Nana Lizard recently went on a diet; it was the first in her entire life. She's very healthy - eats organic food, non-processed meats, milk straight from the cow (non pasteurized), and loads of supplements. We can't afford all of those luxuries, but we do use organic milk for our daughter. Nana Lizard might be a healthy eater, but she doesn't exercise, nor is she overweight. This was the first time in my entire life my mom started really watching her food intake, focusing on weight, and following an eating plan.
It made me start to think about body image and the many concerns with the constant attention placed on female physical appearance and the emphasis on being model thin, the media's definition of "beauty". I worry about the inescapable focus on body image, and the issue of beauty in relation to impressionable girls. Is it too early to worry about these topics now? I often ponder the idea of raising daughters to have a healthy, confident body image without focusing on appearance as the number one. What is the key to raising self assured children?
My grandmother never ever told my mom she looked nice, not even on her wedding day. Someone I know told me that when she was pregnant, her mother always discussed her weight gain after doctor visits, nothing else. These situations sadden me. I know moms who incessantly discuss their child's weight or height. They praise or criticize the fact that their child is small or tall, or in a certain percentile. For others, it's a non-issue. Mothers are role models for healthy or unhealthy habits, actions, and thoughts, and it's a big responsibility.
The role we have as mothers in our daughter's long term self assurance or lack thereof is tremendous, but finding a nice balance is much harder than it sounds. How do we balance an healthy emphasis on body image without going too far? Sometimes we do too much, other times too little. As mothers, we are the first and most influential role model when it comes to our daughters' body image. What type role model are you?
What is your solution, your advice? How do you consciously encourage healthy body image and or self assurance without becoming obsessive? I don't have all the answers, but I certainly am looking. I want my daughter to be confident, and I want her to realize that there are many, many more important things in this world than physical appearance.
How do you tackle this sticky subject especially in light of the fact that we make cute couture for our children?