So "parenting method" is always a very sensitive topic. I've heard many opinions on this subject and I totally might change mine in the future. However, if it weren't for some of these outspoken moms sharing their concerns- I would NEVER have given Barbie or Disney princesses a second thought. So.. I have read all these opinions... and well.... I don't like them as much anymore. Do I allow them? Of course? A little bit of anything won't kill you... (except my baking, sad but true- I am no Snow White!)
Please read, hate, love, disregard, ponder. I want you to raise your daughters how you see best, with all the love and heart and wisdom you can muster. That is what any good mama does! XOXO
With 50% of girls using unhealthy methods of weight control and changing their body with plastic surgery before 18... I have to take a step back and wonder... "What can I do to prevent this from being a struggle for my little girl?".
Body image is EVERYWHERE. We all know this.
These are things I do NOT want ingrained into her little baby head: exceedingly small waist & feet, perfect hair & makeup every day, needed a man to save her, extra large baby doll eyes, having to SMILE ALL THE TIME, extravagant clothes, needing to be saved by a man, or overly sexy appearance. Yet Disney princesses, Barbie, and a huge selection of girls toy options show these very things! I can't watch Frozen without staring at those poor sisters' feet wondering how they ever manage to walk their tiny bodies around with such super, super tiny feet!
Body Image- What is the effect of body image on the person? Body image shapes your self-esteem. Good self-esteem give you (Self Esteem.2 June 2014. youngwomenshealth.org) :
- courage to try new things
- power to believe in yourself
- confidence to make healthy choices for your mind and body throughout life
In reality, no person's body is perfect. My belief is that our body is a vessel for our soul - this is where I true beauty and purpose exists. Bethany Hamilton suffered the loss of her arm due to a shark attack, yet heroically she faced her fears of sharks and body image by getting back out there!
I love the work that Mr. Chris is doing with Special Books by Special Kids : "SBSK: Normalizing the diversity of the human condition." He shares his experiences with children that have various conditions and shares his beautiful heart as he introduces them to us... the nervous, unready American Public. I like to share these intro videos with my daughter as an education for myself in the ways to interact, appropriate questions to these PERFECT BODIES.. no, not perfect but 100% authentic and real humans that can be great friends.
Take Care of Business - I want her to know a lesson that my father taught me very young, and drilled into me throughout my preteen and teenage years... you know the "I can't wait to get married and have babies" dream. He reminded me that I should never rely on a man. Ever. If I want my picture perfect home, activities, and time with my children... then I need to take care of business myself and plan for a career. Period.
This really shattered my Disney Princess dream for sure, but in time I learned there was great wisdom in this and HE WAS RIGHT.
Gender Roles - Society now virtually ANY OPTION for a girl. That doesn't mean it is easy to get there, or without daily challenges. I am actively trying to combat this for her by sharing great women's accomplishments throughout history. She needs to know she can follow her passions, and feel confident in herself. No need to look to anyone else for approval. (Ask me if 18 years how I did on this. All I can do is try.) To help me with this, I follow A Mighty Girl Facebook Page, which has awesome and inspiring stories, with literature and facts in every post.
From Womb to Woman: Raising My Daughter for Her Best Future What does this look like in day-to-day? I am actively changing into the woman I want her to be, instead of -- "Do what I say not what I do!" parenting, which might be the case a lot of the time TRY AS I MIGHT. I have taken on my body image issues by getting fitness into my life through Stroller Strides, Body Back. I watch how I talk about myself infront of her. This is hard. I actually have to be NICE to myself in my self-talk. HARD. hard. Especially when I am so sad, so upset, so disappointed in myself. I actually say out loud, "I did the best I could." or "I am a great friend." Whatever I know a loving mother would say to me in that moment... whatever I want HER to hear in HER head when she feel that way.
I hope this helped, made you feel better about yourself, inspired, opened your mind, or stirred up something inside you. Find the fire inside you and be awesome! For little eyes are watching.
PS. I still call my daughter a princess, every now and then!
Please read, hate, love, disregard, ponder. I want you to raise your daughters how you see best, with all the love and heart and wisdom you can muster. That is what any good mama does! I know you are a great mama! XOXO
The Disney Princess Effect on Young Girls and Feminist Theory: https://storify.com/sternb13/the-disney-princess-effect-on-young-girls-and-femi
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