I hope that you enjoy this series, I hope you find some new writers to follow, I hope this helps them out and I hope we can all learn something from them!
Up today is Heather from My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream. She's an internet superstar when it comes to the blogging world, so I'm thrilled she was willing to participate in this project! She's funny, she's real, and she's always sharing awesome recipes and tips on her blog. Her Facebook page is a constant source of laughter for me, and I look forward to what she posts every day.
Without further adieu, I give you Heather.
Last week at dinner, we were having mini egg sandwiches. My daughter, Piper, who is 7 years old, ate one. I asked her if she wanted another one and she said no. My husband asked her why she wasn't hungry, and mentioned that she had said that she chose not to eat snack at school that day too. Her answer made my jaw drop.
She said "I'm trying to lose weight."
This is Piper:
She is NOT fat. She has a round face, just like me, and she is a string bean. What provoked this, you might ask? A comment made, about how she weighed 2 lbs. more than her brother Dylan, who is a year older than her. And that was all it took for a 1st grade girl to decide that she was fat, and needed to lose weight.
We all know that today, society pushes women to be skinny. If you aren't skinny, you'll never get a job. If you aren't skinny, you'll never find someone to love you. If you aren't skinny, you're a slob. If you aren't skinny, you eat too much. If you aren't skinny, you're a fat loser. So, the skinnier you are, the more people will love you, and the more successful you'll be. Our daughters need to know that isn't true. Our daughters need to know that the people that are worth your time will love you no matter what, and all that matters is that you are healthy. And healthy does NOT equal being super skinny, or not eating.
As important as it is to talk about sex with our kids, it's equally, if not more important to talk about body image. I say it's more important for this reason: Confident kids turn into confident teens. Confident teens are less likely to succumb to peer pressure, and the need to do things, like have sex, just to fit in or be like their friends. Teens who end up doing things just because their friends did, often regret it later, and sometimes those choices haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Looking perfect should NOT equal confidence. Yet, every day, we send this subtle messages to our daughters. Do you have to have makeup on to leave the house? How many times a day do you check your hair? How much time do you spend on primping yourself each day? How cute is it when your daughter wants to use your makeup so she can feel pretty too? This is what they are getting from us. That we need to be pretty to be accepted.
What they are missing is that what really makes us pretty, is our character. That as long as you know you are pretty, you will feel good about yourself, and it won't matter what other people think about you. That you can be the prettiest looking girl in the world, but if you are mean, and you put other people down because they aren't pretty, or they are fat, or they have glasses, or old tennis shoes.... then you aren't pretty at all. That the most important thing in life is just being you, and not changing for other people. Because you are the only person like you, and if other people don't appreciate that, then that is their loss and not yours.
Giving our kids a positive body image at a young age is extremely important. For most women, our body image is something we struggle with our entire life. Our bodies are constantly changing, and society's views on what 'pretty' should be is constantly changing. The best gift we can give our daughters, is being comfortable in their own skin.