In this episode Niki talks to Angela Barnett from Pretty Smart about body image as we age.
1:45 – Angela gives a bit of her background and why she speaks up about body image and the representation of women in the media.
2:45 – Angela talks about her experience at a camp with teenage girls in America and noticed the way girls compared themselves by the way they looked.
3:45 – Niki puts it our there that she feels far more judged by other women than by men and asks do we use it as a tool to keep each other in check? Are we raised to do this without realizing?
5:00 – Niki compares today’s individualistic society with ancient history when working together was needed for survival. When women were left to work as a team to raise the children and tend the nest.
6:45 – A discussion around women supporting each other and do we today? Niki refers to Lean In and Sheryl Sandbergs experience of having great female leaders to move her career forward.
8:04 – Niki asks Angela if there is anything that has surprised her about getting older. Angela talks about the assumption you make when you are young that when you get older you want to be younger and actually, as she has got older she has no desire to be young again. How it keeps getting better as we age.
10:00 – Why are we so anti-ageing in society today? What scares us about getting older? How we can feel wonderful on the inside and yet be judged by the outside and how people comment when we have aged which is what we are supposed to do.
11:20 – when do we decide that getting older is not a good thing. Angela talks about the different stages. When we are young teens and move through to our twenties we are told to look hotter and older. Then in your twenties you want to be taken more seriously so you try and look a little bit older but not too much older. Then between 28-35 you are told to still look hotter but start to look younger and that is the message for the rest of your life. So after 35ish you have to start maintaining your youthful look.
13:10 – A discussion around the beauty industry and the pressure it puts on women to look younger so it can sell product. Both Niki and Angela discuss how they feel the perceived quality of the products we use because of price, does not seem to make any difference
14:40 – Niki asks Angela if she is happy with her life at 49. Angela mentions Brene Brown’s idea that we learn to say no to things we don’t want to do and yes to things we really do. Choosing a moment of discomfort versus a hour or more of resentment when we agree to do something that we do not want to do.
16:20 – A discussion around the badge of honour we associate with busyness. Niki talks about telling clients that when we learn to say no we can learn to say yes with grace. NIki talks about how she has given up guilt when she says no to things.
19:10 – Niki asks Angela what advice she would give her 20 year old self. Angela reveals that she was knee deep into an eating disorder in her twenties. Angela talks about telling her 20 year old self to be kind to herself, to reassure herself that she would get through this and that she will develop a great relationship with herself and then she will have a great relationship with someone else.
21:20 – A discussion begins around women making food their enemy and how so many women put themselves on diets consistently. Angela believes we do not get told enough that a normal healthy body includes a round stomach. How in history a flat stomach was a representation of you not having had children. How we are pressured by the ‘get your body back when you have had a baby’ movement.
24;13 – Niki puts the idea forward that she is saddened that even something as important as having children is marred by the pressure to get our body back to pre-children shape. She also mentions time in Italy where all shapes and sizes were wearing bikini’s without a care. Can we fight the commercial machine? Is it the last power to keep women down by shaming us about how we look.
25:40 – Angela talks about how she tells young girls about the pressure they will be under by the media to look and be a certain way. She refers back to the 70’s when women were burning their bras as an attempt to throw away the shackles of having to look a certain way.