Question: why do women hate their bodies and want to change it?

  1. Hi Kaylee, a lot of women don’t hate their bodies, and most like at least some parts of it.

    I think women feel a lot of pressure about how they should look, and if they don’t look like the models in all the ads they see, then they might feel bad about themselves. It’s pretty terrible if women are judged more for how they look than who they are, but this does happen sometimes.

    If you want a scientific/evolutionary perspective, then a lot of value is placed on a woman’s appearance because it indicates how healthy she is and how likely it is that she will have healthy babies. So a caveman looking for a mate would pick a woman who looked healthy (not the thinnest woman, or the most fashionable one, but someone who looks healthy). A cavewoman was more interested in her man being able to provide for her and the children. She would look for someone who seemed strong and powerful, capable of protecting and feeding the family.

    We’ve moved on a bit since our cave-dwelling days, but there is still an emphasis on how women look. I think this creates pressure to look like some sort of ‘ideal’ (which differs a lot across cultures and decades). If women feel that they don’t match this ideal, then they might dislike the way they look.

    The most important thing is to learn to be happy in yourself. This is totally possible, no matter what you look like. It’s hard in high school (I remember) but you can learn to love your body, at least most of the time.


  2. Interesting though that if you watch Nature documentaries, it’s always the males who have the fancy feathers, or have to impress the girls. This crazy guy, for example, is a male:

    You’d think it would be the other way around in humans, if you argue from animals.

    So yes, it’s probably how our society has developed. For some reason men don’t feel the need to worry so much (or don’t admit to worrying so much), and women do. Maybe it’s the way we judge each other, and we need to question that. Maybe it’s because a lot of ideas about what makes a woman beautiful have been created by things (e.g. magazines) owned by men, creating more pressure. I don’t know. Hopefully there is some good research on this being done in the social sciences…