I felt the need to piggy back onto friend and colleague Christina Katz’s post from yesterday: Love Your Daughter As She Is Day! A Call For Society To Confront Our Obsession with Anorexic-looking Women (read the full post here).
In summary, after viewing the Academy Awards with her daughter, Christina put out a call to moms everywhere to stand up to the image that Hollywood projects to our impressionable daughters, that of thinness—to the the extent of sometimes resembling expensively-coutured living skeletons. (The sometimes-sometimes-not revered Angelina Jolie looked like hell, reminiscent of the emaciated Lara Flynn Boyle during her Jack Nicholson days.) We need to be having conversations about healthy body image with our daughters.
With all of the focus on “Who are you wearing?” and the major brown-nosing, the spotlight on the Red Carpet and during the Oscars was on unhealthy “beauty,” thinness wrapped up in ridiculously expensive clothing and jewels, with “perfect” hair and make-up, that mere humans can’t even begin to dream about. They can covet it though… And our young daughters can be easily persuaded to covet Holocaustic thinness, because it considered “beautiful” by the obscenely rich and famous.
My girls have gone there, as Christina’s daughter has, comparing themselves to what they see in magazines, on TV and online. They notice. How can they not with all of the images pounding regularly into their psyches?
What do I tell my daughters? I tell them they’re perfect just the way they are (same for my sons). They should have and demand respect for themselves and their bodies. They should love the bodies were given and appreciate their uniqueness. And, of course, as their mom and a woman, I can be part of the problem or the solution.
Christina states, “We can change our daughters’ futures by raising our own awareness about self-abuse among women and talking openly and honestly about how to love and accept ourselves instead of further dis-empowering and abusing our bodies.”
I agree. And so I take it a step further. What am I modeling for my girls? How do I feel about myself? My weight, height, body type, how I’m aging? And more importantly, how do I address it? Do I run to a plastic surgeon, diet, and/or bemoan the unjustness and effects of time and gravity? (NO!) How do I take care of myself (eat, drink exercise, relax, play)? What are my friendships like? How do I treat others? How do I honor myself?
You get the idea. What are your ideas for empowering our next generation of women? Share here and pass it on!