Elise and I pick up our conversation from part one of her instant New York Times bestseller On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to Be Good.
In this episode, we take our conversation further and deeper, unpacking the sins of Envy and Sloth and their effect on women.
It’s rare I can talk to someone who understands the various perspectives on body image (including the ones where it has nothing to do with one’s body size) so it was a real treat to go to the depths. This includes why body positivity often misses the mark in supporting women’s relationship with their body.
In our interview today, we discuss:
- The changing nature of what defines enough food “restriction” (Kate Moss’ 90’s heroine chic wasn’t the end!)
- The unconscious yearnings in feeling light and “high” from restricting food to feeling heavy and “low” from binging
- Why it’s important to pay attention to your envy and judgment of other women, including their bodies
- How scarcity and the sin of Sloth drive women to rush, overwork, and overdo
- The two sins no one has asked about in all her interviews and what’s the one thing she wishes would happen with her book that hasn’t.
About Elise Loehnen
Elise Loehnen is a writer, editor, and podcast host who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Rob, and their two sons, Max and Sam. She is the host of Pulling the Thread, a podcast focused on pulling apart the stories we tell about who we are—and then putting those threads back together.
She’s also the author of the instant New York Times bestseller On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to Be Good (Dial Press/PRH). The book weaves together history, memoir, and cultural criticism to explore the ways patriarchy lands in the bodies of women and embeds itself in our consciousness—and what we then police in ourselves and in each other.
Regardless of our religious provenance, the self-denial implicit in each of the Seven Deadly Sins—Sloth, Envy, Pride, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Anger—reads like a checklist of what it means to be a “good” woman. With awareness, we can begin to recognize these patterns of self-restriction, break the story, and move ourselves and each other toward freedom and balance.