As a mom to three daughters, I work really hard at teaching them that you need to be healthy without worrying about looking like the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves. I try to teach them what I believe – that while you do have some control over your size and weight, they are genetically born into a family of obese people. I could blame fast food and processed food or an excessive amount of junk food, but truth be told, growing up, we didn’t go to fast food restaurants. My mom always had snack foods in the house, but they weren’t liberally dispensed throughout the day – you had them as a bedtime or after school snack. We didn’t eat a lot of fattening foods, and there were always vegetables and fruit in the house. My grandmother, who produced five children who all ended up obese and diabetic, cooked every meal from scratch, and rarely had anything other than fruit salad or a homemade cake or fruit pie that she portioned out to last at least a few days so she didn’t have to bake again. Again, I’m not saying we couldn’t have exercised and eaten smaller portions to affect our weight, but there is some genetics in whether or not you are going to be fat.
We know Barbie is an unrealistic skinny bitch, but we’re grown ups. Our little girls do not see the irony in the fact that you can buy Barbie kitchens, Barbie food, Barbie couches and TVs so you could have a Barbie couch potato, but you can’t buy a Barbie with a mouth that will open up to enjoy one morsel of the fabulous wedding cake you can purchase for her. Barbie is like the original anorexic. But we don’t tell our little girls that as we buy Barbie pants that you have to lay her on the bed to button. And we should.
Here is an example of a bad photoshop job. The model has thighs. Huge, fat, chunky, my size? Probably not, or she wouldn’t be a model in the first place. But to make the picture look better, they trim down her already super thin thighs. So why do we have to take a photo of what was probably already a far cry from what many of us will ever be able to attain in terms of a thin body and make it appear even thinner and less attainable? What message are we sending our girls? Or even our boys? Do they grow up wanting real women, or do they grow up seeing flaws in every woman who doesn’t need a size 0 taken in at the waist?
Rest assured that all of my pictures are not altered in Photoshop Version 184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.j to make my butt smaller. My arse is what it is. And my girls have all seen it wandering the house naked. They know that I am not now nor will I ever be a Barbie doll. Or a Heidi Klum. We just haven’t been blessed with the genetics or the modeling plastic that allows us to be that thin. And it’s okay to be what we are and be proud of ourselves.
Show your daughters pictures like the one above. And videos like this one –
We’re not all going to be a super model, and we can’t all have their bodies. But we can be proud of the bodies we have.
Make sure your daughter knows that.