So, the first assignment I am giving my body image seminar students is to write a body image autobiography. Here’s the background and the questions if you are so inclined…
Overview: We all come to this class with the lens of our own experiences surrounding body image and beauty perception. To help us better interpret, experience, and study how body image is played out in our culture, we need to first understand some of our own paradigms. The body image autobiography allows you to explore some of the experiences, images, and perceptions that have informed the lens of your understanding.
Some guidelines: Self-awareness is a powerful thing, especially in light of body image. The more you know and understand about yourself, the more prepared you are to address your own body image issues. The following questionnaire is just one tool to help you increase your self-awareness when it comes to body image. There are no right or wrong answers— only the need to explore and consider deeply rather than superficially. This exercise is for you. Don’t write anything to impress me or anyone else. Answer the questions quickly, instinctively, without forcing anything. If you can’t come up with an answer for one of the questions, move on, and then come back to it.
1. Describe yourself.
2. What do you love most about yourself? About what are you most confident?
3. What is the first positive memory/moment you have of your body?
4. What is the first proud memory/moment you have of yourself?
5. Was anyone there to witness or appreciate those moments? If so, who was there and how did he, she, or they react?
6. What has most influenced your view of what is beautiful in/for women?
7. Do you see women who look like you portrayed in mass media?
8. What is a moment where you felt especially self-conscious about your body?
9. Can you explain why you felt self-conscious at that moment?
10. How do you care for yourself each day?
11. How do you show yourself a lack of concern on a regular basis?
12. What is your attitude towards…
13. Who are your female role models and why?
14. What do you have in common with your role models?
15. What do you believe is essential for being beautiful?
16. What informed your perception of what is beautiful?
17. List five well-known women whom you consider beautiful.
18. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or Why not?
19. What do you wish for yourself?
20. Which of your answers would you most like to change?