Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

I came upon this review for a new book, “The Woman in the Mirror” by Cynthia Bulik PhD.

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.

So far – so good.

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.


Wait – what was that?

By reprogramming how we feel about ourselves and our bodies, we can practice healthy eating and sensible exercise….              

Did anyone proof read this review?

So in the end – if you buy this book – you too can be skinny and fit.

So much for disentangling our self-esteem from our body esteem.

Originally Published as Mirror Image by Cybil Discourse


By Ana Grarian

50+ hippy chick from NY - STATE - and yes, I'm sensitive about that.

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12 years ago

Eh, healthy eating and sensible exercise have nothing to do with being skinny, though a fair amount to do with being fit. It’s all about being healthy. Diets aren’t healthy, they deprive bodily organs of the nutrition they need to operate properly and cause loss of muscle mass and other side effects. Lack of exercise isn’t healthy, it causes a variety of problems over time including obesity, heart disease, and loss of muscle mass. Eating enough for health (but not so much as to cause obesity which has its own problems) and a reasonable amount of exercise isn’t going to make you skinny because skinny means you’ve lost muscle mass, it won’t make you look like some muscular fitness model because your natural body fat level is likely a much larger percentage than said model, it’ll just make you live longer. Which I think is the point of all this, not whether you look like an emaciated runway model (and healthy has its own beauty, IMHO).

Ken Carman
12 years ago

Telling people that there’s something “wrong” with them is a terrible way to convince people to change dietary habits. Most diets, like Nutra etc., start with this premise that you can’t fix yourself: you’re too weak, too ignorant, too lazy, too stupid… someone has to do it for you. That’s like demanding in the long run you fail and, never guess what? …make more money for those who sell such over and over.

The healthy way would be to pump up what is obviously a poor image first and then convince them they can do it themselves… but that doesn’t sell product over and over.

Now my biggest beef in all this is even some doctors are into the idea that all bodies process food exactly the same, at the same rate, and it’s all our fault cause we’re just weak… etc. First: not true. Every body is different and one can see in my own family how genetics led to those who have a damn hard time dealing with their own bodies: as built/passed on by that genetic code, and those who have an easier time. I have personal experience seeing the diets of both and one is not “healthier” than the other. In fact some of the thinnest eat far less healthy.

Blaming it all on the consumer, ignoring body differences, is easy medicine: true.

It’s also quackery in its worst form. Makes money for big pharma, makes quick work for med professionals and provides a sense of superiority. Everyone makes money. Nothing solved for many. And there are some so different we should just accept them as is.

I predict, eventually, science will force medicine to get more specific and individual in its approach, if we can get big money interests out of medicine.

Health care for everyone! Or at least no more big pharma influence peddling amongst our docs.

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