Celebrating Our Authentic Bodies
I want to cover a topic that I’ve wanted to speak to for a long time- plastic surgery. I must confess that this is an area I gave little attention to in the past as I have been in my ‘prime’ for a good number of years being young with good skin and a curvaceous body. However, I have just turned 38 and with the increase of years have also come some things I hate to admit have shocked me to the core. These include:
*Weight gain that appears to take place just by LOOKING at fattening foods (I swear it’s true!)
*Gray hairs- at first manageable- all I had to do was use my trusty eyebrow tweezers and problem solved. Now, however, I risk going bald if I were to continue this practise.
*Breasts that have started to mimic the shape of pancakes and have definitely taken a downward turn (you know what I mean)
*Lines around my eyes and the skin surrounding my eyes staying in one place once I apply make-up for longer than I would like. It’s like watching a snail slowly migrate back into its shell once the cover-up is blended in.
*And horror of horrors-chin hairs! No, I’m not kidding…and not the blond wispy things no one notices-these little buggers are thick and black and have the amazing ability to grow roughly half an inch overnight!
Add to this the countless stories I hear from clients and girlfriends about “getting work done” on their bodies. These range from groups of women, whom upon the dawn of their 50th birthday, get a face-lift, Botox injections in the face to reduce wrinkles, breast implants, to tummy tucks. I sit there trying to wipe the look of horror off of my face as I do my best to impart an attitude of empowerment and acceptance regardless of what choices women make in their lives.
I was at my local library the other day and glanced along the shelves and found a new book out by Joan Rivers, the Queen of plastic surgery, which is a “guidebook” to getting plastic surgery. It was titled, “Men are Stupid and they Like Big Boobs”. She is 75 years old and has had so much plastic surgery that she looks somewhat cartoon-like and anything but natural. She doesn’t even look like a younger version of herself- she looks strange and almost doll-like and scarily unreal. Anyway, the book was co-written with some top cosmetic surgeons and boasts all of the “wonderful” advances available to women who want to change the way they look through plastic surgery. I particularly loved the part where she’s talking about one procedure and under “risks” she casually writes, “death”. Then without missing a beat, she’s onto describing the next “wonderful” procedure!
I don’t know about you, but I think DEATH is a pretty big risk! It reminds me of the author who died a few years ago from liposuction- yikes. I don’t want to come off as being all fanatical and judgmental, because I truly believe that women are in charge of their bodies and it’s not my place to tell someone what to do with her body.
However, I do believe that the current obsession we have with looking younger (one writer calls the times we are living in, “age deceleration”- i.e., “forty is the new thirty” and so on) is a recent and ultimately, dangerous focus. Never before in human history have people been so terrified of getting old. It’s also true that we have never had such a long lifespan so perhaps this is a contributing factor as well.
My grandparents never considered plastic surgery and my 86-year-old grandmother is completely perplexed with this newfound obsession younger generations have with looking young for as long as they possibly can. I think that there are many factors at play here; most notably, the fear of death.
I know I’m terrified of dying and getting old. But I’m working through it. I want to be courageous enough to face getting older head-on without going under the knife or injecting poisonous substances in my body to appear younger. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to more gray hair, my body shape changing, and those lovely hairs on my chinny-chin-chin, but I’m going to do my best to ‘go natural’ and grow old gracefully. I am more than my body and so are you.
About Esther Kane, MSW, Registered Clinical Counsellor
Esther Kane, MSW, Registered Clinical Counsellor, is in full-time private practise as a psychotherapist in Courtenay, B.C. Esther has over a decade of experience counselling women and their loved ones with a multitude of presenting problems. Her main focus is helping women to become free of barriers which keep them stuck so that they can become all that they dream of being.
To book a session or to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation (only if you reside in the Comox Valley or surrounding areas), call Esther at (250) 338-1800.
To learn more about Esther’s services, please visit her website and read glowing testimonials from many satisfied clients, http://www.estherkane.com
Please note: due to the high volume of e-mails received, Esther only replies to potential therapy clients and the media.
New Book and Audio Program!
“It’s Not About the Food: A Woman’s Guide to Making Peace with Food and Our Bodies “
Available at: www.endyoureatingdisorder.com
“In this book, Esther Kane takes a kind, wise and loving approach to the fraught problems of diet, eating disorders, weight and body image. Her gentle storytelling, along with the tools she provides, may help many readers untie some of the tangles that trap them.” Steven Bratman, MD. Author of “Health Food Junkies”
“I’m sure Esther Kane’s honest book will speak to lots of women and help them on the road to understanding and changing their food and body issues.” Susie Orbach, author of “Fat is a Feminist Issue l and ll”
“Reading Esther Kane’s book revealed frightening things to me about myself, my friends, the twisted values of the world we live in. But she also volunteers the means of rescue. It was like being offered good advice by your best friend and an expert simultaneously.
In the west, our unhealthy relationship to food and dieting is perhaps the nearest thing we have to a modern day plague. This book gives each of us the means to fight back.” Frances Dickenson, documentary film-maker, London, England.
Other Books by Esther
“DUMP THAT CHUMP: A Ten-step plan for ending bad relationships and attracting the fabulous partner you deserve”
”This is a well written and easy to follow guide for all women that struggle to find that perfect match for a lifetime relationship. The information you will gain will help strengthen your understanding in how very important positive self-talk is: it will strengthen your ability to not repeat wrong decisions in regards to relationship choices.
It will also show you how that phrase, “settling”, is not and should not be acceptable to you. You will learn that settling for someone or something eventually drowns your own ideas of what you deserve in life as far as a partner is concerned. People choose to settle because it is safer, more predictable, easier to control and a lot less challenging than actually striving for more.
The author uses this very powerful phrase to help you look at the core of your bad decisions, “What You Expect Is What You Get”. If you expect nothing then you will get nothing. DTC will also teach you how to retrain your mind so that you can get to know yourself through positive self-acceptance. To know and understand who you are is a definite key in helping you to make the correct choice in relationships. Lets face it, no one wants to be stuck in a bad relationship. Womensselfesteem.com highly recommends, ”Dump That Chump” as a very good source book in opening your eyes to the many reasons that we end up in failed relationships!”
-Review by Dorothy of Womensselfesteem.com
To find out more about the book, go to:
“WHAT YOUR MAMA CAN’T OR WON’T TEACH YOU: GROWN WOMEN’S STORIES OF THEIR TEEN YEARS”
”Esther Kane, MSW, RCC, has collected a delightful set of stories in her book, “What Your Mama Can’t or Won’t Teach You: Grown Women’s Stories of Their Teen Years.” The voices of 20 women are interweaved with each other to create a conversation-like book of women talking about their early struggles. The issues discussed are diverse and cover so many things that affected the way they grew into adults. Their insight back into what shaped them the most is sometimes funny, other times heartbreaking and often poignant. Esther interviewed these women on topics that she asked her teen clients they would most like to read about. What amassed is wisdom from a generation of women who survived and are willing to share their experiences to the youth of today.”
– Lori Henry, Eating Disorders Writer
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Esther Kane, MSW, RCC