Series 38: For the Love of You | Episode 04
YOU are More Than Beauty with Lexie & Lindsay Kite
We’re keeping the good vibes about body positivity going this week, drafting off our amazing episode with Dr. Hillary McBride last week about embodiment and moving into a conversation that asks us to go deeper with questions like: How do you feel about your body? How are you describing your body? The answers tell us whether we’re looking at our bodies as an outsider, or if we’ve been hiding our bodies because of long held body shame and self-objectification. And that’s what this For the Love You series is all about–to show each of us the power that lives within us, and in this particular episode, we’re encouraging all women to unwind themselves from the cultural and self made prison we’ve made of our bodies, so that we can take the steps to, as our guests so poignantly put it: “treat our bodies as an instrument for our use, for our experience, for our pleasure and joy–and not as an ornament for everybody else.” This conversation with authors Lexie and Lindsay Kite brings some new wrinkles (yes, we’re embracing that word!) to the way we think about body shame, how deeply ingrained it is from sources we might not even imagine (mothers, grandmothers, friends) and how money is the bottom line as to why we’re errantly taught to objectify ourselves so that we’ll buy into the solutions, ideas, and products that will fix our many flaws. These sisters are the authors of the book, More than a Body, and are changing the game when it comes to self-love for women who have been inundated with harmful messages about what beauty is all about.
Hey everybody, Jen Hatmaker here. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast. Absolutely delighted that you’re here today. Thanks for hitting play on this one. Because right now we’re in a series called For the Love of You. Laura and Amanda and I and our teams have just been talking at length about where we want the podcast to go, what series we are really hungry for, what we think is needed in our community, what is a shared pain point. And over and over and over again, this topic comes up. This is just something that literally every one of us deals with. And it’s this idea of how we feel about our bodies. This whole massively complex notion of body image.
For most of us, at least at some point, if not still, it has been a major source of frustration, pain, suffering. For as long as we can remember, really, we were conditioned to feel this way about ourselves. We were not born this way. And we’re going to talk about this, we were not born this way. We’re not born hating the way that we looked, or having some sort of idealized image that we were trying to fit, we were taught it. And we were taught it for a reason. We were taught it because it’s profitable.
So with social media, every commercial, every movie, every magazine, of course, telling us that we have to look a certain way to be loved, to be accepted, that we need to fight aging with everything in us. It’s just no surprise that it is really hard for us to learn to love the body that we’ve been given. This has been work that I have engaged in. I feel like in a kind of intentional way for about five years, maybe. I think I was just tired of hating myself. I mean I was just exhausted of spending this much mental energy and engaging yet another stupid fad diet or some dumb thing or some thing that doesn’t even make sense just in order to hit some size or some look. I think I’ve just got tired of it. And it felt mean.
It felt really mean to hate my body when she has been with me every single second of my life. I’ve written about this in Fierce. I wrote a chapter on what I was learning about embodiment and how to feel about my body. That’s why I always tell you that Dr. Hillary McBride taught me to call my body as she or a her because she is me, not just some externalized container for somebody else to look at, but she is me. And I wrote this whole chapter in Fierce about how my body has given me every good experience I’ve ever had. Every good thing I’ve ever seen with my eyes or tasted with my mouth or felt in my arms or heard with my ears, my body has given me a beautiful life.
I think I was just tired of being mean to her. I think I was tired of feeling like I was at war with her instead of loving her for all that she’s done, for all that she’s overcome, for all the places she has carried me and sustained me. I love this quote, you guys, “Positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good. It’s knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks.” Isn’t that powerful? That’s the mission of my guests today, Lexie and Lindsey Kite. They are twin sisters. They are co-authors of the book More Than a Body. They are co-directors of their nonprofit called Beauty Redefined. And their research has been cited in the New York Times, CNBC, Boston Globe, Teen Vogue, on and on.
Their goal is to help women reject the harmful effects of objectification in our lives through social media reach, through their online Body Image Resilience course. We’re going to talk about what they mean by body image resilience. It’s pretty powerful. And, of course, all their speaking engagements too. And so this conversation is really important. And they are really wise, these are really, really wise thinkers and leaders here. I just was kind of hanging on to their every word as they talked. They’re very animated and they’re so easy to listen to, because they’re just pulling you in with constant hope in a different way, in a different story, in a different narrative.
I think one that we’re all really, really hungry for, and they make it possible and within reach that we can tamp down body shame and fear and triggers and reconnect with our body in a way that is healthy and good, and the way that we were really always meant to live. This is the good stuff, you guys. It really is. This is the real work we’re putting in today so that we can love ourselves, love our bodies as a part of who we are and the way in which we get to experience this world. Both of these girls are incredibly credentialed. Together, they went through their masters and their PhD programs. This is where their research has been centered and located.
I think, in my opinion, because I’m doing this work too, I’m consciously doing this work right now to make peace with my own body. I think they’ve got a real missing piece of the conversation, something that I don’t actually hear in some other work around this discussion. It feels liberating, and fresh, and new and possible. If you have ever felt at war with your own body, if you hate the mirror, if you are so mean to your own self or obsessed with body thoughts, this is your episode today, you guys. These are two incredible leaders and I’m so pleased to share my conversation with the smart and wonderful Lexie and Lindsay Kite.
Books & Resources Mentioned in This Episode
by Lindsay Kite Phd & Lexie Kite PhD
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XO – Team Jen