Growing up scrawny

Filed under: Tweens, Nutrition: Health, Development/Milestones: Babies, Media, That's Entertainment

Being a woman in our image obsessed society is hard. Sure there are countries where being a woman is much more difficult, but the image thing is a struggle for many of us. When I was pregnant with my daughter I often thought about how I would raise her. I didn't want television in our home. I was against Barbies. I wanted to raise a strong, fearless female warrior to unleash into the world where she would kick butt. For many year it appeared that she was invincible to the pressures of perceived beauty.

My daughter is now nine. About 18 months ago we got cable. And although she was never interested in Barbies, she loves clothing, shoes and glamor. I have also recently realized that she has virtually stopped eating. For her entire life people have always remarked on her appearance. She is long, tall and a brown-eyed red head. Women have often remarked, "Oh, honey, if I could only have a body like you. I Could be tall and thin and feel beautiful." Or this one is always nice, "Oh, lucky you! You're perfect. You'll never have to diet a day in your life." These sorts of comments are not at all uncommon to hear from grown women.

What does this do to a young girl? When she is bombarded with images of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan every where she turns. Television, the magazine stands, movies, they are everywhere. On top of that, the passing comments of women must make an impact. I am not saying that this is all the fault of our society. Nor it is all attributable to television. I understand that family values play a role, geographical location, family health and maternal modeling are just a few of the elements responsible. But how a young girl digests it all, I do not quite understand. What I do know is that my daughter appears to be suffering and it hurts deeply to watch. We have a lab appointment for a blood draw to rule out various medical problems. And beyond that? We will wait to see what our doctor has to say.

Do we have readers who are struggling with the same issues? If so, I would love dearly to hear from you. Any sort of constructive enlightenment would help.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.