Body Image and Little Girls
Women are FAR more critical of each other than men are.
This is so true,,,,,,,,we ( women) can be so damn "catty" with each other ,,,,lol.
Men are so much more forgiving in regards to a woman's body than we are with ourselves. Alot of men would prefer a woman to have a few extra pounds than be too skinny. We may worry about a few extra pounds and obsess over it while our man may not think that a few extra pounds even shows, ya know?
StinkyPantz also brought up a good question........what if our child is overweight? I wondered this as well.........how would I go about helping my child to be at a healthy weight without fueling an eating disorder?
If my child had a weight problem , I would be honest about the need to watch what you eat, exercise and I would do this with her. ( Lord, knows I need to do these things myself anyway ) So, I think that there is a balanced , healthy way that you can help your child, in regards to weight issues . I think it would take a great deal of daily effort to help her, by example most of all, and a good attitude about GETTING FIT and HEALTHY, rather than just losing weight so you will look good. This would be easier if she is a teen or a preteen,,,,,,,who can understand and read for herself things about good eating habits and execise. If it was a younger girl, ( or boy) I would increase exercise, and make sure that there were good healthy foods for her to snack on and keep the Little Debbie snack cakes out of the house.
My daughter and I are starting a walking routine,,,,,,mainly it is for me,,,,,( I am working on shedding some pounds and my energy is so low) but she wants to walk with me so she and I have some time to talk without the boys always around. So whatever the reason she wants to join me , she is a sweetie to want to keep me company and hopefully it will help her to see how I view taking care of myself, which is something I have neglected in the past.
My mom was constantly telling me that I needed to develop a "good personality." I heard that to mean that I wasn't pretty. In reality, now that I'm all grown up and have dealt with some issues, all Mom was trying to do was get me to focus on inner beauty rather than "outward appearance." Screwed me up anyway -- I will never think of myself as beautiful but I have a GREAT personality! I think a healthy acceptance of one's looks is very important, as well as showing options. For example, both of our children inherited Daddy's beautiful eyes and not-so-great vision, so we tell the kids that when they're old enough they can have surgery on their eyes, as Daddy did, to fix their vision. Or they can wear contacts. I'm big on having them find solutions for things they can fix and learning to accept the things they can't fix. And seeing the beauty in all of it.
I have a child that is overweight. My middle son is. He has gotten teased about it and it really hurt his self esteem. I NEVER once thought of putting him on a diet. I adjusted my cooking and minimized certain foods in our home. I also talked to his father, my ex, about the situation who to my surpise took out pictures of himself when he was our son's age and showed him how he looked (he was heavier then also). The ex shot up w/a growing spurt when in High School to be 6'4" and was very fit. It helped our son w/understanding genetics and also w/out him really knowing what I was doing, he is making much better food choices. Again, I try to accentuate the positive w/him and help him not focus on his outer shell, but how he feels inside. Help him see his good qualities and praise him for choices well made. He is gonna be a bigger kid, there is no doubt about that. We have had to make some changes about how much time he sits in front of the PS2 or television, which meant that MOM had to do the same. We try to spend time outside and much like Dede (btw, miss ya girly!) and her daughter do, take walks together. Get out and do some excercising and not focus on the weight loss but focus on a healthier lifestyle. James wants to try out for football next year and wants to be a blocker (sorry, don't know what exact position because I don't like football..but I will be his biggest cheerleader!). Another comment that I wanted to make is the fact that so many people, young and old, don't know how to dress for the body shape. That has a lot to do w/finding clothes that make us comfortable and flatter our figures-both male and female. I know it makes a big difference in how I perceive myself and am trying to teach my duaghter the same. Not to worry about what size it is on the tag, but how it actually fits on our bodies. Numbers on a scale can be so deceiving too. A certain weight does not insure healthiness.
Exercising with your kids is such a great thing. Seattle has a great program called the Seattle Kids Marathon that starts this month. For the next six weeks, the kids run 1/2 to 1 mile each weekday until they have reached 25 miles by November 16. On the 27th we go to Seattle for the finish where all the kids who participate (last year over 1500) run the final 1.2 miles together with the finish line being the same used for the Seattle Marathon which takes place the next day. It's amazing. The kids get to cross the big finish line in a stadium with all their support team (parents and granparents) cheering them on. They get a t-shirt, a space blanket and a certificate of acheivement.
Tomorrow morning I'm meeting with the principal and PE teacher at Zoe's school to help organize a large group of kids to run this year. I'm volunteering to take the kids to the track and count laps during recess or PE so more kids can participate.
Honestly, last year getting the kids to log their miles was torture but the pride they both felt crossing the finish line made it all worth it and both are happy to do it again this year. It also helps them understand a little better how hard I will be working to cross the finish line the next day for the HarrisdirectSeattle Marathon. They will be the ones in the stadium cheering me on.
One of my sons was a pudgy boy, and wanted to go on Weight Watchers with me when he was about 11. He was really strict with it too, and lost enough weight so that he looked pretty trim. By the time he was 12 and taller, he had gotten pudgy again. About that same time I read an article in a women's magazine that said that many kids gain weight just about the time they enter puberty and it isn't a permanent fat situation.
That was true for him....................boy did he start to grow when he was 13. Now he is 6'5" and still complains about his weight, but he is by far the thinnest of our sons. He says he needs to lose 20 pounds..............big deal. He looks lean and trim to me.
I guess I would say that if one of my children were overweight, I would cook healthy foods, and get rid of fattening snacks, and only put them on a diet if they asked to be. In my opinion there is nothing worse than having someone tell you that you need to lose weight and try to enforce it. It's a pretty personal thing. I know myself, and I would rebel and eat everything in sight, when that person wasn't around.
I just came across this post on another discussion board; thought I'd share this guy's pov:
I will be 39 tomorrow. Not that I care all that much.
Today I came home from work and was on a conference call during the drive home and as I walked into the house (had em on mute). My 3 1/2 yr old rushed to meet me in the kitchen "happy birthday daddy!" there were a few presents and a cake.
Wife explained they had went shopping for gifts and the daughter could not wait until tomorrow to help me open them. Someone was bringing up a project I was working on at work, and I knew they would want to hear from me. I closed the cell phone, gave her a hug, and we sat down to open the gifts.
I messaged my boss later (a great guy) and he said the meeting was still on, go have a shot and some cake. Later on the wife and I watched web cam videos of my daughter from times gone by.
We met in CA 6 years ago. Live in my mom's basement, then the garage, then an apt in So. Ohio, then rented a house further south, and a few months ago bought our first house ever next door to my folks.
I don't care I am turning 39, I have a wonderful life. I see so much on tv, stern, elsewhere about beautiful women, having latest fashions, being the hottest, and teen (and younger) girls trying to be the next sex object. I looked at those webcams, and then later played dolls with my daughter (which we do everyday). None of them have clothes, she hates them having clothes on for some reason. I looked at her with a love deeper than one can fathom.
Looks? Money? Fashion? All she cared about was playing with toys with her dad. We watch old sci-fi movies (she loves war of the worlds and for a month or so watched it every night to fall asleep to) like earth versus the flying saucers, sponge bob, and more. We watched wizard of oz and she played with her dog like it was toto and sang somewhere over the rainbow.
She is a beautiful little red headed girl, looks like a porcelain doll. People stop us in the store to touch her hair and talk about her. Then I see things which make me wince...
Young girls on covers of magazines looking sexy, barely dressed. No one looking at those photos probably cares about the person inside, what they think, how they feel. They care about the package and what is being sold. Hell, being a good red blooded american male myself have looked at such pics and saw only the visual myself at times.
I understand it all somewhat, but that does not mean I think it is the right thing morally, or the best thing (in relation to long term results and effects). Sex sells, always has and always will. What I see today, versus many years ago, is how much it is flaunted and pushed. Women of beauty we see daily, in movies, videos, magazine covers. Looks have become the main pushing factor, and not the person inside. No one cares about the avg looking woman and what she thinks or says, they are not covered because they don't look 'hot'.
Female astronauts, scientists, and so forth don't grace the cover of such magazines. Is it that no one cares, or is that all we get to see? My wife spent her 20's as a beautiful woman - had drs, lawyers, welathy men all chasing her, using her as a trophy to hang out with. She met me, and I cared about her. Now in her early 30's she has gained weight after the baby (not alot), does not wear the makeup all the time, and cares more about family and cooking than impressing the men. They don't seem to give her the time of day now because she is not a walking advertisement for sex. They wanted her to be selling something, packaged and ready to buy. Now she is the woman she always wanted to be, and happy as can be. We both cried tonight watching those home videos and remembering how far we have come.
This weekend we are having a halloween party for the kids in the neighborhood, and no one is worried about being 'hot' or trendy. Folks just want to show up and be themselves with their kids.
I hope my daughter grows up in a world where people value her for who she is as a woman. Whether she works in a factory or as a Dr. I hope they see the same loving girl I see, that they want to see her smile like I do each day. The more I see on TV, movies, and so forth the more I hope she learns well that such things are not what is important in life. Happiness is family, love, and something you find in yourself and your own desires.
My life? My family, old computers, programming, work which I love, and just simple day to day living. I am content. If I am on my death bed at 80 and she has not suffered terrible illnesses, abusive lovers, and so forth I will die a happy man. If she sits beside me as I slip away and I know that she had a good life then I can die without care or worry. If those that I know say of me, 'he was a good man and kind to others' then I can go to my life in the beyond feeling like I had won in this life. Money, fame, power? Sure, they would nice in that I could help others - but those things mean nothing without the love of someone like my daughter and my wife.
So I turn 39. One year closer to death some might say. I see it as one more year I can file in my mind as happy times with the ones I loved. Today was a good day. The future could be better or worse - but today I saw my baby smile and tell me she loved me, and saw her eyes light up as we opened some gifts. Today I lived the last day of my 38th year, and today I realized how happy I am to look forward to another year with those I loved.
(sorry my cut and paste just will not, well, cut and paste, so I'm responding to sixofnine's response to my last post on this thead)
Just say it, Six. Horse shit.
There you go, that's a good boy!
Not only do I believe it, I lived it. And so did many, many, other young women that I have crossed paths with during my time on this planet. And, as subsequent posts have attested to, I know of what I say.
You may consider my statement hyperbole, and it may very well be, but I certainly don't think so. I know you adore your daughter, and that is a very good thing. I hope she comes through adolescence with few dings in her psychological armor. And she will need armor. You can bet the farm on that.
See, boys, the thing about this is that I have been the one thing you guys have never been, and will never be, a young, and subsequent, teenage girl.
It's kinda like explaining whats it's like being a XJW to someone that is worldly, you had to have been there.
I think women in general tend to engage in hyperbolic horseshit on this issue.
Face it, if a magazine as shallow as Cosmo, or Ms., or Playboy, or TV shows with their infamous vapidity, can affect you that greatly, the problem is as much with YOU as it is with society. There is an overwhelming tendancy to refuse our own complicity in these types of things.
So you aren't ever going to be one of the most sexy body types? Well, that doesn't change the fact that you and everyone else agree (to a measurable extent, with room for variation) on what is sexy and attractive. It also doesn't change the fact that you have an inborn desire to be sexual. What to do, what to do? Well, why not bitch and moan about society? Beats hell out of accepting a negative fact about ourselves.
Anyone who wants to really get to the bottom of this will read what Mother Theresa had to say about it. It's enlightening.
And yet somehow, some way, boys and girls seem mostly to become men and women who have about an equal time (difficult time though it may be) of being adults with backbone who carry their own baggage..... Or not.
get a profesional advice
Yeah, well, six, like I said, you wouldn't know.