When's the last time you looked in the mirror and viewed your body objectively? Is it even possible?
I've been thinking about this all week, after I got a copy of author Christina Katz's e-zine. In it, she spoke about the value of detachment for writers. It's an interesting concept: Learning to take that "mental step back" and look at a situation without the haziness of emotion. I'll admit I'm an emotional person and sometimes struggle with this. But there's real value in training yourself to see things more clearly.
I think it has value in how we see our bodies, too. But it's incredibly difficult.
Think about it: You go shopping for a new swimsuit or professional outfit. As you try on the options in the fitting room, it can be tough to evaluate how you look without opening the floodgates of self-criticism. It can be hard to simply say, "This skirt isn't flattering" or "This is not my best look" without launching the "My arms are too skinny, my thighs are too fat, my belly sticks out..." tape -- whatever yours may say -- that so often plays in an endless loop in our brains.
A friend shopping with you can easily say, "That looks great" or "Nah" to an outfit because she's detached. She doesn't experience what it's like to live in your body and to feel your feelings.