Last night I watched the Emmy’s and when Alec Baldwin won for Best Actor in a comedy series, he said first jokingly and then dead serious, he’d trade his Emmy if he could look like Rob Lowe. Here is a man who has more talent in his left pinky than Rob Lowe ( sorry, Rob but it’s true) and he wanted to be the dashing, lean leading man. Now, he has been that in his younger days. Perhaps, his love affair with food ( yes, I’ve seen him from afar eat with great passion) and weight gain has had an upside to it. I think his acting has far more gravitas now than when he was making films like Prelude to a Kiss and Married to the Mob.
I realized though, with his comments, that even men struggle with body image issues and therefore it begs this question, what is this disease in America where we judge people so much on how thin they are? I recently put on five pounds and I couldn’t believe how vicious my inner critic became. And then of course, there is this polarity where on the other end, we have a major obesity problem here as well. I think the answer to both ends of this spectrum is the same: taking time every day to love and appreciate our bodies. Our bodies are a living, breathing consciousness and what we say to them translates as disease or health.
I have a brother who is very wealthy and dying of cancer. He never thought he was good looking no matter how much money he had. why? I don’t know, because he is a handsome man. I do believe his poor self image contributed to his cancer.
We all have an Alec Baldwin inside of us. It might not be a weight issue but something else that we focus on which dims our light, blinds us from seeing our talents and our gifts to the world.
Just as the conservatives are rising up over health care, we all need to rise up and reject this cultural more resurrected by the fashion industry that has us all hypnotized into believing how we look is not good enough. And if you don’t believe me, ask your local cosmetic surgeon. He or she will tell you just how bad it is out there. (if you keep their name confidential).
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist and the author of the new book, The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive ( not just survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval.