At what age do we begin with body issues? When I was in high school I used to believe I was overweight and unattractive. Hence, the boys I liked did not like me back. Now, over 20 years later I take a look at my photos which I recently posted in facebook and what was I thinking? I was not overweight and I was not on the ugly duckling side. Que tonta! How did this start? Was it because my parents always called me "gorda" as far back as I could remember? This was the nickname given to me which I secretly loathed. What crazy insecurities ravaged my mind?
As a mother of two girls and one boy, I am trying very hard to raise confident, secure children. Why you ask? That's why, in the words of Gael. But seriously, in a world where our girls are blasted with what the latest Disney and Nick Jr. stars are wearing, dating, going and using how do we keep our children balanced? To remind them that actions towards others are important and compassion is key. We want to assure them that happiness comes from inside and not the latest smart phones.
I take a deep breath and think about my answers when my 6th grade daughter asks me "Mom, does this outfit look ok? Does it match? Do I look fat?" I answer the question with a question. How do you think it looks? How do you feel when you wear it? In return I get a smile with a nod of approval and then move on to the topic of breakfast.
Well parents, we are not alone. The Junior League of Pasadena is putting on a conference for middle school girls (grades 6-8) on March 26, 2011. The event will take place at Westridge School in Pasadena from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Keynote speaker is Katherine Schwarzenegger, author of "Rock What You've Got." There will be workshops on body image, defense and personal safety. For more information go to www.myjlp.com
This is a never ending topic and I have only scratched the surface. More to come....