I have been a fashion designer since 1967 and I have gone through working with decades of women, and witnessing as well as being part of all of the self esteem and image issues we all experience. A bad hair day can take down the best of us and feeling fat in a skirt too tight can throw us off focus. How this did happen and why is it happening?
A designer hopes to make women feel good and empower them in the clothes they wear. We are successful for the most part in the pursuit of uplifting women. However, we realize the clothes can only do so much but not empower a woman when she is undressed or not feeling good about herself.
I have been thinking long and hard for many years and discovered that objectification is something women exclusively experience and it, in its insipid interactions, can have a long time devastating affect on our psyche. We are so embarrassed and humiliated, we never talk about the experiences.
It is taken for granted that it happens to women but no one really knows how deep repeated incidents can manifest into image and self esteem issues. Food issues are just part of being a women, and serious eating disorders exist especially in fashion and dance. Behavioral issues are prevalent especially regarding self esteem in relationships. In the workplace, there are countless incidents and both the topic of popular films.
So how can we change this? Talk about it with friends and especially with the men in your life, starting with your dad, and all the men who care about you, so they become aware of the pain involved because of the humiliation and embarrassment. Men really do care about women as we do about them. I am confident they will respond and bring awareness if we just let them know this dirty little secret.