Body Image and Status…Is Body Image Important?

by Reid on March 5, 2016

Portrait Of Pair Against SeaIn our society, having a conventionally beautiful body can give status according to some people…what role should body image play in social status?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: Where are we Cathy?

Cathy: We are in New Mexico.

Reid: Why are we in New Mexico?

Cathy: We’re driving to Albuquerque.

Reid: New Mexico.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: We’re in the right state.

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: Excellent. That’s a good sign. I’m Reid Mihalko, from

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from

Reid: We’re talking about what today?

Cathy: We’re talking about body image and status. Our society does put a lot of emphasis on conventional beauty and on slenderness. Sometimes it can be … Status can be attributed to having a conventionally beautiful body.

Reid: Okay.

Cathy: One thing I noticed, we were at a business conference in Durango, and last night this really amazing woman came up to us, and recognized Reid as a Sex geek. She had seen some of his work online, and she happened to be really, really beautiful, conventionally beautiful. I noticed that when she and Reid were hanging out that my old paranoids came up, and I felt almost like a different species, I felt like I didn’t have status, because I wasn’t conventionally beautiful.

Reid: How would you have felt if I had been speaking to a woman who was larger?

Cathy: I think that probably wouldn’t have kicked up my social stories. We’re taught over and over again through conventional media and advertisement that people that are slender and attractive are the smarter, funnier, more valuable people.

Reid: And younger, and …

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: Fully abled or whatever that … Non-handicapped, not disabled.

Cathy: Full head of hair, white teeth.

Reid: White, blonde. All the bullshit of culture.

Cathy: Yes. I’ve done a lot of work on myself, so I realized that that’s not the case, but it’s really easy to still get caught up in that.

What are your thoughts on status in the society? Which is important to part of our brain. Having status to our primitive brain means that we’re likely to survive and our tribe is going to be there for us.

Reid: First off, I’m the poster child for white male privilege. I was fat and dorky looking and had lazy eye and all this other stuff. No front teeth when I was a kid. I’ve been on that end of the spectrum. Then I turned into this, and at some point this will pull a Robert Redford, and get all wrinkly and I’ll not be this anymore, but I’ll still be a white male and all that stuff that’s included in that privilege.

However, if you want people to like you, get confident with the fact that most people are completely not confident, and that status is real, but it’s bullshit. Be the nice person. Be the person that can be present with people, and be interested in people as human beings and their journeys, and then you will have more status, regardless of what I think of what you look like, how you are, because you’re giving people presence and attention in a way that they’re not getting anywhere else. You’re giving them extraordinary customer service in a human being kind of way, and being present with people, and understanding how insecure most people are in general, will keep you from thinking about status and stuff.

Get curious about human beings, and understand that there’s all this BS running in the background that’s culturally programmed and culturally sanctioned, but none of it’s truly real.

Cathy: Yes. When you do share that if you feel uncomfortable, or just be real with people, sometimes you find out they’re really amazing. I used to avoid people that were very conventionally beautiful, because I thought they would judge me. Kind of going back to the high school cheerleaders picking on me, but at this business conference I was talking at one of the after parties with a woman that was really lovely, conventionally beautiful, and she was actually very shy and uncomfortable being there. When I shared that I got shy and awkward sometimes, we had the best conversation. I think that helped her enjoy the evening, too.

Reid: Honestly, it’s not always easy, but it’s fairly simple. Be real with people, and that will get you so much further, and allow you to be more confident, even if what you’re confident about is how insecure you often are, which is basically how I do it. In my head I’m still the fat seventh grader with no front teeth. In seventh grade I had front teeth, but when I was younger, with lazy eye, deaf in one ear, no one wanted to hang out with me.

Be real with people. Invite them to be real with back. That kind of status, or at least with people like me, that’s the stuff I’m looking for, and the stuff that I appreciate from people.

Cathy: We’re being real with you. How does that feel to you? Please leave a comment below, and let us know what you notice about yourself, and if you like these videos, please subscribe to our channel. You’ll find out when new videos come out.

Reid: Drive safe.

Cathy: I don’t think they should be watching videos if they’re driving.

Reid: No. It’s a bad idea.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: