17 August 2006

Only aiming to please

In the court case involving Adv Barbie, she claims that her ex-partner forced her to partake in criminal activities. Why do people go to such great lengths to please a partner?

Advocate Cezanne Visser, better known as Adv Barbie, first caught the public's attention when she appeared on Idols, wearing a tight T-shirt which revealed her obviously artificially enhanced breasts.

You/Huisgenoot did a follow-up story on her and so she became known to the public as Adv Barbie. Little did she know at the time that her fame would backfire a few months later.

This happened when she, together with her partner at the time, Adv Dirk Prinsloo, were accused of indecent assault, soliciting minors to commit indecent acts, and manufacturing and possessing child pornography.

A number of intimate, and somewhat disturbing details about their relationship have been made public. One of the common threads is that Visser claims to have been "like putty" in Prinsloo's hands and that he forced her to partake in the abuse. She also said that she underwent a metamorphosis when they were involved and bowed under pressure to have her breasts enlarged to please him.

But why?
Why would a woman go to such great lengths – even change her physical appearance drastically or commit a crime – only to please a partner?

"People who do this, usually have poor self-esteem," says Charl Hattingh, clinical psychologist.

"They don't think of themselves as worthy enough to be respected in relationships and never feel that they are good enough – they therefore constantly change themselves in an attempt to please their partner. They soon lose a sense of self, of who they are, because their focus is primarily on becoming whoever their partner wishes them to be. But by being so 'self-less' in a relationship, one does more damage to the relationship than good," says Hattingh. "A relationship needs to involve two whole individuals and not one controlling and one self-sacrificing person."

Health24's teen expert, Dr Neil McGibbon, agrees. "Society is constantly telling us that, whoever we are, our bodies are not good enough, and need to be ‘modified’ either through diet and exercise or surgery. Having undergone this procedure, Adv Barbie may have had a feeling of invincibility: society tells me I need bigger boobs, now I have them, I’m powerful!"

Ultimately, however, it is about considering your actions, says McGibbon. "As with people who have addictions, one must try to help them take responsibility for their using regardless of what circumstances led to this. Regardless of the circumstances, she took a conscious decision to engage in these acts. And as with addictions – actions lead to consequences!" - Ilse Pauw, Health24

Read more:
Rohypnol link in Barbie case
Mind Zone
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