Hi there! Welcome to my blog for the Beauty of a Woman Blog Fest!
I recently had a car full of 12-13 year old girls, and they were chatting away about school, friends, and sports. One of them talked about a girl they knew, and somebody said, “She’s really popular. She’s so skinny.”
As a mom driving, I have to say: RED LIGHT, CLANGING WARNING SIGN, REVERSE. But I kept my cool. Honest. I did.
And I didn’t hit them with a…it matters what’s inside. Nope. Not the cool mom. Not this time, anyway. (That is usually met with an eye roll, BTW…even though it’s true).
I think it’s important to note here that all the kids in my car were healthy and in great shape from a myriad of sports. ALL of them.
So what I did was ask about the girl. Was she nice? Yes. Smart? Yes. Confident in talking to people, especially boys? Yes. So maybe that’s why she’s popular? (I’ve already learned not to question who is popular, what it really means, and who decides who is popular. That, too, is met with eye rolls. Instead, subtle questions about personality seem to help.)
So there was a general consensus that maybe the girl was popular because she was happy with herself and confident talking to people. But one girl connected dots…you see where this is going, right? Maybe the girl was confident because she’s skinny.
Crap. She was probably confident because she was comfortable with how she looks. And to everyone in the car…she looked skinny. RED LIGHT, BACKTRACK, SAY SOMETHING. So we talked about feeling good and what makes them feel good. (The answers ranged from spiking volleyballs to getting a good grade to boy stuff). Not once did they mention weight.
So I (very subtly) pointed that out and fell silent. (You can’t say too much. Trust me).
I hope the point was made a little bit. But in today’s society, with photoshop and air brushing, even the people we see in magazines aren’t real. It’s hard to be a parent now (as I’m sure it was when we were kids), but what I’ve noticed is that kids are smart. Really smart. And when you point out the flaws in thinking…then they really start thinking.
Even so, I wish parenting was easier and not full of landmines. I hope honest discussion helps, and I hope blog fests like this that celebrate real beauty gets us all talking…and listening.