The Woman in the Mirror: How to Stop Confusing What You Look Like with Who You Areby Cynthia M. Bulik
Many women-regardless of income, size, shape, ethnicity, and age-are uncomfortable in their own skin. We fixate on our body image and try endless diets, implants, hair extensions, and new shoes, but it's never enough. The problem is that girls and women have been socialized to mistakenly conflate body esteem and self-esteem. Body esteem refers to how you think and
Many women-regardless of income, size, shape, ethnicity, and age-are uncomfortable in their own skin. We fixate on our body image and try endless diets, implants, hair extensions, and new shoes, but it's never enough. The problem is that girls and women have been socialized to mistakenly conflate body esteem and self-esteem. Body esteem refers to how you think and feel about your physical appearance: your size, shape, hair, and features. Self-esteem refers to how you think and feel about your personality, your role in relationships, your accomplishments, and your values-everything that contributes to who you are as a person.
The Woman in the Mirror goes beyond typical self-esteem books to dig deep into the origins of women's problems with body image. Psychologist Cynthia Bulik guides readers in the challenging task of disentangling self-esteem from body esteem, and taking charge of the insidious negative self-talk that started as early as when you first realized you didn't really look like a fairy princess. By reprogramming how we feel about ourselves and our bodies, we can practice healthy eating and sensible exercise, and focus on the many things we have to offer our family, community, and job. Bulik provides us the tools to reclaim our self-confidence and to respect and love who we are.
Praise for Crave:
"More than 7 million Americans struggle with binge eating disorder (BED) . . . Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop helps shed light on the problem."-O, the Oprah Magazine
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Meet the Author
Cynthia M. Bulik, Ph.D., is the William R. and Jeanne H. Jordan Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, a professor of nutrition at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. She has been featured or quoted in Vogue, Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She is the author of Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop and the coauthor of Runaway Eating (with Nadine Taylor). Bulik lives in North Carolina.
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Marrying personal with professional experience, Dr. Bulik brilliantly presents relatable content to all—the 14 year-old transitioning to high school; the mother of two; the grandma in a nursing home; the father of a teenage girl going through puberty; and the therapist helping his/her patient overcome body image and self-esteem issues. You’ll walk away from this book with greater perspective about the pressures faced by women today, and factors involved in women’s tendency to erroneously conflate body esteem with self-esteem. With her wit and imaginative genius, Dr. Bulik provides the insight and tools needed to develop body confidence and self-acceptance; improve self-esteem; and realize that each and every one of us has a unique contribution to give to the world. You’ll not only learn how to tackle your own body image demons, but you’ll develop the confidence to successfully raise a self-assured daughter and respectful son, as well as efficiently "climb the ladder" in a male-dominated society. This book is for all—mothers, fathers, teenagers, college students, feminists, non-feminists, middle-aged women, the elderly, and therapists. As a psychologist specializing in eating disorders and body image issues, I have already started referencing this book in my work, using Dr. Bulik's analogies and stories to highlight the success of CBT, and assigning readings to stimulate discussion. It has been well-received thus far!!
Dr. Bulik has written a book that applies to…everyone. By chronologically working through every woman’s past and highlighting key moments that shaped their self-esteem and “body-esteem”, Dr. Bulik writes a chapter for every reader. If you have a young daughter who is struggling through the tough middle school years, this book is for you. If you ever remember a family member or close friend making a negative remark about your body shape, this book is for you. If you have noticed that your wife or girlfriend has lower self-esteem now that she has gone through menopause, this book is for you. Overall, this book artfully captures what it feels like to both struggle with and love being a woman. Each chapter ends with a brief exercise to personalize the reading experience. For example, at the end of the chapter about women leaving for their “independent years”, Dr. Bulik challenges readers to write down any negative remarks that they remember receiving from friends and family. As a young woman in this phase of my life, I was shocked at how easy it was to think of these examples! In addition, Dr. Bulik does not shy away from providing her own experiences and truly connecting with the readers. Women, this book will help you to be less critical of yourself and others. Men, this book will better help you understand the pressures of being a woman. It is very simple-- for a boost of energy and confidence in the new year, read this book.