Denver psychologist responds to Jennifer Aniston essay

9NEWS at 5 p.m. 07/13/16

KUSA - A Denver psychiatrist spoke to 9NEWS on Wednesday about the powerful impact that Jennifer Aniston’s essay has on the topic of “body shaming."

Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is a psychologist at The Child and Family Center at Lowry.

“Body shaming has been something that has been around for a long time, however, with the increased use of social media and all of the platforms that we have now, we’re seeing it everywhere,” Dr. Ziegler said.

Aniston, as well as other public figures and celebrities, deal with constant scrutiny from viewers, specifically related to their appearance.

“The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing,” Aniston said.

“Because what happens with us is such a public process with our bodies, people are criticizing those things and now, because there are platforms like Twitter, an anchor can find out within seconds about what the public thinks about the dress that she decided to wear or how her arms look in that dress,” Dr. Ziegler said.

The anonymity of social media certainly impacts what a person will or will not say.

“Whether it’s body shaming or any other issue such as mom shaming, criticizing people for how they are parenting and all of those kinds of issues," Dr. Ziegler said. "When you are just behind a screen, just tapping on some keys, you will say and do things that you would never say and do to someone in person." 

“There are so many more women that are in powerful positions and to be honest, I think our society is a little uncomfortable with those kinds of things,” Dr. Ziegler said.

As a result, people find new ways to knock women down.

“We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies,” Aniston said in her essay.

Dr. Ziegler believes self-esteem and self-worth are so essential, maybe more now than ever before.

“I think coming from somebody who is regarded as 'the most beautiful person in the world' year after year, including this year, that probably does have a really great impact,” Dr. Ziegler said.

Aniston is known for being private, so when she does make comments about issues like these – people listen.

“She is a very powerful figure, and what celebrities have to say - for better or for worse - has a huge impact on our society,” Dr. Ziegler said. 

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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