I have four sons ages 24 to 3
I am the mother for the first time of a 7 year old daughter. She is my one and only girl…she is so precious to me.
I have found myself increasingly aware of the real pressure our society is trying to place on my daughter. As I see magazines in the check-out lines out the market, see programs on tv, or read the women’s catalogs that come to my home, I am dismayed by the pencil thin women that stare back at me.
Did you know that the average girl teen girl gets 180 minutes of media exposure a day of media exposure as opposed to 10 minutes of parental interaction? I personally find the completely disturbing and disheartening.
I find it strange that with what seems to be an epidemic of children who are now overweight that all that is thrust into our faces are women the size of a stick.
What ever happened to moderation?
Why are there not more women in the media that are of normal healthy body proportions? Even the toys little girls play with have unnatural and unattainable proportions.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40% of nine and ten year old girls have attempted to lose weight!
When I was nine all I thought about was getting home from school so I could go outside and play! I didn’t even know how much I weighed as we didn’t have a scale. My mom made sure I ate healthy food and I made sure I got enough exercise on my skates, bike or climbing my tree…of course it wasn’t labeled exercise back then, just a kid playing.
When I watch PBS with my kids there are monsters on Sesame Street that come on and tell kids the importance of exercise. Since when did kids in the Sesame Street age demographic need to be reminded to get off the couch and play?
I know this is a rambling post and I wish I had the answers…I do not. Just concerns at how out of whack we have become as a society. Just concerns I have for my daughter’s generation.
As a mom I can not possibly hope to shield her from every young bone thin starlet. I cannot cover her eyes in the grocery store from every magazine. I cannot even control all that she watches on tv once she is old enough to see it at other people’s houses.
All I can do is make sure I offer her healthy food choices. Give her lots opportunities for active and healthy play. I can model good behavior and not obsess over my own weight.
And make sure the she knows that God makes women in all shapes and sizes… that the body He gave her is perfect for her.
There are countless articles, books, and resources about girls and body image. I found this one at WebMD particularly interesting.
Kim can also be found at the inadvertent farmer where she raises organic fruits, veggies, critters, kids, and…a camel!