This is a photo of my mom & Chloe at Grandparents’ Day at her school. My mom looks good for 65, no? I hope to look as good at that age. And look at that beautiful Chloe. Could she be any more perfect? No, she can’t. Except she doesn’t agree. Yes, friends, the body image issues have started. Chloe told my mom that her Auntie Jess was going to give her bangs for her birthday because, “I have GOT to cover this forehead.” Six. She’s SIX. Yeah, on some level, it’s pretty funny. But seriously, what in blue blazes is wrong with her forehead?
The passage of time unfortunately only makes this worse, but the biggest contributor to this is women in her life that will criticize their physical appearance out loud without realizing its effect on the younger generation. The other day I checked my lipstick in the mirror and my immediate reaction to my image was, “bad hair, bags under my eyes, and back fat.” There’s always something to pick at but we rarely find the things to celebrate.
All this pales in comparison to the bigger picture and that is that this body is merely our person suit. It’s not who we are. I don’t want to get all gnostic about it. I eat pretty well and go to the gym as often as I can. At the end of the day, this is not me. It houses me.
My friend Amber has a beautiful girl who is smart and funny and just an all around delight. She started to notice that she wasn’t as thin as the other girls (but was by no means fat) and began to experience anxiety. Amber works hard to make sure her daughter knows how important it is to be healthy and that is the goal, not thin. But it’s hard to communicate that to young girls when you’re not buying it yourself. They see right through you.
I don’t know that I’ll ever be a parent, but there are lots of little girls in my life and I hope that I can help be a positive influence on the image they have of themselves, both internally and externally. First, I need to find out who is that hottie in the mirror? 🙂