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April 10, 2012

Do You Look Good Naked?

Both men and women want to look good. But it seems that women are more likely to have a negative body image and to feel that there is something "wrong" with their bodies. A constant state of personal dissatisfaction is encouraged by a vast complex of industries eager to profit from our anxiety. Somehow we are always the wrong weight, the wrong shape, not smooth enough or firm enough. We have too much hair in some places and not enough in others. No matter what we do, we are never going to look like the freakishly tall and thin supermodels or the computer-retouched photos in cosmetics ads. Actually, most of us look just fine, but we don't see it when we look into the mirror.

What does this have to do with romance? A lot! Women who imagine themselves to be inherently unattractive often find that they don't feel as happy and confident as they should in a love relationship. In particular, their insecurities about their bodies can inhibit them from enjoying a healthy, playful sexual relationship. Most husbands enjoy seeing their wives in attractive lingerie (or in nothing at all!) and would like to make love with at least some of the lights on at least some of the time. But a woman who fears that her partner will be turned of by the sight of her less-than-perfect body may be unwilling to satisfy this desire, and may even find it hard to fully enjoy lovemaking because of her insecurities. Outside of the bedroom, many women make poor clothing choices because they just want to hide their perceived flaws, or because they feel so discouraged that they have given up trying.

On the TV show How to Look Good Naked, host Carson Kressley challenges women to see themselves in a more positive light. Without resorting to cosmetic surgery or other extreme measures, he helps them develop a new attitude and change their approach to clothing and makeup, until they are actually comfortable enough to pose for a daring photo shoot.

For any woman who dresses in the closet, hides under the covers, or just won't wear anything that doesn't resemble a tent, the message here is a real eye-opener.

I don't think there are new episodes of this show on the air any more, but it's possible the old ones can be found online.

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