Women ~ We criticize ourselves 8 times per day? Why?

Health experts warn of dangerous trend as survey finds women self-criticise eight times a day

I’m guilty of this, perhaps not to the degree of eight times per day, but more than I would like.  When my eating disorder was at its worse a few years ago, I was fanatical with my body image, pausing in front of store windows, any type of mirror accessible, weighing myself two or three times per day.  I knew this wasn’t normal, but I was ill and anorexic.

While focusing on my body image at the Eating Disorder Program, I became more mindful about why this obsession was so essential to me, who was I striving to please and was I more contented now that I dropped all of the weight? 

No, I was fucking miserable now! Thinner, yet depressed. Who was I trying to please? My mother ~ I could never have pleased her anyways.  It was an eye-opener, yet it has taken years and I’m still in therapy trying to deal with the impact of her harsh abuse.  I have recovered from the eating disorder, yet I still have setbacks with “looking fat” and glancing in mirrors, but less often.  The lack of self-confidence/self-esteem I still struggle with and it still follows me.

An article appearing on News.com.au written by Sophie Aubrey, (News Corp Australia Network) writes:

HEALTH experts warn women’s impulse to criticise their own bodies is dangerously intensifying after a new study found the average woman puts herself down at least eight times each day.

Social media has been blamed for driving a widespread increase in self-judgment as the survey of 2000 British women revealed one in seven were slagging themselves off frequently through the day. And many are berating themselves first thing in the morning, with half of those quizzed confessing to doing so by 9.30am.

Criticisms around appearance and weight are most prevalent, encompassing 13 of the 20 most common put-downs in the Weight Watchers study.

Being negative about one’s earnings, creativity and organisation skills, as well as deflecting compliments, also made the list.

Sydney psychologist and founder of Treat Yourself Well Louise Adams said women’s dissatisfaction with their looks acted like a constant nagging voice “from the minute they open our eyes and think about what they’re going to wear”. To make matters worse, most women were not even aware they were thinking such damaging thoughts, Ms Adams said.

“Lots of my clients are really familiar (with the narrative) but had never thought of it as self-judgment. They thought of it as the truth, and that’s really scary,” she said.

Worryingly, two-fifths of survey respondents said they never complimented themselves on a typical day and nearly 90 % said they wouldn’t criticise others the way they did themselves. Ms Adams said social media, with its portrayal of ‘body perfection’, when paired with the a person’s instinct to self-judge, brewed a “perfect storm”.

“We now have a whole new way of being in a world that’s even more focused on appearance, all the time,” she said, encouraging people to undergo a social media detox.

She warned the habit of self-criticism could be crippling in day-to-day life because it led women to resort to skip public outings, avoid clothes shopping and jeopardise their love life. And more dangerously, she stressed there was a strong link between self-judgment and eating disordered behaviour.

She said men suffered from the same compulsion to be self-critical to a lesser extent, but cautioned that body dysmorphia was on the rise among males.

Ms Adams, who runs a treatment program to beat self-judgment, said the way to escape the damaging mindset was to ditch it for a focus on self-compassion and a desire for your own wellbeing.

“It takes work, first you have to recognise how you’re talking to yourself and recognise it as judgment, and then push back on it with a voice that’s calmer and caring,” she said. “It’s about getting out of what’s like an abusive relationship with yourself, and becoming your own best friend.”

I thought this was a truly sad image, yet an important message. It may all begin as a child when a narcissistic parent continually criticizes you about your weight and body image. Either way, developing an eating disorder or body image obsession, may be the outcome in later years. IMO.


  1. Weight
  2. Appearance
  3. Career
  4. Finances
  5. Relationship


  1. You’re too fat/overweight

  2. Your hair is a mess

  3. Your belly looks big

  4. You don’t do enough exercise

  5. Feeling scruffy next to other women

  6. Not earning enough money

  7. You say you are having a ‘fat day’

  8. Not wearing certain items of clothing because you think you can’t pull it off

  9. You wish you were as photogenic as other women on social media

  10. You deflect compliments by saying something negative about yourself

  11. You worry people are talking about you behind your back

  12. Feeling underdressed

  13. I’m not stylish enough

  14. You don’t have sex with your partner enough

  15. You aren’t as creative as other women

  16. Your bum looks big

  17. You aren’t as organised as other women

  18. You don’t spend as much time with your friends as you should

  19. You’re not wearing enough make-up

  20. You aren’t attractive to your partner

See remainder of article showing video @


13 thoughts on “Women ~ We criticize ourselves 8 times per day? Why?

  1. bp7o9 says:

    That photo is very shocking. Very powerful. I found it difficult to look at. And I can also say yes to just about everything you listed above. One of the most disgusting things I’ve seen recently was an ad at an IMAX theater. It was body shaming in your face; the message, the music, the gyrations of the woman in her underwear. All needless.


    • cherished79 says:

      You nailed it, the photo is shocking and I debated whether to post it or not, yet I did to make people aware how it stems from childhood, negative thoughts of their body image. When I was that girl’s age (in the early 60’s) there wasn’t so much emphasis (in my part of the world) focused on body image, yet as I began my teenage years, my own mother was criticizing me daily about my weight.

      A real eye-opener was to see the pain and tears in those young women’s eyes at the Eating Disorder Program, struggling to recover from their disorder. I really appreciate your comment, thanks. Deb

      Liked by 1 person

      • bp7o9 says:

        I grew up in the 70s. Correction: I grew up FAT in the 70s. I was pelted with body shaming from an early age. And the girl in that picture looks very much like me.

        I’ve spent a lot of time examining my feelings over my body. My focus has been on physical activity over diet, which is the opposite of what my mother preached (and she NEVER shed her extra weight). I’ve been able to maintain my size much more successfully than she ever did. However. I’m guilty of meal skipping. I’ve been accused of having an eating disorder. I honestly don’t know if I do or not.

        Kudos for working with the eating disorder group. I wish you much success.


        • cherished79 says:

          Thank you so much. The eating disorder prog. helped in making me aware of the body image issue, however, I still sometimes struggle with having a weight (overweight) issue most of my life, then suddenly losing a great deal, and coming to terms with an eating disorder. It all stemmed from my mother’s fixation on body image, wishing she had used her energy and focussed more on her love for me instead of trying to improve my appearance.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Sometimes I wonder if there are any redeeming factors in social media…all these mixed messages and pressures. So sad.


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