I’m hearing you talking about the objectification of the self. The reified self. That’s a historical reality, as Str8tOutaMisogynoir outlined. And a socio-political control tool.
But I think you’re talking about how much mind-time gets taken up with meeting or not meeting some externalized standard of beauty, as opposed to a focus on other issues related to self-development. Stretching your mind to consider yourself “Sexy-ugly” (Kissing Jessica Stein) or accepting the fact that people enjoy bodies of various sizes, shapes, colors and flaws is a useful exercise. Tormenting yourself because you don’t meet the current standards is not.
On the other hand, asking yourself every day if you’re growing in areas that matter to you, or matter to the world, that may be a much better use of your energies.
And recognizing that porn makes black female bodies do different sexual acts (slap, choke, etc) than young, white female bodies (masturbate), and suddenly you see the shaping of racism via sexual arousal. That’s awareness, and that’s always useful.
Thanks, Abbie. I don’t get enough reminders about this stuff.