Friday, October 9, 2009

Our Image of Self Worth

I was talking to my friend Amanda recently.  She teaches a Life Skills class at the school which I work.  One of the units is on what you want to be when you grow up, what you want to accomplish, what makes you feel good.  She said that it broke her heart to read some of the responses from the 6th grade girls.  So much of their self worth is tied up in looking pretty and being skinny. 

Isn't that the way it is with all women?  Then I began to wonder about what kind of number I was doing on my daughter.  Am I really screwing her up?  If you mention that you feel fat or overweight, those little ears are listening and internalizing.  I must be fat too.  If mom is on a diet, I should probably diet, too.  The media sets us women up for that.  You're not gorgeous unless you have great boobs, beautiful skin, and wear a size 2!  Our little girls are hearing these messages and at younger and younger ages. 

I was curious what kind of message I have been sending to Ladybug.  I am not on a diet, but on a healthy eating plan.  I have been teaching her about portion control, calorie intake versus calories burned.  I have been talking to her about taking up running for her health.  I encourage her to go on walks and go for bike rides with me.  Am I screwing with my daughter's mind or merely educating her in being healthy.  Amanda and I tore through the papers she was grading looking for Ladybugs responses to those touchy questions.  I was pleased and relieved when I saw that she wanted to be healthy as opposed to the other girls who want to be skinny.  She wrote that she would like to run better and do more pull ups.  Good girl! 

She also said that she wanted to be prettier.  Oops!  I've always concentrated on telling her how kind and good hearted she is focusing on her internal beauty  She doesn't talk back, is so pleasant and always makes good choices.  I was afraid to tell her how pretty she is out of worry that I could create a conceited monster.  Perhaps I should tell her how perfect and flawless her skin is.  How her eyes are a gorgeous blue.  Maybe I should mention the beauty marks above and below her lips and how the boys will just want to kiss them. 

 Watch out boys, I  have a shot gun! 

Dove is doing a self-esteem campaign, and perhaps you've heard of it.  Amanda reminded me of this campaign, and I am going to check it out. 

We've only got one chance not to mess up these precious spirits.  I don't want my daughter to spend her teenage years hungry and always feeling like a failure. 


  1. I agonize over this same dilemma too. The other day my daughter told me that she likes make-up because it makes her pretty. I just wanted to die on the spot. NO NO NO! You are beautiful and precious just as you are. You don't need make-up. So I'm working on complimenting her and explaining that make-up doesn't make the woman. =)

  2. I think it's a super tough balance.

  3. it is a tough balance. i think it's important to focus on the "whole package".

  4. What a great reminder! We do need to remember they listen and watch even when we think aren't! A great campaign!

  5. That is tough, I know. I am kind of having the same problem with my second daughter...she's been saying a lot lately that she could do without some parts of her party and that she wishes some she has more of some parts than others.

    And you're absolutely right...we women have been set up by the media. Thank you for this reminder and hey, your daughter is beautiful. I love those blue eyes, my favorite eye color. I don't think you're screwing with your daughter's mind, there is nothing wrong with teaching our kids to be healthy.


Always happy to hear from you! Comments make my day, just please keep them uplifting and positive. Thanks for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...