Monday, July 14, 2014

Dear Son, What You Need To Know About Girls

Like most women, body image is a topic in which I feel strongly.  It’s something I often talk about with my fellow mom-friends.  While body image is such a huge issue regarding how to raise girls, I think it’s equally important when raising boys.  I’ve wanted to write about body image for months, but I never quite knew exactly how to approach the post.

It wasn’t until I came across the video for All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor that the creative vibes started to flow.  At first it was just a catchy pop song, but once I started listening to the lyrics I fell in love.  Underneath all the bubblegum pink and rainbow tulle is a powerful message about self-acceptance and diversity.

It’s important to me to raise my son so one day he will be a  good  great man.  A man who’s kind, respectful, and compassionate.  A man who’s open-minded and accepting of others.  So I decided to write C a letter with a few things he should always keep in mind when around girls.

Dear Son,
I don’t know what it’s like to be a boy, but I do know what it’s like to be a girl.  The life of a girl isn’t easy, especially when it comes to what we see in the mirror.  We’re critical of ourselves and almost always find something “wrong.”  We’ll try on 15 pairs of jeans until we find some that don’t make us look “fat” and we’ll insist on taking a photo over and over until we fine the single angle that’s “okay.”

Thankfully there’s been this new wave of self-acceptance and appreciation which is a step in the right direction.  However, even though girls are being more supportive of each other doesn’t mean they’re being any less cruel to themselves.  An inner monologue of self-hate isn’t easy to switch off.

So why am I telling you this?  You’re not a girl.

Well the tiniest comment or action can have a the greatest impact.  Learning to show compassion for others will make you a stronger person.  So whether you’re on the playground or down on one knee, here are a few things you need to know about girls…

1.  Girls in magazines aren’t real.
I see the magazines working that Photoshop
Sure it might actually be a real person, but that photo isn’t real.  Even PicMonkey has a “weight loss” option for editing photos– just imagine what one can do with professional software!  Now I’m not saying you can’t look at magazines or have a celebrity crush, but understand that comparing girls at your school to girls on a glossy  page is like comparing horses and unicorns.  Sure they’re similar, but unicorns aren’t real.

2.  Everybody  is  can be beautiful.
My momma she told me don’t worry about your size
Every body has the potential to be beautiful– maybe not in the same way, but everyone is capable of beauty.  True beauty is much deeper than height or waist circumference.  A great personality can make someone more attractive and a bad attitude can make someone real ugly.  Don’t form opinions based off looks.

3.  Everyone is self-conscious about something.
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top
I recently heard someone call herself “the fattest skinny girl.”  Most people look at “skinny” people and think they’re lucky.  However, being skinny/curvy/short/tall/tan/pale/etc doesn’t mean you’re any less likely to be self-conscious.  If you find something beautiful about someone, tell them.  You never know the impact you might have.

And when in doubt, just remember:  it’s all about that bass…
Love, Mommy

What do you tell your kids about body image?
If you don’t have kids [or your kids are young like C], what will you tell your kids about body image?

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