05.25.13 Wellness

Busy Philipps: Body Image

BY The Conversation Team

Busy Philipps

This week on The Conversation we’re talking with actress Busy Philipps. In this episode, Busy talks about…

The treatment of pregnant women in the media.

Her personal struggles with body image.

Being asked to lose weight for her career.

Our questions for you… 

1) Would you say you have a healthy relationship with your body?

2) Does the media’s representation of women damage your self-esteem in any way? If so, how?

3) Have you struggled with your own body image? Where are you at with it now?

4) What is one thing you could commit to daily to show your body some love?

Share your answers, thoughts and questions with us in the comments section below. 

The Editorial Team - The Conversation’s mission is to explore, nurture and empower the modern woman, through interviews and topics ranging from: health and wellness, beauty, style, fitness, diet, parenting, sex, love, truth and wisdom, career and finance. We are here to share and support the universal language of women. Join The Conversation, find us on Facebook and Twitter @TheConversation.


  • Sonia Holland

    Firstly, so glad to have “the Conversation” back 🙂
    1.I definitely do not have a healthy relationship with my body. I can’t remember ever loving my body – I have always zoomed right in on the “failings”. My biggest downfall is comparison – I compare my body, my face, my education, my job….EVERYTHING to others. At 39, I still look to others, see how they are acting in a situation, and base my actions on theirs. I get a “feel” for the conversation I am part of, and try to maintain the same tone as everyone else.
    2. The media has had a huge effect on my self-image. It has always been the source of “should”…I should look like this, I should act like this, I should dress like this. It has been how I measure myself. For many years, I worked with youth who are struggling with eating disorders. I hate how much damage the media has done to these young people, and even though I realize and teach that the media is a false reality. It reminds me of how I have succumbed to the media’s irresponsible and unrealistic views on life,beauty , and success. I can fight for others so much better than I ever fought for myself.
    3. My body image is still a constant struggle…I was at a friends’ baby shower today, and all I could focus on was how my hair looked – everyone else seemed so polished and I felt sloppy. I hated every single picture that was taken that I was in. I couldn’t focus on the joy of the occasion or the smiles on everyone’s faces. All I saw was myself and all the things I didn’t like. It’s. crushing to know how much time and energy I spend on such negativity. And yet, despite the fact that I know better, I feel powerless to stop. If for one moment I believe something good, I think “what if I am wrong? What if I have been deluded in thinking that I am kind or cute ?” It’s as if I would rather be negative first, so no one can hurt me with the ” truth” later.
    4. I have been a vegan for 2 and a half years, and I can continue to feed myself healthy, cruelty free nutritious food. That is a gift I try to give myself.

    Thank. You, Amanda, for always helping me to think outside my own negative little box.
    Muchn love,

    • Sonia , i am genrally ” unpolished ” .. I go on TV most the time doing my own make up and my hair just however it is .. I’m ok with it because it is ME .. au natural for me unless its a very special occasion and then I’ll get cleaned up !( which I also enjoy )

      I also relate to not liking images of myself , that can be tough on the self esteem ..

    • Tamara

      I know what you mean Amanda. I found out about your web page and interviews through a friend of mine. We used to live in London and now we live back home in Spain. I have been watching your interviews regularly. You are so beautiful, I honestly do not see any problem with your body. I guess like me I also have to remind myself that I may not be as skynny as my friends but I am also beautiful specially in the inside.
      I am very spiritual and I do love your interviews they are deep and not at all shallow…you can see the beauty outside of you Amanda because you are even more beautiful in the inside. I can tell…
      All the best I am looking forward to carry on watching your interviews

  • Jane Poole

    Thank you for the discussion about body image. Looking back, I think at 13 and 14 I was just starting out on my relationship with my body and I didn’t think my body was okay or that i was acceptable unless I got envious glances from other girls while trying on new outfits at the clothing store changing room. Then at about 17 and 18 I began to have a much more connected and realistic relationship with my body. I knew that it wasn’t perfect but had pleasure in accepting that it was nice and that I should really try and exercise regularly if I didn’t want to put on weight. I think, now I am 41, I would like to lose a few pounds! Last summer I got depressed due to lots of change in my life and the depression manifested itself in weight gain due to feeling stuck in a rut emotionally, feeling scared and unhappy. Now I am contemplating running in the park near to where I live which is a new venture for me. I hope it will help.
    To honour my body and show gratitude and be thankful I practice yoga (but not every day!!) The benefits are so great for your organs as well as your muscles and mind. The internal work it can bring is so worthwhile. A little more effort towards my body will not go amiss.

  • Valerie Brown

    1. Yes, after 30 a few years ago I started to love my body. Even with extra pounds that come off and on. I knew I wanted to eat better, and don’t judge myself. I’m doing the best I can, and that is enough. What also helps is feeling good from the inside out. As cheesy as that sounds – it is what I wish for all women.

    2. Growing up I had the poster of Linda Hamilton, falling asleep I would look at her with her strong arms and gun in hand. I admired Charlie’s Angel’s, and women like Demi Moore in GI Jane. My self- esteem was positive but that was from having a strong willed sense of self. Currently, I wish more women like Christina Hendricks were role models for younger girls. But, not having a TV and not having one growing up helps.

    3. My struggle is very private with fertility issues. I want to love and care for this body even when it difficult. I have more compassion for women who are sick. I never judge anyone anymore who rides those motor carts in the grocery store. After having to use one myself. You never know what is going with others health. So be kind, no matter the size or shape of that person.

    4. Self care for me includes having a pedicure, or great haircut. Better having sexy matching bra and panties. Makes me feel like I can do anything when I am going to yoga, walking to the grocery market. Just this week I purchased my very first blow dryer and watched u-tube videos for blowouts. As we get older using heat on our hair makes a difference. I’m just honest when I say I feel better when I look put together. Even if it just means a little gloss on my no bra no shoes day!

    Thankful the show is back, wishing everyone a lovely weekend! Happy Saturday!

    • There is nothing cheesy about saying “What also helps is feeling good from the inside out”, it’s such a simple fact most people don’t put their attention on – so an Excellent answer Valerie!

      I’m touched by everything you say in 3. Having spent time in a wheelchair too due to illness, I was really amazed at peoples reactions – dirty looks, staring at your legs…i could go on. And I will never understand any parent who does not correct their child, and explain it is rude to point, or say horrible things!? Babies, now, aww! for anyone who has spent time in a wheelchair, will know, babies are THE GREATEST humans for their reaction – their smiley faces, never seeming threatened by you, or judging you. I liked to think of it as them accepting you as one of them – just bigger haha!

      I wish you all the best with your health Valerie. And you may want to look at my facebook cover photo 😉 We are definitely inspired by the same strong women!

  • josefina

    can someone type down the best adivse Busy’s been given, please…

    • Meghan

      “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

  • Meghan

    1) Would you say you have a healthy relationship with your body?

    No. I hope to, one day, but at the present moment it’s a daily struggle.

    2) Does the media’s representation of women damage your self-esteem in any way? If so, how?

    I suppose so, especially on a subliminal level. It must, because I find it encouraging- thrilling, even- when a woman who doesn’t fit the “size 0” mould is recognized and/or celebrated in the media. I used to aspire to act and I remember I was thrilled when I went to see “The Hunger Games” with my mother, and during one scene my mother leaned over to me and jokingly said- “Look, she has your big butt!”- referring to Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve always had hips, whether I’m 115 lbs or 140 lbs the size of my hips does not change, and this was deemed an “issue” in the world of TV and film. I was absolutely elated when she said that to me, and I realized it was true. Finally, an actress I could probably share jeans with was up on screen, and she looked beautiful.

    As a result, I love Jennifer Lawrence and the stance she’s taken against body image in Hollywood. I think her refusal to alter herself for the sake of the industry is admirable and desperately needed, and I’m so thankful there’s a role-model like her who is standing up and speaking out instead of shrinking- as so many actresses do.

    3) Have you struggled with your own body image? Where are you at with it now?

    Yes, absolutely. I’ve coped with Body dysmorphia since I was in high-school, and it has certainly impacted my life. Mainly when it comes to intimate relationships (I struggle with touch). I have my good days and bad days, but as I continue to age and surround myself with positive role-models (like Amanda de Cadenet, for instance!), and focus on the internal (with meditation, etc), it becomes easier to accept myself for who I am. I’m more focused now on who I am as a person and not a body.

    4) What is one thing you could commit to daily to show your body some love?

    Hmm…well, I’m very particular about the products I use in the bath/shower. I take the time to take care of my skin- that’s how I show love!

    • Very interesting reading Meghan. Our answers are very different, I found reading what you shared, very honest and brave.

      I wish you all the best in getting to that point where you view yourself, probably how all your family and friends view you – with much Love.

  • Fan

    Body image is such a though thing. Even when your thin your never happy. I feel like I have to be thinner, more toned, more this or that and have never enjoyed my body. It’s sad but true.

    • Fan


    • I have learned that nothing outside of me will make me happy. Not money , not being thin, not being famous ..
      Thank you for your honesty…

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