“Women average 13 negative thoughts about their body each day”
Dr. Felicia Clark
Dr. Veronica Anderson, Host, Functional Medicine Specialist and Medical Intuitive interviews Dr. Felicia Clark about how to learn to love your body and feel beautiful.
Do you dislike your body? Dr. Felicia Clark is a leading body acceptance coach and the founder of Body Peace University. She teaches the math and science of healthy relationships and how women can reclaim their feminine energy.
In this episode, Felicia talks about the reasons why most women dislike their body and practical ways to like your body again. She’ll also talk about the body image issues with between men and women including if health and beauty should even be commingled. Listen to the end to hear about the body piece retreat you must attend.
Listen to episode 63 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.
63: Show Notes
Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links:
I Like My Body – Dr. Felicia Clark
01:51 – Suffering as a woman
05:40 – Dislocating knew when running
08:20 – Finding body peace university
09:45 – Negative thoughts about your body
10:50 – Men & women body image issues
12:20 – Should health and beauty be commingled?
13:23 – Why women don’t feel beautiful
14:56 – How to like your body?
24:39 – Body piece retreat
Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex, and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives.
If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalog visit drveronica.com for instant access. Here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.
Dr. Veronica: I’m Dr. Veronica, medical doctor, medical intuitive, bringing you ways to change your life and change your health on Wellness for the Real World. You will always hear an interesting guest with a different perspective, and how you can do life a little bit differently. Stop following the crowd. Stop being like the lemmings and going off the cliff. Follow your heart and learn to love yourself.
Now, let’s talk about our bodies. You only get one of them in this lifetime. In this particular lifetime you only get one of them. You have all different sizes, shapes, and colors. And we all aspire to whatever we’re aspiring to, but looking like a supermodel.
I always wanted to look like a supermodel but the creator just didn’t have it come out that way. Here I am. I had to suffer through a life of going to an Ivy League school and becoming a doctor. And so here I am, instead of being a supermodel I’m here on Wellness for the Real World.
I put it like suffer because as a woman we go through a lot of suffering with our body. And I’ve been through that type of suffering to, not just with an illness. And I’ve been really just blessed by the universe not to have any type of major illness thus far in my life. I’ve had a major injury which I’ve had surgery for, but besides that it’s been good for me in my body.
In addition I’m strong. And most people would say… I remember one time I was in the locker room. You know I’m an eye surgery by training. So I used to do surgery and I changed in the locker room. One day I’m in the locker room with some of the other women there, because it’s the women’s locker room. The woman looks at me, she was sitting on the couch on the other side. I’m changing my clothes, taking off my scrubs. “Wow, you have such a beautiful body.”
I’m looking at me and it’s okay, but I’m not a supermodel. My thighs are too big. My butt’s too big. I’ve got stretch marks. My arms are this. I could tell you every single perceived flaw about my body at that moment in time. And across the room that woman looks at me and says, “You have such a beautiful body.”
This might sound like I’m bragging but I’m telling you this story because I want to tell you what was going on in my head before somebody said this to me. It didn’t stop at that moment. This is going on in my head that my body’s not good enough. Then the other women in the locker room said, “Oh wow, you’re just perfect. You look like everything’s perfect on you.”
I never consider myself perfect. And I can tell you my dislike of my body started when I was five or six, and I was on the swim team. I’m in a community where it’s a very multicultural, multiracial community, but not mostly people who look like me necessarily all the time. And so I thought my body’s not shaped like theirs. It’s not small enough or skinny enough. And I used to remember looking down at my thighs that are ample, and looking over at somebody else’s that were thin.
This goes back to childhood of feeling like I’m not where I should be. Think about this, other people looked at me and thought, “You have the perfect shape.” And this is well into adulthood and towards middle life when I went to China and I was getting some custom clothes made.
The guy who’s the Chinese Taylor was putting the clothes on me and fitting them. And I’m standing there pretty much in my underwear. And all of a sudden he makes the gesture of approval with an hourglass shape. And I realized that he thought my body was the way it was supposed to be. But still at this point I’ve not accepted the way my body looks.
I’ve been it for all these years and it’s always never felt like it’s been the way exactly that I wanted. But what happened to me? I’d like to keep myself as in shape as I possibly can keep myself in shape. And sometimes I can be extreme about that.
And so one day I went out running when I didn’t feel like going out running, and I tripped and fell. And I tore up my knee so bad. I dislocated my knee, detached tendon, and I hurt myself. I tripped and fell and hurt myself so bad.
Now, from an intuitive standpoint, when you have a lot of injuries and you hurt yourself, because I used to bump and be clumsy. And my husband used to laugh at me because I bump into things and hit my head. He used to tell me how clumsy I was. And people who are accident prone like that tend to have problems with themselves and don’t like themselves, so they tend to have a lot of accidents and injuries.
I hadn’t had major anything but I’ve had those little mishaps here and there. I bumped my head, hit my arm, bruise here. And finally I really hurt myself because I wasn’t happy with me. When I had a spiritual advisor at that time and we talked about this all of a sudden I realized that I’m me. I’m happy. I’m healthy. I have a body that a lot of people love. Why am I not loving it? And I need to start loving it.
And that’s the time. After sitting on that couch waiting for my knee to mend it back together that I learned to love body no matter what. And so now, guess what guys, I’m ready to do the nude calendar, not because I want to offend people, but I’m ready to do the nude calendar. And here I am, in midlife, and I want to get together a bunch of other women who feel good about where they are at the particular place and time. And we’re going to do that nude calendar. Because god made me this way and now I feel really good about it.
I’m going to bring on my guest who helps people learn to love their body no matter what’s going on in their body. Dr. Felicia Clark is the founder of Body Peace University. Her website drfeliciaclark.com. I want to make sure you all hear that. She’s been just all over the place, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Fox News, U.S. News & World Report, multiple radio stations. Her Body Peace University will help you get where I am, and maybe you could be in my nude calendar. We’ll take on the world. Dr. Felicia Clark, welcome to Wellness for the Real World.
Dr. Felicia: Thank you Dr. Veronica. Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Veronica: Tell me, how did you come to find or found Body Peace University?
Dr. Felicia: I’ve worked in several professions and it just seems all paths led to founding of Body Peace University. Professionally I’m a math textbook developer. And because I love mathematics I always read data. And I’ve had jobs where it was my job to read statistical reports, financial reports, and trends, and make recommendations to companies. And while I was doing those jobs and also writing curriculums I was a model for the top agency in the country.
I would read a lot about the beauty industry, the financial forecasting for the beauty industry, different areas of beauty industry. And I started noticing patterns and trends. And it finally clicked that you can just really see how the beauty industry has just become more and more predatory towards women, but more so in recent years. And I just started studying that more and more. I just noticed the trend. It got worst. And as I studied this I learned that there’s a correlation between predatory beauty standards and when they’re gaining power.
Dr. Veronica: Interesting. You listened to me telling my story about how I feel like I started feeling inadequate in my body practically upon entering elementary school. The first time I became aware I was aware. And the first time I can remember noticing my body was sitting at the pool when I was looking down at my thighs and looking over somebody else’s.
Remember whose thighs I was looking at, but I realized that mine looked big and hers didn’t look big. And I don’t even remember who I was looking at at that point. Is this something that you find that’s common?
Dr. Felicia: Absolutely. Sadly it’s very common. In fact women average 13 negative thoughts about their body each day. For younger girls there’s been studies done that show children in first through three grades that 50% of the girls want to be on a diet. This is before their bodies even develop. This is before they filled out, and they feel too fat already. And we know that eating disorders will come from this population a little later. It is tough.
Dr. Veronica: Why is this so prevalent among women versus men? I have sons and I don’t remember… I have to ask my sons about this. We’ve never quite had this discussion but I noticed in the gym, you’ll see a guy, he ain’t looking all that hot but yet he’s admiring himself in the mirror. And you see women who look fabulous for just working out. And you see the guy, he’s saying, “Oh boy, I look sexy.”
And I remember my sons being young and saying, “I’m sexy.” What is the difference between boys and girls especially at this young age? Is it the media? What’s causing this? I don’t even remember having media influences at that age.
Dr. Felicia: Men do have body image issues, but historically that hasn’t held them back from success. For females traditionally we survived off of our physical appearance on some level. And ingrained in our DNA there is a correlation between beauty and survival because you have to mate in order for the species to survive. So you do need to be beautiful enough to attract a mate, or the species doesn’t survive.
However, that standard of beauty is very low. If you’ve had sex once in your life you’ve been selected for mating and the species can survive. You’re pretty enough for the species to survive if you’ve ever been propositioned for sex ever.
This extreme manipulation of, “I won’t survive unless I’m more beautiful,” it is all done to drive the economy. And there are more billion dollar industries that are financially dependent on women changing their looks than on men changing their looks.
Dr. Veronica: So you say health and beauty shouldn’t be co-mingled. Why do you say that?
Dr. Felicia: Absolutely not. Health is what’s needed to stay alive. And every species has sort of an internal compass to lead them towards health. And historically in the natural world the look of someone making the right choices looks visually pleasing. And so that’s what we call beauty.
But in the modern world we’ve sort of hijacked beauty and put all these standards with it that have nothing to do with health. But they sort of hijack that wiring in our brain saying, “If you don’t look this way you’re not healthy,” when in fact you destroy your health often to achieve the beauty standards. Modern world beauty standards are about control not health.
Dr. Veronica: Controlled by usually men and not women who are doing all this. Women spend all this time grooming and we still don’t feel beautiful. What’s going on there?
Dr. Felicia: Again, the economy is financially dependent on women not feeling beautiful enough. Statistics show that men average a little over four hours per week on grooming. And women average a little more than seven hours per week on grooming. It’s not quite double but it’s very close to what women spend on grooming.
And so when you look at the way that women are trying to groom ourselves it consumes our time with complex grooming standards. It consumes our wealth. Women already earn less, and we’re consuming our wealth on beauty. And what we’re taught is that we should invest in our beauty and we’ll get the better social position, when in fact you’re actually reducing your net worth. There’s an opportunity cost where you’re not out thriving and succeeding because you’re home grooming.
We’re actually paying in many, many ways to look more beautiful, but then magic never happens. And so that’s why it never works. They’ll say, “It’s your lipstick color. Go buy more. You need plastic surgery. Go get that.” And the magic never happens so I need more and better, when really as you said, you have to have a psychological shift and a spiritual shift.
And so I developed a seven step process to do that. And step one is you have to make the decision to like your body. You’ve been trying to dislike your body. You’ve been taught to dislike your body so you can be taught to like your body.
Dr. Veronica: How do you like your body when you’re not conforming, or you don’t perceive yourself as conforming to a particular standard? Here we are. It’s USA. Here comes another Dr. Veronica story. I got to share my personal experience. Because this is very enlightening for people.
Here we are. We’re in the United States of America. You guys all know I’m an Africa-American woman. We’re not necessarily considered the standard of beauty unless we happen to be somebody who’s mulatto-type looking. But then on the other side they’ll get somebody who’s very African looking. The ones that are kind of in between like me, you may think I’m kind of cute but I’m okay. But I’m not the standard.
Why do I talk about that? I talk about it because my husband is from West Africa. We go to West Africa. I share with you my 23andMe genetic profile, which I just got back a little while ago told me that I was 89% West African, which I never knew before.
It’s difficult in this country for people of Africa descent when you’ve come through the slavery lines to know exactly what you are, and the way people mix and mingle in this country, and the way it happened during that. I know you guys just say, “Shut up. We don’t want to hear anything about slavery. But you’re all listening to my show so you’re going to hear how it really is.”
I go back to West Africa with my husband. I turn on the TV and I watch the music videos. How enlightening it was, because the women in the music videos… You know when music videos, when they get women in, these aren’t the women that they consider unattractive. They’re the women that are considered attractive.
First of all nobody’s skinny. Everybody is more voluptuous. And in fact there’s no six packs. Women actually have stomachs that are what we could all here muffin tops. And these are women in the video shaking everything, with skimpy clothes, turning around. This is the standard.
All of a sudden I go there and I felt like I got it going on. I probably was relatively small and not voluptuous enough compared to the women that were in the video, completely different standard of what’s considered attractive when you look at that.
And so I think part of what’s going on in this country is that, yes, we’re being way manipulated by the media. And it’s not just African American women or women of African descent that are having this issue, for instance there are the Italians… something that’s not the wispy model is or whatever it is of the day that also feel the same way that I feel. And even those women who are the models that you see on the front of the magazines, you start talking to them and they feel bad about themselves too. Is that true?
The standard of beauty we have to realize… And it changes from time to time. When Marilyn Monroe was considered beautiful, now she would be considered obese. And this one of the women that we all look at as a beauty icon. She would never get on the front of a magazine now except as probably a plus size model. And then people say, “She’s not really a model because she’s a plus.”
I had a friend who works in the fashion industry say when somebody was plus size. “That’s not really fashion. You can’t call somebody plus size really fashion.” We need to get out of this. Three simple steps. Step one is…
Dr. Felicia: As I mentioned you just have to decide to like your body. In my journal you go body part by body part. And I rather you think of yourself holistically but as a starting place decide to like your eyes, decide to like your nose, decide to like your lips. I start from the top all the way down to your toes, and then to your internal organs because they are under attack as well.
Also personality, features that are natural to the feminine, we’re taught to not like those either. We’re not supposed to like our emotions, a bunch of things that we’re always supposed to fix. And that sounds crazy but there’s a whole medication industry teaching us not to be emotional for that is problematic. Step one is just make a decision.
Step two, assign honorable names to each body part of your body overall. What we do is say, “I got thunderous eyes, or too much junk in the trunk.” I refer to my hip structure… I’m a full figured woman. I have the stomach [Unintelligible 00:20:00] and full hips, and I say that I have a goddess hip structure. That’s how I would describe myself.
Dr. Veronica: You do. Now let’s talk about that for one second before we go on to the third step when you say you have a goddess structure. You realize that women who have that build are more what’s called estrogen dominant. They have more estrogen. Now, it can be really exaggerated and extreme. You can have too much which can cause health problems ultimately. And it doesn’t just mean because somebody looks overweight that they have these problems. You can’t necessarily say that.
I’m telling that people from a state, you need to understand that everybody who’s built a certain way doesn’t have these problems. But the shape that is more estrogen dominant with a little bit smaller waist, and the hips and thighs were meant to be like that. Estrogen is how we go on and what’s considered attractive in women. If you don’t have the hips, thighs, and the shape, then that’s less attractive. There’s actually an ideal for attractiveness that men are attracted to more. They’ve studied this, an ideal waist to hip ration.
Even women who are larger may be considered fabulously attractive because they have that right waist to hip ratio. And here’s another part of this, women are harsher on other women than the men are harsher on us.
Dr. Felicia: That is true.
Dr. Veronica: We’re just crazy. We just talk about each other. We’re ridiculous. Number one is accept, number two is…
Dr. Felicia: Assign an honorable name.
Dr. Veronica: Number three is…
Dr. Felicia: You choose a certain part of your body and the beauty [Unintelligible 00:21:59]. I want to spend a lot of time here because this is huge. It’s what you alluded to earlier that women are spending all this time grooming. Be strategic about that. I have a whole curriculum called The Goddess Makeover.
What is appealing to men, what’s appealing to children, what’s appealing to society is beauty is nurturing. If you think of your mother there’s something on her that feels warm. And she looks beautiful because that part of her nurtured you, whether if it’s the beauty standard or not.
Beauty is intended to be nurturing. What do you like to put into service? I don’t mind expressing beauty with my eyes. I do mind expressing beauty with my hands. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t like sitting in the salon. It’s not my thing. I will do it sometimes but as an everyday thing I don’t want to do that.
You pick things, and there’s a strategic way to pick them out. As a model you know how to create an effect. And so there’s a strategic way to tag just three things. There’s 20 traditional beauty standards on the female body, 20 things that women really spend a lot of time and money on. And some women try to do them all and you go crazy.
If you just pick three of those things you’re going to be captivating to a man who’s into the things that you like, and that’s a good match. If a man wants hands and fingernails I’m not the one for him. It’s not my thing. I don’t want to do it. I won’t enjoy it.
But if he likes eyes, if he likes feminine dress, I can wear dresses every day, and I like that. I prefer that. The men who like that, that’s a better match for me, instead of doing some elaborate thing with my hands and then he likes that, and I don’t like that. It depletes me.
Dr. Veronica: You got to figure out the right beauty… Pick a few that you can do well that work for you.
Dr. Felicia: There’s a science to it. And it’s not hard. It’s 15 minutes. I teach my clients, you create your goddess makeover. And then as you aligned your wardrobe, align colors. You need one colored lipstick and I could help you find that. You can get ready in 15 minutes and somebody will find you captivating. Not everybody because that’s where you’re going to lose. You don’t find everyone attractive. Everyone’s not going to find you attractive. But if you follow the goddess makeover you’re going to see everybody there’s a certain core of men that will find you captivating because in nature and biology that’s the way it works.
Dr. Veronica: Tell us a little bit about the Body Peace Retreat before we get to the end of our segment.
Dr. Felicia: Sure. With Body Peace University we have a Body Peace Retreat. This one’s going to be this year it’s September 22 through September 25. It’s near Atlanta, Georgia. We’ll be at a retreat place outside of Atlanta. And we’re having it on the autumn equinox on purpose.
One of the reasons why women don’t like our bodies is because we don’t live cyclically. And we’re supposed to be cyclical. And we know that. We have a cycle. Our bodies are on a cycle. So you really need to slow down and celebrate the change of seasons, or honor them and feel it in your body.
So that’s why we’re having it on the equinox, on September 22nd will start. And we’ll have a special womb blessing. Your womb energy is key to liking your body, and you’ll learn more about that. And it’s okay even if you’ve lost your womb, you still have a womb space.
Dr. Veronica: You read my mind. I was like, “What if you don’t have a womb anymore?” I have a womb audience. I’m just letting you know. I was wondering, what about those women that don’t have a womb?
We’ve been listening to Dr. Felicia Clark, founder of Body Peace University, was with a top modeling agency, a voluptuous, beautiful woman. She has also a book, I Like My Body: A 52 – Week Journal to Honor and Appreciate My Body. You need a journal, and step-by-step I tell you, one little change at a time can transform your life, your body, your everything else.
Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit drveronica.com. See you all next week. Take care.
Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.