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Ask Angela: How can I feel pretty in a sex-crazed world?

Published: Monday, Jan. 27 2014 8:00 a.m. MST

It's hard to feel beautiful when you're constantly comparing yourself to others, including images of celebrities, models and others.

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Dear Angela,

How am I supposed to feel any self-esteem about my body image in this sex-crazed world?

Now days, without even looking, sexual images are displayed and thrown out to the world on a daily basis. How am I supposed to not compare and get down on myself after being exposed to this? Also, how am I supposed to remain confident and not get discouraged when the guy I am with looks at another woman or tells me how "hot" she is?

I detest women who pose for such images. Yet, I yearn to look like those women to get men's attention. HELP! I just want to be OK with myself!

Sincerely,

Issues with image

Dear Issues with image,

To compare is human, but to develop the ability to love yourself, and steadily and patiently improve yourself, is divine.

There are a lot of themes that you present in your question, so hopefully our discussion today will offer some good tips on how you can deal. One thought I want to share with you comes from a woman named Regina Barreca, a professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut. After reading your question, she said this: “Neither women nor men can help comparing ourselves — our lives, our bodies and our accomplishments — with those of the celebrities we see on television, in movies or magazines, in ads or on billboards. What we need to do, on a regular basis, however, is to remind ourselves that what we're seeing has as much to do to with (reality) as creatures from another planet.”

All of this is to say, with technology like Photoshop, filters, perfect lighting, contouring makeup, etc., we can end up comparing ourselves and expecting ourselves to be just like things that don’t actually exist. When in reality, we should be striving to live our happiest and our healthiest lives — something that can’t be measured by comparing ourselves to others.

I want you to visit this website: It’s called Beauty Redefined (and online at www.beautyredefined.net) and it is a nonprofit site started by twin sisters who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it's devoted to helping women detox from media lies about beauty. It’s a great place for you to start on your journey to “feeling OK” with yourself.

As for the guy you're dating who is telling you that all these other women are so "hot," he's lame and has bad manners. So, you may want to rethink that relationship, too.

Love,

Angela

Readers: What helps you to love your body? How do you feel when your significant other comments on others?

I recently interviewed the men who host the popular podcast "This Week in Mormons" about modesty and beauty in the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Check the Ask Angela Blog at askangelaslc.wordpress.com to read what the guys said and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/askangelaslc to join the conversation.

Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the young single adult Mormon experience. Twitter: askange_column

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