Tag Archives: children

Its a Small Wonder…

2 Mar

I know I shouldn’t judge and being a survivor I shouldn’t be saying what I am I am fixing to say but its the common sense side of me that compels me to share this rant today.

dance momsWhy is it when we have little girls we sign them up for all these dance classes and pageants that all require them to dress and present themselves as much older than they really are?  Every week as the weekend approaches I find my Facebook feed cluttered with images of friends and their little girls in uniform for whatever competition that they have that weekend and most of them (although they are mostly around the 6-12 age range) all look like they are ready to work the main stage at Willie’s House of Babes.

When did it become a prerequisite to youth activities for young girls to do their hair and make up and dress like they are preparing to be sluts?  I mean, most of us, if we saw a women our own age (33 for me) dressed like this with the heavy make up would begin automatically looking for the pimp hiding around the corner for his cut of the cash so why is it OK to send our daughters out of the house like this for dance competitions?

This kind of passive aggressive acceptance of what should give you a moment’s pause is what tells our daughters that its OK to dress like a slut to get attention from people (regardless of if it is positive or negative) and puts our daughters in a place where they leave themselves open to the wrong kind of attention.  Now, I know, maybe more than most, that we should all be able to walk down Main St. in the middle of rush hour traffic buck ass naked and not have to worry about that “wrong” attention, that a man should be able to control his urges and desires to know that just because I have my boobs on display does not mean that I am asking to be raped, but sadly enough, we all know that this is not the case and now we have a generation of girls who dress for attention and don’t stop to think of the consequences of what that dress may mean.

Not just that, but we are also teaching them that what matters is, not their (fill in the blank) ability, but how physically appealing they are.  Could they not achieve the same outcome in their dance competitions with an age appropriate costume that covers everything adequately and a little bit of lip gloss?  Why is it so important that they have so much make up on and a skimpy costume that is just a little too revealing for most grown strippers, let alone a 12-year-old girl.

Parents! WAKE UP!! This is not acceptable at any age but especially not your grade school daughters! Demand that the attire be age appropriate or withdraw your child from the class and find one that is! Self respect is a wonderful thing to teach your children and it starts when you respect yourself enough to stand up for them!

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How Young is Too Young?

16 Aug

A new study finds that girls as young as three years old worry that they will
become fat.  How would a child that young even know what fat is let alone that
they are or are not fat?  A segment on GMA focused on a little six year old girl
near Houston who thinks that she is fat and worries about losing weight.
Seriously! Six years old?  I shouldn’t be shocked, I was teased as a child about
my weight as young as seven or eight, but maybe I was raised a little
differently, I don’t remember looking at any of my classmates and thinking that
they looked different than me, to this day, some twenty years later my mom still
has to remind me that one of my childhood classmates was a little black boy and
I was just amazed when she pointed it out to me years later that I never saw it
before, but it was how I was raised.

These children soak up this mentality from things they hear us adults say, a
mom who says that she needs to get to the gym so she can lose weight, a teacher
who won’t eat even a small piece of cake during a class party because she is on
a diet, our obsession with our image is beginning to rub off on our children and
this sets the stage for future eating disorders and years of therapy trying to
undo something they had no control over.

I have to wonder how much the media and governments “battle of the bulge”
affects these children’s outlooks.  We are constantly telling these children
that they need to be active and mindful of what they eat, which are wonderful
lessons that they need to know, but these lessons need to be reinforced at home
and they need to be reinforced at an early age so that by the time they are able
to make those decisions on their own they make the wise decisions.  Yet, a
cautionary note, something that I have said from the beginning, just because the
physical appearance seems to indicate that someone is overweight does not make
it so.  That little girl from Houston I spoke of earlier, she is happy and
active and according to her pediatrician, she is completely with in the
“allowable” weight and BMI range for a child of her age and height.  While I
don’t put much stock in the medical communities prescribed weight and height
charts, by all accounts this little girl shows no signs of being at risk of
being obese.  Yet, she is still teased by her peers, one little boy at a recent
birthday party refered to her as the “fat girl.”  In fact, one of her teachers
has told her that she needs to run more so that she can “loose her belly.”

There is so much more to life than your weight and when adults put so much
emphasis on the topic of weight and weight loss, especially in front of a group
that is so easily influenced, we set up a whole new generation to repeat the
patterns that, in all honesty, have gotten us where?  When we stop allowing our
children to be baby sat by a Nintendo and quit allowing McDonalds to be the
daily chef de jour and use the these moments as opportunities to teach how to
make wise decisions then the focus is not on being fat or thin, its about being
healthy and when it is all said and done, that is where the focus should
be.

So, how young is too young to be worrying about your weight?  How old were
you when you became aware of your weight and appearance or went on your first
diet?

Body Image Disorders and What Sketchers is Doing to Help!

16 Aug

I hope you noted the sarcasm there!

Have we no shame?

Last week I read an article about the new ad campaign for Sketchers Shape ups
and how they are targeting young girls in an effort to promote the First Lady’s
“Get Active” campaign.  I am all for encouraging children to get out from behind
the tv screen playing video games and get outside and run and be children and
while I applaud anyone who takes the active steps to encourage healthier
behavior I honestly think that Sketchers have gone a little too far on this
one.

The target age group of these ads are girls ages 9-12 which must be why the
only time I have actually seen one of the ads was while waiting on my oil change
at the dealership one Saturday morning while watching what I assume was the
Disney Channel.  That day I saw the ad run twice, once with just the svelte
little cartoon character girls dancing and singing like they were performing on
stage and the next with the “junk food boys” chasing after them.  I was not so
concerned with the first ad as much as I was the second, why are we encouraging
young girls to think that only boys will chase after them if they are
skinny?

The age at which body image distortion begins is increasingly getting younger
and younger each year, often now occurring as young as 10 years old.
Adolescences is a time of discovery and growth and a crucial time in which self
esteem is established and crushed at the same time.  Rather than raise another
generation of self conscious girls and young women we should be encouraging them
to love themselves just as they are.

According to womenshealth.gov, over exercising is just as detrimental to your
health as not exercising, a fact that many overlook on a regular basis.  And its
true that over exercising and eating disorders go hand in hand, its just a
matter of time before someone who has convenced themselves that they need to
work out more and harder will convince themselves that they need to stop eating
so much in order to help them lose the weight.

But while searching the womenshealth.gov site I found a like for
girlshealth.gov that shed a ray of light, there at the top of the page the
headline, “Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be You, Beautiful”  This is the message that we
should be sending to our children, that no matter what they look like, no matter
what size or gender or race or anything else, they are who they are and they are
beautiful just as they are.  Young girls already get enough media images fed to
them every day outside of the Disney Channel to have to deal with it there as
well.  “Buy this lipstick and guys will like you.  Wear this brand and you will
be popular.  Eat at this place and everyone will think you are cool.”  Shouldn’t
they have a place where they can go to just be kids, without all the subliminal
and downright upfront messages, a place that encourages them to accept
themselves and each other and to look beyond what is outside and listen to what
is inside.

I know that is just a pipe dream but its one that I wish for every day.
Maybe one day, if enough of us wish for it, it might just come true.