A few weeks ago, THIS ARTICLE from the Huffington Post gave the following advice on how to talk to your daughter about her body – DON’T.
From the article:
How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works. Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight. If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:
“You look so healthy!” is a great one.
Or how about, “You’re looking so strong.”
“I can see how happy you are — you’re glowing.”
Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.
This article made it’s round on social media, eliciting LOTS of response. I want to call your attention to one particular blog, written by Emily Wierenga. She writes:
If you pretend that your daughter’s body doesn’t exist, she’ll feel like she doesn’t exist.
It’s not about ignoring our children’s looks. It’s about helping them to redefine beauty.
I understand why we would want to ignore. I understand that we’re scared to mess up our children. We have objectified ourselves. We have become objects of our own hatred or scorn. We are relentless when it comes to our own weight, our own scars and we don’t want to hurt our offspring with the same objectification and so we say nothing.
But saying nothing is not the answer.
We live in a toxic culture for girls. Beauty has been redefined by our culture to a standard that is practically unreachable. In a time when women have supposedly been empowered, they seem more objectified than ever by our hyper-sexualized culture.
So how can our daughters make it through the confusing maze of adolescence with hearts intact? It seems to me that the key is concerned, involved, proactive parents who offer support, encouragement, and perspective.
For more on this subject, take a look at THIS BLOG ENTRY from earlier this year. Also, I highly recommend reading through Wierenga’s full blog post by clicking on the earlier link.