room? It's also superfluous. If I want to pluck my eyebrows or put on makeup, I'll go into the bathroom. That decision involves taking an active part in my self image - that is, seeing myself when I want to see myself, using the mirror for an activity with its own purpose rather as a tool to open myself up to the opportunity to self-criticize endlessly. What role could a mirror in the bedroom serve that a mirror in the bathroom could not? Looking to see if I have something in my teeth, washing my face, even trying on new earrings . . these are all things that could happen in the bathroom, with purposeful intent.
The radical part in me thinks we should abolish scales - except in doctor's offices and laboratories. I think it's extremely weird that they developed as a part of our hygiene habits. Shouldn't what we do in the bathroom be about taking care of our bodies instead of encouraging terrible self image? Bathing, toilet, brushing our teeth, combing our hair - this all makes sense. But the scale? Everyone should do themselves a favor and lose it.
Can't wait for your book to come out!
Monday, April 28, 2008
I've Got Mail
I love getting letters from my readers, especially when they look a little something like this (posted with persmission):