Embracing Your Body's Beauty Inside and Out
- “Basic Instinct” star Sharon Stone, 65, is embracing her renewed life in dazzling photoshoots after suffering through a series of health challenges, including a breast cancer scare and a life-threatening stroke.
- “Body image is both the mental picture that you have of your body and how you feel about your body when you look in a mirror,” Dr. Marianna Strongin, a New York-based licensed clinical psychologist, tells SurvivorNet. She adds, “As you allow yourself to spend more time looking at all of you, you will begin having a new relationship with your body.”
- Psychiatrist Dr. Lori Plutchik recommends people faced with a significant health crisis, including a cancer diagnosis, lean into their support system, which can be comprised of loved ones.
- While coping with a health challenge, your emotions may be fluid. Experts say you may need to seek a mental health professional for additional help in such cases.
Genetic testing can help determine the best course of mental health treatment for people struggling with anxiety and depression. The test can give doctors a profile of how a person will likely respond to different psychiatric medications.
At 65, actress Sharon Stone dazzles fans on the red carpet, showing off her beauty inside and out. While she’s all smiles, she admits she’s grateful to be at this point in her life years after overcoming a life-threatening health crisis and a cancer scare.
“Endlessly alluring Sharon Stone so effortlessly takes to a billowy creation,” the Instagram caption reads, which shows the “Basic Instinct” star donning a lavish pink ensemble at the Red Sea Film Festival.Read More
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Stone’s embrace of her life and body positivity offers much hope to others facing a health struggle.
Expert Body Positivity Resources
- Let’s Talk About Sex: Breast Cancer Survivor Meghan Koziel on Improving Your Sexuality & Confidence After Cancer
- How to Find Your Confidence and be Bold
- Brave, Bold, and Beautiful in the Face of Cancer — Reclaiming Confidence Through Makeup And Skincare
- These Intimate, Sexy Photographs Show Scars and More — a Powerful Message About Femininity and Beauty
Practicing Body Positivity and Self-Acceptance
Stone’s gone through some tough health challenges in her life, including a life-threatening stroke that left her hospitalized. An experience like that or another major health crisis can influence how patients view themselves. If you struggle with self-perception and body image, you should try to look at yourself in a positive light despite how difficult it may be. By practicing body positivity, you can boost your emotional well-being.
WATCH: Accepting Yourself After Cancer
Dr. Marianna Strongin, a New York-based licensed clinical psychologist, also has some helpful advice. She encourages people that spending time in front of the mirror can help with body image.
Although “research has found that when looking in the mirror, we are more likely to focus on the parts of our body we are dissatisfied with,” which can cause “a negative self-view and lower self-esteem,” it’s important to look at the parts of your body that you love and the parts of your body that you don’t.
Eventually, Dr. Strongin says, doing so can help you create a more accepting relationship with yourself.
“Body image is both the mental picture that you have of your body and how you feel about your body when you look in a mirror,” she said. “As you allow yourself to spend more time looking at all of you, you will begin having a new relationship with your body.”
It’s important to remember there is no one definition of beauty, and following a health crisis, patients must learn to be proud of who they are and how far they’ve come inside and out.
Sharon’s Resilience Shined Amid Health Struggles
Sharon Stone had several health scares and crises over the years, and each experience made her stronger.
Last year, she had a fibroid removed from her uterus. Dr. Kelly N. Wright, a specialist in the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Center at Cedars-Sinai, explains that “Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that are extremely common, with up to 80% of women having a fibroid in their lifetime.”
“Many fibroids are small and cause no symptoms, and therefore can be monitored over time…We expect fibroids to shrink by about 30% at the time of menopause, and after menopause, they shouldn’t grow any further or cause new symptoms,” Dr. Wright continued.
Symptoms associated with fibroids may cause symptoms that can interfere with a woman’s quality of life.
Roughly 20 years ago, her doctors gave her a “one percent chance of survival” after suffering a debilitating stroke.
Stone suffered a ruptured vertebral artery caused by internal bleeding in her brain. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this type of injury is likely from “blunt injury to the head and neck.” This type of injury is an “important cause of stroke or transient ischemic attack,” NIH adds, meaning blood flow is restricted. This life-threatening situation prompted her doctors to give her a slim chance of survival, but fortunately, she pulled through the trying experience.
The “Stardust Memories” star also experienced a breast cancer scare after a routine mammogram found something concerning.
“[I] was told that I had breast cancer because I had a tumor that was larger than my breast – and they were sure that I couldn’t possibly have that tumor without it being cancer,” she told People.
Stone said after consulting with her care team, she was prepared to undergo a mastectomy, which removes the breasts to help rid herself of any potential cancer.
There are several factors to weigh when considering a mastectomy; chief among them is whether breast-conserving surgery (or lumpectomy) is possible. Your doctor will look at the size and features of your tumor and your family history to make a recommendation.
“I went into the hospital saying, ‘If you open me up and it’s cancer, please take my breasts because I am not a person defined by my breasts,” she said.
She noted how she had friends and family impacted by breast cancer and understands its toll on the body and family.
While doctors were doing the procedure, the tumors ended up benign.
However, as Stone underwent reconstructive surgery, her doctors inserted implants larger than she anticipated.
“When I was unbandaged, I discovered that I had full cup-size bigger breasts, ones that he said, ‘go better with your hip size,” Stone said.
The actress was not pleased with the doctor changing her body “without” her consent.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
If you find yourself struggling with a diagnosis or helping a loved one cope with their emotions, consider asking your doctor the following questions:
- How can I go about improving my outlook/mental health?
- Are there any activities I can do to encourage positive feelings?
- When should I seek other interventions if I’m still struggling?
- What are the steps to finding a different therapist if the one I’m using is not working out?