Psychoanalyst, bestselling author and Princess Diana’s therapist, Susie Orbach while speaking about her new book In Therapy: How Conversations with Psychotherapists Really Work, said that Girls and young women are under more pressure than ever to achieve the perfect body is worse than ever. “It’s much, much worse than we ever envisioned,” Orbach told AFP.
Orbach has recently been involved in a year-long international campaign to force Apple, Google and Amazon to remove cosmetic surgery apps targeting primary school-aged girls, in which cartoon-style characters can be modified with procedures such as liposuction.
“This is not just a problem related to girls and women, and it’s very, very profitable if you can destabilise people’s bodies,” she said. “There are all kinds of industries both creating and feeding off these insecurities.” “We’re so self-focused now, we produce our bodies, rather than live from them. Your body is your product.” She added, “If you just dropped in on any conversation, the amount of mental space that people take up with what they’re eating, what they’re not eating, their yoga routine, is expressive of the level of distress in our society. “It’s not about contribution, it’s about how I manage this horror I’m personally living with.”
“It happened at 18, it didn’t happen at six. You didn’t have girls and boys saying ‘Have I got a six pack?’ or ‘I’m too fat’ at six and seven. You didn’t have girls throwing up over the toilet bowl at nine.”
One of Orbach’s chief concerns is how the modern “gig economy” has created a world in which people are encouraged to market themselves.
“I think the rapaciousness of late capitalism is really a problem,” she said. “We are seeing ourselves not just as consuming centres but brands. Young women are now being encouraged to see themselves as brands, and influencers.”
“It was a terrible period, but this is a much worse period, because women are allowed and are in all jobs, but they still have to look like dolls when they are going to their jobs and they still have to emotionally look after everyone at work. “It’s a very bizarre moment. I never expected this.”
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17 November, 2019