young girls in America think they are fat?
When I was in 2nd grade I remember deciding that I was chubby. I always had a round face and a round tummy...but fat? No! It didn't help that I had a mother and a grandmother who were constantly breathing down my neck about what I ate b/c I "wasn't fat yet, but I needed to be aware"....Please.
Their constant watching, comments and own issues w/ food made me feel less than. I was already feeling bloated and their "helpful" comments certainly were anything but.
In 4th grade I remember my favorite pair of jeans. A stonewash finish w/ zippers up the legs in the back and a denim bow that landed mid calf on both sides. They were a size 7...in womens. I was chubby.
I was a 4th grader, asked to be in the High School production of Annie that year. It required late night practices 3 nights a week and during that time I lost 10 lbs. I remember it being the biggest deal and everyone was so proud of me for "slimming down". Hello? I was 10!
Of course, as soon as the play was over, it was back to eat regularly for me and of course the pounds came back. I still remember my 4th grade school picture being one of my mother's favorites b/c I looked so "slim".
And so the bad body image and dieting begin. Up and down on the scale. I hated my body and the hatred only grew with time.
And now I see things on TV like America's Next Top Model and where a girl who is a size 10 is considered "plus sized". Are you kidding me?
No wonder my 6 year old says things like, "I won't have another cookie Mom, b/c I don't want to be fat." And I look at Hannah and see me. It scares me.
Part of my mom's problem was that, though she was not overweight, she had issues w/ food, and the only reason she was slim was b/c she was obsessed w/ diet and starved herself thin. Now as an adult I know she struggled/s w/ binge eating and restriction and she is not healthy when it comes to eating and her relationship w/ food. She pushed that off on me. She taught me her issues. Because she felt, "not good enough"... I felt "not good enough".
Here I am the mother of two girls. Girls who are beautiful and strong and independant and I want to preserve that. I don't want them to be beat down by the worlds standards of beauty. I can't stand by and watch them hate their bodies like I have hated mine, my entire life.
I feel like I am fighting a losing battle though. I have issues. I still hate my body some days. And the media, magazines, movies, aren't helping. I looked at some blogs and message boards for ANTM and about Whitney winning the contest and I was appauld at some of the responses. There are people calling her horrible names and saying she doesn't deserve to win....
It breaks my heart. The average woman is not a size 2! While the fashion industry and the media present these woman as normal, it is our preteen and teenage daughters that suffer. We know a size 2 isn't the norm, but do my daughters??
Is it any wonder these girls are so hard on themselves? All I can do is teach my own girls that they are beautiful no matter what and to love their bodies and treat them w/ respect. Feed them good, healthy food and plenty of water. Get rest and exercise and be HEALTHY! That is all I can do.