Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as We Are

Post Hill Press
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When women are told that what is important about us is how we look, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to feel comfortable with our appearance and how we feel about our bodies. We are told, over and over—if we just lost weight, fit into those old jeans, or into a new smaller pair—we will be happier and feel better about ourselves. The truth is, so many women despise their appearance, weight, and shape, that experts who study women’s body image now consider this feeling to be normal. 

But it does not have to be that way. It is possible for us as women to love ourselves, our bodies, as we are. We need a new story about what it means to be a woman in this world. Based on her original research, Hillary L McBride shares the true stories of young women, and their mothers, and provides unique insights into how our relationships with our bodies are shaped by what we see around us and the specific things we can do to have healthier relationships with our appearance, and all the other parts of ourselves that make us women.

 

In Mothers, Daughters, and Body Image McBride tells her own story of recovery from an eating disorder, and how her struggles led her to dream of a new vision for womanhood—from one without body shame, negative comparisons, or insecurities, to one of freedom, connection, and acceptance. 

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About the author

Hillary McBride is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia in Counselling Psychology where she is continuing research she started for her masters exploring women’s experiences in and of the body, particularly at significant transitions points. McBride sees patients privately there for a variety of concerns including acute mental health issues. She works regularly with people struggling with depression, anxiety, life transitions, self-harm, abuse, relationship issues, and sexuality. She specializes in women’s issues from a feminist perspective. McBride has designed body image presentations for young girls and their mothers that she presents regularly in schools and community settings. She regularly speaks on radio, podcasts, and at workshops on a variety of mental health topics including sexuality, body image, well-being, living authentically, and healing trauma.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Post Hill Press
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Published on
Oct 31, 2017
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Pages
530
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ISBN
9781682613559
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Health & Fitness / Women's Health
Psychology / Psychopathology / Eating Disorders
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.
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