Monday, August 27, 2012

What are we teaching our daughters?

I came across this picture on Facebook. 
It broke my heart. 
The notes read: "When you take a bite of ice cream you do 10 push ups!". They were written by a nine year old to keep her mother on track with her diet. Words can not describe the fury running through my body. Did this mother in fact ask her daughter to write these notes? If so, that is sick. Did this child think to write those notes herself? If so, that is sad. Either way, nine years old and the message she has learned is that if she chooses to enjoy a bite of ice cream, a repercussion must be had.
Ten situps for every bite.
And so disordered eating begins.
 Generation after generation, we pass down the best ways to abuse our bodies and minds, the best ways to put ourselves down physically, emotionally and mentally. From the 18th century organ crushing corsets to give the appearance of a dainty figure, to 21st century diet fads, books, magazines, apps on how to get the best body. When does it stop? When do we say enough is enough and learn how stop passing down ideas of self objectification, forceful exercise, and abusive fat talk to younger generations? 
Every year girls are learning to hate their body at a younger age. In the Journal of Adolescent Health and Journal of Eating Disorders, the numbers show that anywhere from 30%-45% of girls in 1st through 3rd grade want to be thinner. This should not be. The size of your clothes and the number on the scale should not be a concern of an elementary school child. Who is teaching them this? Parents? Teachers? Media? If it's not coming from you as a parent, be aware of where it is coming from and do something to stop it. Why not teach them how to love their bodies, as we do in yoga, and how to form healthy relationships with food? Teach them mindful eating. Teach them self-acceptance. Be a healthy role model. Your child should never hear you or someone else judge, criticize or compare their bodies. Silence your inner critic.
Life is precious and much too short to spend your time and energy in a state of self-loathing.
Do something.:

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