Does your (daughter, grand daughter, sister, niece, cousin, child you babysit, student) know what looks flattering on her? Does she know what compliments her body? Does she know that it is possible to flatter and accent every body type, not just the “cool girls” at school?
So what if she puts the flat in flattering right now. She may not have a lick of shape to flatter yet, but does she know that her body is going to develop and change? Well that may be common sense. But does she truly understand that no matter how it changes and what it looks like, it will be all hers forever?
That is a long time to hate your body, especially when you’re starting so young.
According to the Keep It Real campaign (joint effort between Miss Representation, the SPARK Movement, Love Social, Endangered Bodies and I Am That Girl) 80 percent of all 10-year-old girls have, at some point in their lives, gone on at least one diet.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, between 40 and 60 percent of children ages 6 to 12 are concerned about their weight or becoming too fat, and 70 percent would prefer to be thinner.
The number one wish for girls ages 11-17 is to be thinner.
So we can pick-a-little-talk-a-little about what a shame it is that our girls are so consumed with body image. We can shake our fists at the media, blame Barbie, and tell our supermodels not to be so super.
Or we could help solve the problem.
Tell me, when your (daughter, grand daughter, sister, niece, cousin, child you babysit, student) is dawned in their lovely, appropriate, well fitting, goodies covering outfits, what do you say?
Do you say anything? You tell her what looks wrong on her. Do you tell her what looks right?
When she puts on her too tight, too short, too revealing, outfit, what do you say? Probably something that insults her maturity, her idea of beauty, her confidence… you probably say “well you’re not ‘all the other girls’ are you?”
It kills me seeing these tweenyboppers running around in outfits my dad wouldn’t want me, his 19 year old, to wear. Of course the ruffles and bows make it cute and adorable. However, it doesn’t shield the fact that her butt cheeks are just a shoe-tie away from the big reveal. If there were any cleavage to show, it would be hanging out. Those skinny jeans show off every single almost-curve.
It’s cute for now, but those curves will come in and those styles aren’t going to change. Try telling her all of a sudden that what once was adorable, is now unacceptable. She spent her tweenagerhood thinking an outfit like this is perfectly fine, but now she is a tramp. Her clothes are too tight, so she must be fat. But clingy was good. But now clingy is bad. And her body is changing and her style is changing but her rules are changing too…
If at 10 years old, body image matters, all we can do is respect that, and help them learn to love what they have. That means inspiring healthier choices, stand out and be independant, and when she gets caught up in “the look”, reminding her that her body is beautiful and will always be beautiful. But most importantly, teach her that true beauty is within. Although looking and feeling pretty sure do help!
Give a girl a dress, and she’ll feel beautiful today.
Teach a girl how to dress, and she’ll feel beautiful every day.