self-hate

exposing body image issues's picture

What pains us makes us grow...

Why would anyone photograph and then draw themselves as a regular practice?

Is it narcissism? Vanity? Or a simple, accessible way to heal from self-rejection?

I do it because I have always judged and criticized myself harshly, and self-portraiture is the best process I have found to really change my vision. When I look in the mirror, it’s to check – criticize – correct -  (and I can always find something to fix) in a never-ending quest for perfection.

I am 44 years old now and have been drawing myself for about 8 years. I keep quitting and coming back to it, because in spite of my resistance, it works… it helps. This self-image-obsession has sucked so much vital energy from my life over the years that a part of me is really angry about it… but that anger just feeds the self-destructiveness of the mind.

Fortunately, the more constructive part of me that loves others easily is willing to look beyond the skewed vision of my mind to see something else… a perfectly imperfect yet strong woman with a still-vulnerable little girl inside, a worthy and yes, possibly even beautiful human being. AS ARE WE ALL…

It’s a double-edged sword in that it’s only because I want to be so outstandingly beautiful that I can possibly see myself as so pitifully ugly. And I’m not, even on the world’s terms, ugly. It’s craziness… but even crazier, our culture FEEDS this craziness!

exposing body image issues's picture

I Am My Own Worst Enemy

by Colette Coughlin



When I was a seventy-pound twelve year old, my dad used to call me "Thunder Thighs". His intentions were not to feed a future eating disorder, he was just teasing, that's who he was. But I put it into my emotional backpack and consciously or unconsciously, pulled it out later to flog myself with it and affirm my physical imperfections and overall unworthiness. Until I had enough of that crap...


Worse, a friend of mine confided that his ex-wife, who had been sexually abused by her father, and naturally had issues with intimacy, could get mean and even violent with him sometimes. Once, in a rage, she told him he had the smallest penis she had ever seen (how many she had to compare to, we don't really know...). Although he didn't let this get in the way of future relationships... do you think he ever discussed this openly or forgot about it? Probably not, but fortunately he didn't let it stop him from loving other women.


These are the tiny little things that great big wars are built on. Wars with others, but worse, wars within ourselves.

exposing body image issues's picture

Are you ugly? Are you like me?

by Colette Coughlin posting for Theresa Sullivan


My friend Theresa has struggled with anorexia and body image for as long as she can remember, and has just started blogging about it in hopes of helping her teenage daughter get through some really difficult times. I am posting one of her recent blog entries that really touched me. You can follow her blog and give her some encouragement to keep sharing so honestly at: http://lookingwithmorethanyoureyes.blogspot.com/


 Are You Ugly? Are you like Me?


It is funny how my daughter always seems to pick up on the underlying current beneath the obvious daily routines. Yesterday she showed me a song....Are you ugly? The "Exies" do this song. The words that echo in my head....... Are you ugly.... a liar like me........ a sickness so pure .....money's no cure... we are dirt.... we are alone......we are afraid...... you know it's far from over.......I'm sure the words are not complete or in the correct order, but to me the message is clear..... Are you ugly? Are you like me?

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