Building a Body

Just another weblog

Society and Self Image October 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dwyatt64 @ 5:29 pm

   Okay, okay, I know this was supposed to be my training log/blog, and on some days it seems as if I am ranting against what, after all, was my own choice….but I have to take a moment here and ruminate on what society deems acceptable in the female body, and what we, as individuals, are willing to ACCEPT in our own bodies. 

   As my buds know, I have two daughters.  I try my best to shut my mouth whenever something negative about my own self image begins to spew forth.  I try to promote a healthy eating role model whenever possible (my daughters know I have a glass of wine at night, so I hope that doesn’t morally corrupt them as my mother seems to think).  But WTF is with the teenage girls of today, congregating in hallways across the country, bemoaning their fate to wear (oh horrors) a freakin’ size three???  And then, to discuss how they diet (read= starve) so that they, like some pencil-thin, hobo bag toting, platform death-trap wearing starlet can fit into a size 0???  Are you kidding me?  I became a parent, only to have to try to explain this? 

   There is no rhyme or reason to it.  There is no beauty or grace to it.  I know I am not a zero, but at least I am in the single digits size-wise.  I eat well, exercise daily, and try to promote positive self image.  My hubby is an ironman, who also eats and exercises well.  There is beauty in healthy, muscular, NORMAL size bodies.  So why is it that girls today feel that they have to look like concentration camp survivors?

   My oldest daughter’s friends are all 13 or 14, a horrible age to have to try to parent these days.  They are ALL dieting, and discussing it among themselves.  I am scared shitless that Madeline will succumb to the frenzy of unhealthy habits that American girls think will make them “beautiful” (thin).  She bought a magazine the other day with yet another crop of Hollywood honeys (new shows for the teen set–Gossip Girl and 90210) with the young ladies in them turned sideways, and practically disappearing.  What’s a mom to do?  Any parent of a young girl today knows that kids feel that “mom doesn’t know anything”.  Mom is behind the times.  Mom never had to worry about fitting in.  (Yeah right, mom was a teenager once, believe it or not, and it wasn’t the Stone Age.) 

   And so, I continue to bite my tongue as I listen in on conversations that have me cringing….I keep trashing teen mags that have me worrying….and I guess I’ll keep leaving out my copies of Women’s Health, Shape, and Women’s Muscle and Fitness, in hopes that my girls will absorb a healthy body image by osmosis (just in case my talks about health and fitness continue to sound like background noise to them—blah blah blah).  Goodness knows, society isn’t going to help them in the self image department.  With that, I shall step down from my soapbox.


5 Responses to “Society and Self Image”

  1. kate o Says:

    Be glad that your girls are so active in sports. Their softball, swimming (I think), and volleyball are very important to them. They have the perfect role models in you and Jeff–they know that fueling themselves properly to stay at the top of their game is very important. And staying active is the first key to staying fit! Many other parents have forgotten that lesson.

  2. denisermt Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I absolutely detest when young girls and even grown women moan about their weight or size. Hollywood offers some shitty role models, too.

    Oprah did a great show a few years back about how daughters repeat what they hear their mothers say. So, if a mom thinks she looks awful in the mirror then her daughter will develop a poor self image.

  3. TRIgirl 40 Says:

    I grew up supported by great family – and in the nerdy, smart crowd – yet I remember feeling those pressures. Weeks throwing away my lunch to hit 500 calorie per day diets.

    Sometimes I think there are worse examples in the media now – but also am sometimes relieved to see more healthy role models, too.

    You’ve done a great job setting the stage for healthy habits and examples for your girls – they see how your choices have resulted in your beauty – both inside and out!

  4. Sandra R Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

    • dwyatt64 Says:

      Hi Sandra! Thanks…I am trying…back to work now as a teacher, but I hope to keep my workouts up! The hubby and I worked out last night. Of course, I didn’t get dinner until nearly 9 pm, but I felt better because I managed to squeeze it all in!!!

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