In this episode, I am speaking with Lauren Geertsen about breaking free from the western world’s impossibly unrealistic and unhealthy standards of beauty and living a free, authentic life instead.
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Lauren and I discuss:
- How subconscious, unrealistic beliefs about what women “should” look like can ause self-destructive and unhealthy behaviors
- How fear of aging causes a disconnect with your body
- To what extent can we trust our intuition in seeking our best health outcomes?
- What marketing of beauty products has done to women’s self-image
- Why loving yourself is far more important than seeking approval from others
- Lauren’s top 4 tips for self-empowerment
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Ari Whitten: Hey there. This is Ari. Welcome back to The Energy Blueprint Podcast. With me today is Lauren Geertsen who is an author and body connection coach. She’s the author of The Invisible Corset: Break Free from Beauty Culture and Embrace Your Radiant Self and she’s the founder of empoweredsustenance.com, a website which has supported over 40 million people with holistic health resources. Oh, I’ll do that one more time.
The invisible corset women wear today
She’s the author of The Invisible Corset: Break Free from Beauty Culture and Embrace Your Radiant Self and founder of empoweredsustenance.com, a website, which has supported over 40 million people with holistic health resources. Her coaching program Food Without Fear helps women heal the spiritual root causes of lifelong food and weight problems. I’m very excited for this episode.
It’s going to be especially relevant to anybody who has been indoctrinated into beauty culture, which I think most people, at least in America and much of the Western world have been. I think this will be very insightful. First of all, the title of your book is The Invisible Corset: Break Free from Beauty Culture and Embrace Your Radiant Self. What is this invisible corset that you are referring to?
Lauren Geertsen: The invisible corset is a set of beliefs that women have adopted, and we don’t know that these beliefs are running our minds. They’re programming, subconscious and unconscious programming, and these beliefs make women as uncomfortable and restricted in our bodies as traditional corsets once did. Traditional corsets restricted our movement, changed our bone structure, gave us all these kinds of health problems. We could see those whalebone corsets. It was easier to take them off.
Nietzsche says something about, “Invisible ties are the hardest to cut,” and that’s what we’re dealing with now with these beliefs that keep women so restricted and held back from their true selves and from their health, and I wrote the book so women can see those beliefs and get themselves free.
Ari: Excellent. Let’s talk about what some of those beliefs are. What does this consist of? What would a belief system or worldview or self-view, if I can use that term, I don’t know if that’s a word that anybody uses.
Lauren: Oh, like a self-term?
Ari: Self-view, like worldview but self-view. That is what would be considered this invisible corset that’s restricting women in particular? Obviously, it’s women, especially, but would you say that it’s only women?
Lauren: That’s a great question. I see these beliefs as impacting all human beings because they come down to how we’ve been indoctrinated to interact with our bodies. As I believe we’re spiritual beings, having a human experience and that pertains to men and women, but I specifically wrote the book for women because we get the brunt of messages around you must change your body, to look a certain way in order to have love and success in life, but yes, there’s a lot of this book that will apply to men.
The five main strings of the corset, these main beliefs, they’re fear, domination, disconnection, mechanization, and coercion, and I can break these down a little bit. Should I do that?
Ari: Yes, please. Tell me them one more time. Fear, domination.
Lauren: Disconnection, mechanization, and coercion.
How fear dictates our behavior
Ari: Yes, let’s get into each one of those.
Lauren: The fear, that is the string most women can recognize, especially in my coaching work, women will tell me, “I just hate my body, Lauren, and I don’t know how not to, and I don’t know how to fix this hate.” It’s not a hate problem. It’s a fear problem. The root of all hate is fear. When we hate another person or a group of people it’s because we fear them due to a lack of understanding and a lack of communication.
Talk about political experiences in the world right now where there’s so much hate and division, it comes down to subconscious fear. The same is true in the relationship with our bodies. Women in particular, through heavy-duty, propaganda and advertising, we’ve been taught to fear the natural truthful expression of our human bodies. We’ve been taught to fear our aging process, and that’s why so many women are– I call it age dysmorphia. This belief that the natural expression of our age is something to hide.
It’s why so many women are getting botulism toxin injected into their bodies. That’s crazy to think about it, the programming is that intense. We’re afraid of body fat. I come from a nutrition background and I healed myself with holistic nutrition. I truly believe that the power of how we can turn around incurable illnesses, how health is not only the avenue to freedom in our life, but spiritual awakening, but on the flip side, this obsession with chasing weight loss in very unhealthy ways in order to feel happy with ourselves, that comes from fear and it leads us down some bad paths there.
We’re afraid of our body’s intuition as well. We’re taught to cut ourselves off from our emotions, from our intuition. Pharmaceutical propaganda has a lot to do with this, and I do talk in my book about we’re taught to medicate our emotions, the natural spectrum of human emotions, based on a false theory of brain chemical imbalance that’s propagated by the pharmaceutical industry to make money. That creates more fear of our natural emotion experience. There’s a lot there, a lot that we’ve been taught to fear.
How we own rather than partner with our bodies
Ari: Absolutely. We could spend a lot of time, we could probably spend the whole hour on just that topic, but let’s go into the next one, domination.
Lauren: Domination, this about how we have a paradigm of ownership over our body rather than partnership. Ownership is coming from a place of entitlement. I have the right to force my body to look a certain way or to behave or act a certain way and we can often have this mental paradigm in relationship with other people too. If we grew up in a family where our parents had an ownership with us, then we normalize that way of relating to other beings around us, including our own bodies.
Whereas partnership is instead of being a hierarchical situation, it’s we’re on the same playing field, and it’s the concept that by listening to our bodies, instead of trying to force cultural values on our bodies we can heal ourselves. We can find freedom. We can find ease and joy and peace. Does that make sense?
Ari: Yes, it does. Absolutely.
Lauren: The beautiful thing about doing this work, when you heal that relationship with your body, you learn that partnership mode, you start to bring that into your other relationships in your life, and you start to recognize where other people are having ownerships with you, and you’re like, “Oh, that’s not healthy. I’m not going to tolerate that anymore.”
Lauren: The big ripple effects.
Why we are disconnected from ourselves and our intuition
Lauren: Disconnection is that going deeper around this topic of we’re disconnected from our intuition, from our sixth sense. If we look at ancient and indigenous cultures, when I was doing my nutrition training, I really focused and appreciated the work of Weston A. Price, he looked at all these indigenous cultures. They all intuitively landed on the optimal way to nourish the human body even if their diets varied based on where the people were living and what food was available. How did they do that? They didn’t need science.
They didn’t need studies and test tubes and measuring minerals. They did it because they were that in touch with their body’s needs, but also they were that in touch with the communication that happens between the natural world and the human body. One interesting thing that I learned in this process was that in all ancient cultures, the shamans, the tribal healers, they medicine people, they made their plant medicines because the plants would literally tell them the healing they had to offer humanity. That’s how we were using willow bark for pain relief way before we could actually like study that in a test tube, the chemical components of aspirin. There are so many examples of that, now modern science is proving what we could feel. That’s disconnection, and it’s a matter of getting reconnected with that communication between us and our bodies and our bodies and the natural world.
Why our relationship with the world has become more mechanistic
Ari: Okay. Mechanization.
Lauren: Mechanization is a paradigm that is so overarching in our culture, it’s the water we swim in, it can be difficult to recognize, but again, I go back to, let’s compare our worldview now to indigenous cultures because what they considered normal, can look completely different than what we consider normal now, just in terms of how they looked at the world, especially the spiritual underpinnings that was present in all indigenous cultures that we have now erased from, especially the academic and the scientific perceptions of the world.
In this chapter, I go in-depth into the western science perspective, and how the history of western science has really shaped how we interpret the world. When I say that, it’s like that interpretation may not reflect actual reality. I know you come from a science background, I taught myself how to read scientific literature when I was 18 in order to learn how to heal my autoimmune disease, so there’s so much therе and I think there’s room for seeing the limitations of science.
It teaches us to have a very mechanistic relationship with the natural world and with our bodies. Reductionism and materialism are two major assumptions in the scientific paradigm. Reductionism is the belief that we can understand the whole by breaking it down into the smallest parts. This is, then why Western sciences says, “Oh, energy medicine is all woo woo,” because energy medicine is actually this, it works on the larger synergistic level of reality.
There’s an energetic field to a plant, and then when we break that plant down into just like the molecules that we would extract into a supplement, we lose that energetic, synergistic whole. Does that make sense?
Lauren: Then another example here is materialism, which is the belief that everything that is real, can be measured by science, but the problem here is that our measurement tools, our scientific measurement tools are slow when we compare them to the efficiency and speed of our intuition. Like I said, the ancient cultures Weston Price studied, they were ahead of the measurement game.
Just having this perspective of the scientific paradigm we’re immersed in is hugely valuable but it also teaches us to have a mechanistic view of reality and maybe there’s room for seeing the world in a different way as well.
Ari: Okay, last one, there’s a couple of points I want to come back to, but let’s get through.
Lauren: Yes, I’m so interested to hear your thoughts on that.
How we are coerced to make specific choices
Ari: Sure. The fifth prong, coercion.
Lauren: Coercion is the concept of propaganda where we can believe that we’re choosing something but if we don’t see how we’re being mind-controlled, we’re not actually making that choice. We have seen this like on such a mega scale in the last two years with the COVID psychological operation, which is one reason this book, The Invisible Corset, is more appropriate than ever because it teaches people how to see mind control and psychological abuse.
A lot of women say, “I’m choosing to get dangerous and invasive treatments like breast implants, Botox, Cosmetic Surgery because it makes me feel good, so I’m choosing it.”The truth is, we’re not choosing that if we’re mind-controlled, controlled by propaganda that we feel like that is our only avenue to feel safe and healthy and accepted. I really break that down in that chapter on coercion.
Ari: Did you look into Edward Bernays at all?
Lauren: No, I don’t know.
Ari: He’s a cousin of Sigmund Freud. He’s in a way a father of propaganda. He was instrumental in the early 1900s in really creating almost a science of how to do propaganda effectively. There’s some really good YouTube videos on the history around that if you look up Edward Bernays, his last name is B-E-R-N-A-Y-S. For anybody listening, I highly recommend. There’s one video it’s just 12 minutes long, it’s from a YouTube channel called Academy of Ideas, and it’s called Edward Bernays in Group Psychology: Manipulating the Masses.
There’s another one that’s also good called How One Man Manipulated America. Very, very interesting insightful to understand, really, consciously how one engages in propaganda to manipulate the masses to get a certain effect, and very insightful to watch some of that history–
Lauren: I’m definitely going to look that up.
Ari: Very relevant to the work you’re doing. One idea I want to come back to that you’ve mentioned a few times in passing is intuition. Intuition is, I think it’s a very problematic word. It’s a problematic concept because many people define it differently. Think of it differently, it can be thought of as a mystical supernatural connection with some source of higher wisdom, or it can be thought of, in more mundane terms, for example, Yuval Noah Harare defines it basically as pattern recognition that is a result of experience and learned knowledge over time that allows you to recognize certain things.
For example, in a clinical setting, a doctor might see a patient with a certain few sets of symptoms, or a weird rash that’s presenting in a certain part of their body, and maybe the first time they ever saw that they had no idea what the hell was causing it but they’ve seen it now, over the course of 20 years, maybe they’ve seen it, it’s really rare nobody knows what it is but this one particular doctor has seen 30 or 40 cases like it over the course of a 20 year career.
They know from those past 30-40 experiences over that 20-year span, 90% of the time, it’s this thing, that’s what caused it. It’s some allergic dermatitis to a particular soap that certain people have, they can figure that out very intuitively, based on their personal intuition that’s not a result of necessarily some connection with a higher power or anything mystical or supernatural, but really, many, many years of seeing thousands and thousands of people, and having that experience of seeing those kinds of patients, you know what I mean?
Lauren: Yes, it’s observational on an even subconscious level.
Intuition – what it is and how to use it
Ari: Yes. There’s other nuances, I think, around the advice of following one’s intuition that can be tricky or problematic in certain ways. I want to first get into how you think of intuition. What do you think intuition actually means? We all use this word in common parlance, but very few people actually define it or can define it and say, “Here’s what intuition actually is.” What do you think the relevance of it is in terms of human health?
Lauren: I love this discussion. I think that intuition is literally our sixth sense. It is our connection to the energetic internet of the world, that there is a level of reality that science has yet to measure, although there have been some interesting measurements into it and for example, increased activity at certain acupuncture points or meridians or chakras. We are developing tools to understand a little more about what the phenomena that ancient cultures used to heal the human body before we had drugs specifically. We have this natural connection to that energetic dimension of the world and through that communication, that’s how we can find balance. That’s how our bodies know how to balance us. It’s how our bodies know.
Again, I’ll go back to the example of Weston Price, what we need to nourish ourselves, how we need to live to find balance, what environments or even what people are good for us to be around. We can feel that. Now, I’ll say that and then I’ll also say whether people want to entertain this thought or not. What if that dimension has an aspect of the divine and the mystical to it?
What if that comes down to the oneness? Is it possible that the body seeking balance and the body knowing what it needs to heal itself is part of divine connection? I’ll say one of my earliest personal experiences with feeling my intuition, feeling my body plugged into that energetic internet was the first time I was muscle tested by a holistic practitioner. A lot of people can want to debunk muscle testing. I think it’s fine they have whatever opinion, but I had a personal experience that was so profound.
There’s nothing– there’s no “evidence” somebody could say to erase that experienced from my body. I was very ill with an autoimmune disease. I hadn’t felt strong in my body for a very long time. The practitioner gave me a supplement to hold, and then the muscle tested me and it was this cataclysmic force of strength surging through my body. I started crying because I just felt at the deepest level of myself, “Oh my Gosh, my body knows what it to heal me at some connection at some level it’s communicating with the supplement that I’m holding on a dimension that I don’t yet understand.” Does that make sense? What are your thoughts on that?
Ari: Well, I’ll bring a lot of skepticism to it and for the sake of playing devil’s advocate. Now, I don’t want to claim that there’s no element of the magical and the mystical that takes place and that ties into this. What I do think though is that there are a lot of people who are like us, who are a bit older, who have maybe studied health for a long time, who have certain intuitions about what is good for them or their body needs.
There is often a tendency to over attribute those intuitions to the mystical when a lot of that information actually comes from knowledge and past experience. I’ll give you an example. I have little kids, I don’t know if you have little kids, but in my fantasy world before I had little kids, I envisioned my little kids wanting to eat lots of broccoli and brussels sprouts and asparagus. Since I’m teaching them how to eat well, and we eat well in every meal that they would intuitively know that what’s best for them and not want the junk food.
The truth is, as pristine as the diet and the environment that I provide for them is occasionally, certain foods slip in either friends’ houses or as occasional treats or whatever. The truth is my kids will happily indulge in lots of foods that are not very good for them despite me teaching them, spending lots of time teaching them what is healthy nutritionally, and what’s not wanting to tell them to eat this, but not that. The truth is they will jump for the ice cream or the potato chips or the donuts given the opportunity to do so.
There’s a huge element of– there’s many forces at play because humans are evolutionarily wired by millions of years of evolution. Our brains are hardwired to seek out highly calorie-dense sources of sugar and fat, and many of these modern foods hijack that system. They become supernaturally rewarding, super physiological pleasure beyond what’s natural. By virtue of that, they can rewire the brain to really intensely want to seek out those foods.
If I ask my five-year-old or my two-year-old is what is your intuition telling you about whether you should eat this ice cream or not? They’re going to be like, “My intuition’s telling me hell yes, I should eat this ice cream.” You know what I mean? Yet, if I ask you that same question, you might pause for a moment, tap into your higher self let’s say, “That ice cream is definitely not the best thing for me, because it’s got a bunch of refined sugar in it and a bunch of vegetable oil and who knows what else?”
I should opt in favor of these whole unprocessed foods themselves. You might attribute that’s me taping into intuition. You get what I mean?
Lauren: Totally do, yes.
Ari: There’s evolutionary forces, millions of years that wired our brain to maybe seek out certain things that given the modern environment aren’t in our best interests. We’re once intuitively aligned with our best interests. If you were in a hunter-gatherer setting and food is scarce, you want to seek out the most calorie-dense, sugar-rich, and fat-rich foods you can possibly find.
Now that same you could call it intuitive biological force is driving us to seek out things that are maladaptive that are actually harmful for us so the situation is much more complex now. This is where I see learned knowledge and past experience, oh, when I used to eat that diet of lots of McDonald’s and processed food, I got really fat and unhealthy and I had that personal experience.
I’ve learned a lot about studying nutrition and reading these thousands of studies. Now I know what’s good for me and what’s not, I think those things play a huge factor into influencing what somebody’s intuitions are about what’s good or not for them.
Lauren: I wouldn’t disagree with that. I think it’s a really great example. I think it raises the other question of addiction versus intuitive eating because if we are hardwired to go for these foods, especially if our body is preemptively perceiving a famine and so now it’s like, “YYes, I have to get all the energy I can,” but why would the body be hardwired to crave foods that contain carcinogens and ingredients that make us sick?
I think the body is smarter than that, but there’s a conflict between addiction. Like you said, these foods are designed to get us addicted and hooked and so it can hijack and override the body true evolutionary programming, which is to avoid poison. It’s a dichotomy, why are we creating literal poison?
Ari: Well, I would push back on you a little bit there and say– light is an area that I specialize in a lot. What’s interesting is our perception of light is also a function of what our brain has evolved to see or not see. There are parts of the light spectrum and many parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that exist, but we can’t see them or sense them. As an example, we can’t really feel x-rays or radio waves or WiFi signals.
Those are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum. There’s even parts of the light spectrum, parts of the UV spectrum or the infrared spectrum that exists that we can’t see or feel for the most part. Other species, like let’s say, bees have evolved to be able to see certain parts of those spectrum that we can’t. This is just an analogy to say I don’t think it’s that we’re craving the poisons or the carcinogens. I think we’re craving the things that we evolve to crave, let’s say sugar-dense, fat-dense, fa-rich substances.
Salt is also a reward palatability factor as well, and crunchiness is as well. It just so happens that of those hyper processed foods that are really rich in sugars and/or fats happen to also be rich in lots of toxic substances that we can’t necessarily see taste or sense. Do you know what I mean?
Lauren: I see that. I think we could go, this is a very interesting conversation. I think we could go back and forth on it and I’m glad you brought up the electromagnetic spectrum too, because that could be one example where that ties into this dimension of reality that I think is part of our sixth sense as human beings. I actually do think we have an ability to sense more than our five senses pick up on that spectrum. Then when we do pick on that spectrum, we call it intuition because it’s not attributed to other five senses.
I’m the Canary coal mine person. I had electromagnetic sensitivities for a long time. I would feel my hands start to get all tingly and numb when I was near a WiFi router. I could call that I intuition, but it’s just like my sixth sense picking up on that larger spectrum of reality. There’s a lot of nuances here. I think it’s a really important conversation on, I don’t have the right answer. What is intuition? What is the degree of the mystical involved? What is the degree of subconscious programming and awareness? I’m glad you brought that all up.
The problem with overly restrictive diets
Ari: I agree. I think it’s a super interesting thing to discuss and it is very nuanced. Anyway, we’ll jump, we’ll switch gears into something else now. On the one hand you’ve healed yourself from autoimmune disease as a result of using nutrition and other lifestyle methods. I would imagine a certain way of eating not just eating whatever you wanted, but a certain eating. Yet it’s also the case that overly restrictive diets can also be very toxic. How do you make sense? How do you reconcile those two and how do you find a middle ground?
Lauren: Well, this is a good segue from what we were just talking about because I used the specific carbohydrate diet to address my autoimmune disease, which was ulcerative colitis. I had a very extreme life threatening case of it and it was incredible to regain my health in about three months. I’ve been completely healed for about a decade now. Even before my ulcerative colitis diagnosis at 14, I struggled with anorexia, which is one of the reasons I wrote this book because there are so many women and young girls who get sucked into disordered eating and are or Western world.
I’ve seen the absolute freedom of a restricted diet. I’ve seen the absolute prison of a self-restricted diet. The guidance that I have is your diet should give you freedom. It should make you more free. If we’re eating in a way where we’re getting more energy, more health, more vitality, where we’re healing chronic disease it’s freedom at an incredible level. Now, I work with women is less so giving restricted diets and more so helping them have freedom beyond restricted diets, especially when people use a restricted diet and it does give them a degree of freedom, but then they start to feel trapped.
I see this happening because food is powerful in healing our life to some degree, but then we have to go broader than food. If we’re stuck in an unhealthy corporate job, chronic codependent, awful relationships, if we’re consuming media prop and fear porn and all this stuff that’s setting off our nervous system in the wrong way. We’re never going to be happy no matter how pristine our diet is. Diet can be one in to health and then we have to go broader.
Where I work now is women who are realizing they need to go broader than food. They know the importance of eating basic whole foods home cooked meals, but they feel trapped. They want more freedom around food, the freedom to have pleasure in their life, to go out to restaurants, to think less about food because they feel like they’re planning and thinking about it 24/7.
They feel like they’re obsessed and around their weight is making their lives not as free as they want because they just don’t feel the confidence to put on a bathing suit or just like wear what they want to wear. That’s where I’m like, “Okay, let’s give you more freedom by expanding your diet. The freedom is always the goal.
The harms of the beauty culture
Ari: I like that. That’s a great frame. Okay. Let’s talk about some of the other aspects of beauty culture. You mentioned Botox, botulanum toxin you’ve mentioned, I don’t know if you’ve mentioned this, but obviously fits with it things like breast implants or butt implants or liposuction and all these kinds of things. Breast implants, I think, in my lifetime have become shockingly common.
I think they’ve gone from maybe 1 in 10 when I was young to now it seems like 7 out of 10 or it’s probably not that high, but it’s not far off it’s almost become more normal at least in where I used to live in Southern California, it was the case that it was probably more normal to have fake boobs than it was to have real ones. What is your take on all of this and maybe an interesting way of phrasing. It would be how old are you, Lauren?
Lauren: I’m 29.
Lauren: I would say that Botoxand facial fillers like that is now normalized for women 25 and app like me seeing that in my social circle it’s abnormal that I’m the one without anything in my face at 29, which is crazy.
Ari: Wow. Okay. As you get into your 40s and 50s and you start aging and you start to have some wrinkles and you start to have maybe your face isn’t as full as it once was and maybe your boobs are sagging a bit more and you’re feeling a little self-conscious about it, maybe you have a partner who you also through various subtle aspects of the relationship, maybe a girl walks by with big fake boobs and he’s checking her out and it makes you feel self conscious about yours, maybe he’s giving you pressure to die hair, dye the grays in your hair or get Botox because of wrinkles in your face or something like that. ‘
Even in subtle ways not necessarily aggressively saying you need to do this, but, “Maybe it would be nice if you did that,” I’m curious how you would navigate that situation. What kinds of things would you do or not? What would be your framing of it psychologically?
Lauren: The first thing I would help that woman understand is the concept of Stockholm syndrome. When it comes to the beauty industry, Stockholm syndrome is when we are in love with our abuser. We think that our abuser is going to save us and that they actually have our best interest at heart. A lot of women think that, oh, the makeup industry, the cosmetic surgery industry is there to help me because it will give me confidence.
It is the one that took your confidence away in the first place. Not only your confidence, but your true self vital essence, your sensual self. It’s really interesting because women get their sexuality tied up with their body’s appearance. They believe well, “I’ll be more sexy and desirable if I get my breast filled with silicone for example or if I get fat injections into my butt,” or the other one which is so crazy, which is labioplasty, which is I’m going to go mutilate my lady parts down there to make it look literally like a porn standard.
It’s so ironic because these interventions reduce a woman’s sexiness if we define it as her ability to feel sexual pleasure, it destroys erotic sensation, it destroys your erotic tissue so it’s completely backwards there. We need to realize a woman’s sexiness is how she feels in her body, not how she looks in her body and a woman who feels sexy and sensual, that is so magnetic, that is so desirable.
Any man in his right mind would say, “Yes, I would much rather prefer a woman who doesn’t have a plastic body, but just is so uninhibited and connected and free in her body like that’s what turns me on,” right?
Lauren: That’s the biggest piece, is we need to come back and re-inhabit our own experience instead of trying to fix our inner experience by patching it up on the outside and truly a woman who is in love with her life she is going to be loved and seen as so desirable. That is the deepest essence of this book, is to free women to be in love with themselves in love with their lives. That love just it’s a magnet for love coming into your life.
Ari: What would you say to a woman who says I have breast implants, but it makes me feel more confident to have bigger, perky boobs?
Lauren: Again, this comes down to the Stockholm syndrome. You’re giving your power away because you’re getting your confidence from the industry that stole it from you in the first place. It’s like, you’re saying, “Well, my drug dealer is making me happy by providing me with drugs.” Well, you’re giving your power away to be happy, to the dangerous toxic drugs. There’s an aspect here where women have to be in touch with their true selves in order to know their true preferences.
Our true selves, that is our mindset that is free from mind control and propaganda. We have to do a lot of work of deprogramming and detoxing the propaganda to actually know what our real opinions are. Because plastic surgery is self-destructive and dangerous, it does not reflect [chuckles] the best interest of our true selves. A lot of people will say, “Oh, well, it’s–” I address this in the book too.
They’ll say it’s evolutionary that women will use certain interventions, whether it’s plastic surgery or spending an average of $200,000 plus on beauty products in their lifetime because that’s how we find a mate. That’s how we make ourselves attractive to the opposite sex, which is our evolutionary wiring. There are so many holes in that argument, like this comes back to our intuition discussion.
It’s not in our evolutionary best interest to mutilate our own bodies or to undertake interventions that put toxins in our body, or especially if we look at other cosmetic surgeries that are really popular, eyelid surgery in Asia, to create a more Eurocentric eye shape. It’s literally the most racist plastic surgery and it’s super, super popular among Asian populations, is it in our biological wiring to erase our ethnic heredity from our face, or does that just reflect cultural programming?
Ari: Yes. Well said. I have somewhat personal question, personal and universal to parents or would-be parents. I have a two-year-old daughter. I spend a lot of time actually reading and listening to podcasts about being a better parent and raising kids and educating kids. It’s very much in my interest to do that. I haven’t necessarily spent a lot of time on this aspect of things, the aspect of raising my daughter in this toxic beauty culture world that we live in.
What would you say are some of the most important things for me and other parents of daughters, especially to be aware of as far as raising daughters in this world and raising them to have healthy body image and a healthy relationship with themselves, their bodies?
Lauren: All right, this question is so close to my heart. I’ve always known, I don’t want to be a mother, but I felt it so on my heart to help break this cycle of young girls hating their bodies. That is part of my soul mission. The most important thing for parents to understand is that their example speak so much louder than words. Children, we’ll go back to the intuition discussion. They are very in touch with that six sense. They pick up the energy and the emotional experiences of those around them.
That speaks than anything, any of the words that are coming out of their parents’ mouth. For example, my mom, she vowed she would never criticize her daughter’s bodies because my grandmother, her mom, was very critical of my mother’s body growing up. My mom didn’t know how to fully break the cycle because she criticized her own body. She would say all these comments when she was in a dieting mode where, “Oh, I can’t eat this food. It has too many calories,” things like that where I was– this was what triggered my anorexia at a very young age.
I was listening to that, and then I was seeing my body turn into her body before my very eyes as I went through puberty. I had been pre-programmed with the exact instruction manual of how to hate what my body was turning into. The most important thing, especially this is where the mothers need to focus, is healing and removing their own invisible corsets so that their self-talk just reflects loving their bodies because children pick up on that.
A big piece there is how we talk about foo It’s important to have our conversations around food, reflect how it makes us feel. Instead of like, “I don’t want to eat this because it’s going to make me fat. It has too many calories,” which instills a fear mentality, it’s like, “I want to eat the specific thing, a fresh salad or something, because I know it’s going to make me feel really good and energized afterwards.”
Or, “I’m going to pass on the ice cream, for example, because I know if I’ll eat it, I’m going to have a stomach ache afterwards, or just not feel my best and it’s really important I feel my best.” There’s an interesting book it’s called French Kids Eat Everything. This is what I recommend parents read to shape their language around food for kids because the French have a much more balanced, positive relationship with food. French kids really do eat everything. They have a very balanced diet.
Ari: Excellent. Okay. The last thing that I want to ask you is if you were going to leave people with three or four of your top tips to overcome or snip the strings of some of these invisible corsets that you’ve discussed, what would be your top three or four things you want to leave people with?
Lauren: First comes to mind is delete social media accounts from people who are stuck in the corset, who are showing of fake bodies, or who are trying to get external validation for their bodies. Just get that out of your perspective, along with media, that makes you feel bad when you consume it. Asking yourself when it comes to your beauty choices, does this make me feel more comfortable?
If you’re putting makeup on in the morning and it’s taking you a full hour and it’s just not feeling comfortable to have five layers of mascara, so you can’t like cry during the day or laugh freely. Does that make you feel more comfortable? Do the tight pants with the spanks? Does that make you feel more comfortable? Just that mental flip can help you reconnect with your internal experience.
Then this would be the third of the fourth thing, which is another mental reframe. When it comes to beauty choices, asking yourself, do I feel inadequate without this? In other words, is this choice reflecting shame or fear? When we’re making choices from shame or fear, first of all, it’s unconscious that’s coming from our ego or our shadow side and it’s not going to make us feel better in the long term. Where do you need to heal that sense of inadequacy deep down instead of just patching it up on the outside?
Ari: Awesome. Lauren, I absolutely love this discussion. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with my audience. I really appreciate it. Thank you for the work you’re doing. Where can people follow your work, learn more about you, get your books, programs, things of that nature?
Lauren: My website is empoweredsustenance.com. On Instagram, I am body_connection_coach. Although I don’t know, I speak a lot of truth there, so I might be getting kicked off any minute. My book, the Invisible Corset is at invisiblecorset.com or any major bookseller.
Ari: Wonderful. Thank you so much, my friend. I really appreciate it. It was great to connect with you in real-time. I hope to speak with you again in the near future.
Lauren: Thank you, Ari. It was a great conversation.
Eat For Energy Book Intro (00:00)
The invisible corset women wear today (17:18)
How fear dictates our behavior (20:58)
How we own rather than partner with our bodies (23:42)
Why we are disconnected from ourselves and our intuition
Why our relationship with the world has become more mechanistic (27:07)
How we are coerced to make specific choices (30:40)
Intuition – what it is and how to use it (35:50)
The problem with overly restrictive diets (48:05)
The harms of the beauty culture (52:38)
Eat For Energy Book Intro (01:06:08)
Get your own copy of the book the Invisible Corset