Let’s Talk About Body Image For Asian American Women

In a tug of war between two cultures, many Asian American women are left in the dark.

Asian American women deal with pressure from all levels on body image. (See: Kita – Addicted to Tanning)

Navigating body size and image as an Asian American woman, especially as a daughter of immigrant parents can be difficult,” says Rachel Kuo from Everyday Feminism.

Asian Americans often come from two different cultures: their cultural heritage and the American culture. Because of that, Asian Americans feel ambivalent, caught in the ambiguity of the in-between. For women in this community, body image is a large issue.

The Cultural Pressure from Asia

The ideal woman in East Asia is feminine, slim, and pale-skinned. I only saw women who fit these standards in film, media, and advertisements when I visited Japan and Taiwan. Selling fat-burning pills? I would see a beautiful, slim woman with a bottle of pills in her hands on a poster. It sends out the message that beauty is the norm. It’s supposed to be effortless.

Because of that, being overweight is synonymous with laziness and lack of self-care. In East Asia, people are quick to point out your weight in casual conversations under the veil of concern. If you’re overweight, how can you find yourself a partner? These kinds of words reinforce how beauty is used as a tool to oppress people, especially women.

While it’s true that East Asian people are genetically predisposed to health concerns, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, having a lower body mass index (BMI) than their Caucasian counterparts doesn’t dismiss the issue of body-shaming under the excuse of health. Unfortunately, the body size isn’t the only problem in East Asian societies.

The skincare and cosmetics industries in these countries also feed into this beauty standard through popular products such as skin-lightening cream, sunscreen, and foundation.

In South Korea, the country where K-beauty originated from, extensive skincare and makeup routines are seen as normal — a form of self-care. While that may be true to a certain extent, the pressure to maintain a perfect body and the resulting “Escape the Corset” movement demonstrate the oppressiveness of South Korean society.

From my understanding, pale skin symbolizes wealth because it means a person didn’t have to work under the sun. The conflation between skin tone and beauty comes from a historical context when rich people had the luxury to earn money in ways other than farming. This holds true even today in East Asia, as evident by celebrities and models in China, South Korea, and Japan.

 

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10 Signs a Girl Likes You, According to Her Body Language

What she’s *really* telling you is in the way she moves.

“Does she like me?” This is a normal question to wonder about when you’re on a date with a girl you’re really attracted to. But dating doesn’t have to be a mystery — in fact, there are a lot of signs a girl likes you that you may already be missing.

Attraction is a funny thing; you really like this girl, but you’re not sure how she feels about you. Men often find women to be complex creatures, but figuring out the signs she likes you isn’t as difficult as you think.

If you’re paying attention, the easiest way to know if she is into you is by watching her body language, because it could be shouting, “I really like you!” even though she never said a word.

Here are 10 subtle signs that a girl likes you that you can easily spot on a date:

1. She touches you a lot

This is a strong sign that a woman likes you. The more she moves closer to you and looks for ways to touch you, the more she might be flirting with you.

When you’re in a conversation and she lightly taps her hand on your shoulder or chest, it is a possible indicator that she’s interested in you.

If her touches are more intimate, this might mean that she’s very interested in you, and it’s a possible indicator of her request for you to be more close or intimate.

2. She mirrors your movements

Copying the movement of a person you like without you realizing it is natural. This is because you are subconsciously trying to connect with that person without having any physical contact.

Here is a simple way to test if she will mirror your movement. When you are on a date, pick up your drink and take a sip, or shift your position and lean to the side.

If she follows and she does the same, it means she may be unconsciously mirroring your body movements as a way to show interest.

3. She tilts her head while looking at you

Tilting her head during a conversation is a sign that she’s engaged with you

If you see her tilting her head to the side during your conversation, she may be interested in what you’re saying — or just in you — or maybe both!

You could try changing the topic, and when she’s still tilting her head, it’s a good sign.

4. She constantly “fixes” her hair, makeup, or clothing

She is constantly preening herself in front of you either by fixing her hair, adjusting her clothes, or retouching her makeup.

This is probably because she’s nervous and anxious about how she looks and she wants to look better for you.

This is a subconscious motion, meaning women do without realizing it when they’re attracted to a man.

5. She returns your physical touches

A way to test if she really likes you is to see how she reacts when you touch her.

Try lightly touching her arm or shoulder when you’re talking to her. If she touches you back, that’s a good sign!

If she backs away when you touch her, then she is not comfortable with you just yet. It could also mean she just wants to be friends, or she doesn’t see herself being into you that way.

6. She stares or looks over at you a lot

She’s looking at you, and you notice her, then she looks away. This is a good sign. It may mean that she’s attracted to you, but she doesn’t want you to know yet.

Alternatively, some women maintain eye contact with someone they’re attracted to and don’t shy away.

But if you pay attention to her pupils and they dilate (increase in size), it means she likes what she sees.

7. She blushes

A woman blushes when her adrenaline is triggered with extreme emotion and blood gets brought closer to the skin. The extreme emotion may be because of embarrassment, stress, or even because she’s attracted to a man.

When she is attracted to you, she will blush. She can’t fake it, either, because blushing is autonomic.

You could compliment her and see if she blushes. When she does, it is a good sign that she likes you.

8. She invades your personal space

A strong sign that a woman likes you is when she moves close to you. She finds pleasure in you being physically close and touching her.

Some of the solid signals that she might be into you are when she leans to whisper in your ear, or when she gets close to you and rubs her arm against yours.

9. She smiles a lot

If she smiles a lot when you are around — especially when you’re speaking — it means that you make her feel good. Thus, it is a good sign that she likes you.

There is a huge difference between a forced smile and a genuine smile, however. You can spot this easily because her eyes should also be smiling when she is genuinely smiling.

10. She points her feet toward you

Keep an eye on where her feet are positioned.

According to experts, the gesture of a woman’s feet is the most powerful form of body language. This is because you are not conscious of what your feet are doing.

Studies suggest that when a woman is pointing both feet toward you, it means she’s attracted and fully engaged. It’s also a sign that she’s relaxed and comfortable around you when her feet are farther away from her body and closer to yours.

However, she may not be interested when she is pointing her feet elsewhere or away from you, or when she crosses her feet or legs.

Reading body language is important because a body’s gesture does not lie.

Esther Bilbao helps mentor women to have better relationships, health, and personal development. For more information on how she can help you create a better love life for yourself, visit her website for a 30-day all-access pass for lessons from expert instructors.

 

A Sex Therapist Explains If It’s Normal To Sometimes Dread Initiating Sex

There may be weeks or months where you catch yourself wondering: Is it normal to never want to initiate sex? Sometimes, you have moments where you love your partner dearly (and might be able to show some PDA with ease), but you’re consistently not in the mood to follow through on sexy times. Of course, every person is different, and if you’ve never been the one in your relationship who’s always initiating sex, that might just be a personal preference. Still, it could be frustrating for you or your partner.

If you’re not feeling frisky a whole bunch these days, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone’s sex drive fluctuates over time. And just note: If you’re not 100 percent into having sex, you shouldn’t — if you can’t give enthusiastic consent, that’s a signal that you need to say no to sex.

Susan Segal, a sex therapist who’s seen individuals and couples for about 35 years, says there could be a number of reasons why you’re just not feeling it when it comes to initiating in the bedroom. Anything from your romantic and sexual histories to your body chemistry can be the reason you’ve been slow to get the ball rolling on sex. If you do find yourself being hesitant in the bedroom, there are a number of solutions you can look into that might be just the trick you need.

Your Relationship With Your Past

Alexey Kuzma / Stocksy

For one, Segal says, it could be your sexual history. Painful sex or traumatic events could be holding you at bay. In this case, speaking with a therapist to unpack unpleasant sexual experiences can go a long way.

A fear of being rejected might also hold you back from putting the moves on your partner. Have you ever been in a relationship where attempts to initiate sex were often shut down? If so, you still might be carrying those memories and concerns with you into this new partnership. Here, Segal recommends sitting your partner down and being explicit about what’s up.

When addressing situations like this, Segal has a saying: “Sex goes on between your ears.” That’s to say, you should take the mental and emotional — not just the physical — elements of sex into consideration. Talk to your partner about what’s going on inside that’s causing a roadblock.

Your Relationship With Your Partner, Romantically

Michela Ravasio / Stocksy

Another reason you might not want to initiate sex is because of unresolved beef. One roadblock can be a lack of intimacy or a lack of trust you have with your partner. Not wanting to take the reins on sex can also be a sign of unexpressed resentmentAnger doesn’t always have outward signs. Sometimes, it looks like withdrawing.

“People, when they’re not expressing their anger, tend to be withholding,” Segal says. “They don’t want to give the other person what they want. They don’t want to be close with that other person.”

So ask yourself: Has bae done anything that just pisses you off lately? If the answer is yes, it’s time to put on your grown-up undies and confront the situation head-on. Again, Segal recommends being upfront with your partner. Be honest. Say that you’re feeling resentful and withdrawn, and give them the reason why. That way, there’s a clear direction for the conversation, and you and bae can get to the bottom of the issue.

Your Relationship With Your Partner, Sexually

Bonnin Studio / Stocksy

Sometimes, reluctance to initiate sex with your partner simply comes down to knowing that it’s going to be boring — as harsh as that may sound.

“If someone’s going to do it — have sex the same way, all the time, which a lot of couples get into doing, like a habit — we get bored!” Segal says. “And even if each person is having an orgasm, it can still be boring.”

Chances are: If you’re more excited about Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming back than sex with your partner… you’re probably not going to bother. But there are loads of ways to spice up your sex life.

For starters, one pro-tip Segal suggests is sharing your sexual fantasies with your partner. Often, it’s something they can get in on or at least, get off to. But you’ll never know if you don’t take a leap a faith and talk to them about it.

“I suggest watching porn. I suggest making the fantasy — talking about them and acting some of them out. I suggest taking on different identities. I suggest carving out time for sex,” Segal lists. “A lot of couples get in the habit of just not making the time.”

Segal says some clients do turn their nose up at the idea of “scheduling sex.” Because, of course, adding “have sex” to your iCal might not be the sexiest move you’ve done. But at the end of the day, as Segal points out: If you’re not having sex with your partner (when you want to be) and this is what works, then that’s all that matters. Even if couples have to take a raincheck sometimes, Segal says, it’s a solid first step to finding their rhythm again.

Your Relationship With Your Body

Jovo Jovanovic / Stocksy

Sometimes, the dread comes from lack of body confidence or body dysmorphia.

“If someone doesn’t like their body, they’re not gonna want to be seen naked. They’re not gonna really feel good about themselves,” Segal says. “It can affect someone’s sexuality, even if they wanna have sex.”

In this case, Segal tells her clients to “get in touch with their body.” Sometimes, that looks like exercising. Sometimes, that looks like unfollowing social media accounts that affect your self-esteem, or making a vow to yourself to not drag your body or anyone else’s.

Another physiological reason could be low libido or low sex drive from hormonal imbalances. A specific diagnosis often will be hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Whether you’re assigned male or female at birth, your levels of testosterone or prolactin might be the reason you’re not in the mood in anymore.

Thyroid problems might be the root of these imbalances. The effects of hormonal birth control could also be to blame. If your reluctance toward initiating sex keeps up, Segal suggests talking to your doctor or getting blood work done.

Likewise, antidepressants can affect your sex drive, psychiatrist Grant Brenner told Elite Daily. If this might be the case, waiting it out sometimes works.

“Sometimes, when psychological and relationship issues improve for a couple, sexual satisfaction will improve as overall relationship quality improves,” Brenner said. “This is important because it highlights that even with some degree of antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction, couples may still enjoy healthy, active sex lives.”

If waiting doesn’t work out for you, Brenner recommended talking to your doctor, seeing a sex therapist, or, ultimately, switching medications to help address the issue.

Whichever combination of solutions you look into, it’s important that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t stress yourself out about how fast you can jumpstart your sex drive, how quickly fill up the intimacy gap, or how you’re going to perform in the bedroom. What’s most important is that you feel comfortable, safe, and satisfied with your partner and your sex life.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Be Instantly Irresistible With These 10 Body Language Tips

For every occasion, there’s always this one individual who seems to captivate everyone. Her smile lights up the room, people gather to talk to her, and you can’t help but be drawn to her. She may not be the prettiest person at the event, but something about her feels exciting and inviting.

Who is she? How is she able to appear so likeable to both men and women?

The answer is not in her choice of clothing or her witty remarks (although those are important, too). Her allure comes from her body language. Want to capture the audience the next time you walk into a party? Practice these 10 tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming instantly irresistible.

1. Have an open and relaxed posture.

Whether you’re standing, sitting, or walking, having the right posture not only makes you look charming, it also helps you to appear taller. If you’ve been slouching for a long time, there are plenty of easy exercises to fix your stance. It also helps to observe yourself using a full-length mirror. Sit, walk, and stand in front of it for about 5-10 minutes each day until you have the correct posture. This means:

  • Head straight and relaxed
  • Shoulders back
  • Abdomen in
  • Knees slightly bent

Once you have mastered good posture, you’ll find that you feel more comfortable and confident when facing people.

2. Smile with your eyes.

Your smile is one of your most potent weapons to instantly make you likeable. A genuine smile is supposed to reach your eyes, creating tiny crinkles that light up your face. This suggests that you are truly happy, and nothing is more attractive than a person who smiles like they mean it. According to research, smiling also alleviates stress and can influence your level of success.

Believe it or not, you can enhance your smile simply by practicing it every day! Face a mirror, take a deep breath, hold it, and slowly exhale before smiling. You’ll notice that you feel more relaxed and your smile looks genuine. Try this a couple more times until you feel confident!

3. Subtly mirror tiny movements.

Mirroring is a body language technique that successful people use to gain rapport. When done right, it should make you more likeable without much effort. It’s part of our psychology to respond positively to individuals who are like us. In fact, a baby’s body functions (like its heartbeat) sync with the mother even before birth.

Good mirroring begins by first observing the other person’s movements. Is he leaning forward? Crossing his legs? Nodding? Reflect these actions with your own body to quickly develop a bond of trust. This method has been proven numerous times in different experiments. So at your next party, watch people closely. Mirror their movements to connect better with any person in the room.

4. Use a quick touch on the forearm or shoulder.

Don’t underestimate the power of a quick pat on the back or a friendly touch on the arm. Unlike words, these are universally understood and can convey more meaning. For example, if you really like a person, you may lightly touch their arm during a conversation. Similar to mirroring, this builds rapport with people you meet. Remember not to overdo this though! Just a light tap is enough — never linger!

5. Maintain good eye contact.

There’s no doubt that making eye contact is one of the most powerful body language arsenals in your book. However, doing it wrong will make you look creepy. Combine this with tip #2: smile while making eye contact to instantly make yourself irresistible. Ten seconds is a safe time limit before looking elsewhere. Otherwise, you will trigger a person’s defense mechanism and make them feel uncomfortable.

6. Turn your body towards the person.

Also known as the “big baby pivot,” this involves turning your entire body towards another person. This body language trick got its name from the way most folks turn their attention to a baby. When being introduced to someone, make sure to give your undivided attention by pivoting your body towards them. This delivers the message that they’re special and you’re interested in them. True interest in another person makes you super irresistible in return!

7. Use open hand gestures.

The handshake that we practice today was, in fact, an early custom to prove that you’re not hiding any weapons. That’s why we have suspicions when people don’t show their hands. With this in mind, use gestures to make you the most memorable person in the room.

When conversing or speaking to a crowd, use certain hand gestures to create an impact. Here are a few:

  • Use your fingers when listing points
  • A solid fist means you’re determined
  • Make a sweeping motion to mean “everything”
  • Bring hands to your chest when talking about a personal experience

Consider your audience when using hand gestures. Remember: one sign could mean a world of difference in another culture, so use with caution!

8. Pause for a few seconds.

This is a subtle yet very effective part of your body language. You can implement quick pauses during conversations or speeches when:

  • You’re asked a difficult or personal question (this gives you enough time to think of a good answer)
  • You want to build a dramatic effect (pausing between statements is a sign that you’re about to deliver big news)
  • You want to create an air of mystery (particularly when coupled with a small smile)

Pausing is also great when used just before you smile. It shows that you’re not someone who gives it away so easily.

9. Nod to show confidence in opinion.

According to one study, nodding doesn’t necessarily mean that you agree with something. Rather, this simple action strengthens an already existing opinion. In a gathering for instance, nodding your head to the speaker reinforces whatever he or she is saying. This creates a connection between you two — even if you don’t really agree with everything they say. It’s also a sign that shows you’re paying attention.

10. Avoid fidgeting.

Feeling nervous during an important event? Need to calm your nerves before meeting with clients? If you want to be instantly irresistible, one of the things you should avoid is looking restless. If you have the habit of fiddling with your fingers when worried, it could signal to others that you’re insecure. Project an appealing aura by standing tall yet relaxed.

If you’re still feeling anxious, be sure to bring something familiar with you, like your favorite pen or necklace. These are usually called “comfort objects.” According to experts, carrying something you associate with good memories will help reduce anxiety. Look at it or hold it in your hand for a few seconds to remind you that everything’s going to be okay. Then, proceed to be your best, irresistible self!

 

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5 Weird Things Men Want In A Woman, According To Science

Who knew!?

What do men want? It’s a mystery — and will most likely remain a mystery. But that hasn’t stopped science from trying to discover the answer to this human attraction riddle.

On the one hand, every man has his own personal preferences. Qualities and traits that are most visually and sexually appealing to one man may not be considered as attractive to another.

However, research has found that there is one thing that’s common for many men: they tend to trust their first impressions, and those initial moments have a great impact their level of attraction to individual women.

Of course, there are women who master the art of making a good first impression with little to no effort, while some have to work a little bit harder.

To help you understand what guys want, here are 5 things science says men find particularly attractive in women.

1. Wearing very specific kinds of makeup

Some men claim that they prefer women without makeup because they look natural. But according to a survey conducted by the online dating Zoosk, out of 1,200 women who wore eye makeup in their profile photo, 139 were more likely to receive messages from men. Men were also more likely to want to meet a woman if she’s wearing lipstick in her profile photo.

However, women who tend to wear “darker” types of makeup were less likely to get asked out. So, even if men say they prefer women who looked “natural,” that means you can wear “natural”-looking makeup and still attract men. Also, men, it’s OK to admit that your girl looks good with the winged eyeliner and red lipstick.

2. Possessing the right waist-to-hip ratio

This preference has less to do with attractiveness and more on health and fertility.

“Evidence also shows that waist-to-hip ratio is a strong indicator of a woman’s estrogen levels, risk of obesity, and susceptibility to major disease such as diabetes, ovarian cancer, and heart disease,” says the article.

3. Wearing the color red

Red is the color of passion. So, it’s no wonder that men are so attracted to it.

In a study by psychologists from the University of Rochester, men were shown photos of different women in framed borders of either red or white and were asked how pretty they found the women.

Then they were shown the same photo with the women wearing either red or blue and asked how much money they would spend on a date with that woman. The women framed in red or wearing red were more likely to be found sexy and attractive, and the men more likely wanted to spend money on a date.

4. Having a kind attitude

A nice attitude always goes a long way.

In a study from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that a woman’s responsiveness to men’s needs and wants increased their attractiveness to men.

5. Speaking in a higher-pitched voice

Studies have shown that women tend to find deeper-voiced men attractive.

And the opposite is typically true for men, as some believe “[higher] voices signal reproductive fitness, femininity, and smaller body size.”

What do you think, ladies? Do you meet any of these qualities?

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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