Girls and Body Image

Saturday, May 02, 2009

On Thursday I watched an episode of Dr. Phil about young women/girls and body image. I found it to be rather interesting because in most shows on that particular subject they talk at great length about the medias role in shaping the views girls have of themselves; yet, the media fails to highlight the role that parents play in the process of shaping the young mind. On this particular episode, there was a young girl, I think she was 18, an attractive girl, whose own mother told her that she could benefit from plastic surgery, her own mother!!! I couldn't believe that a mother would tell her child that she could benefit from a nip here or a tuck there. It just amazed me. It also emphasized to me the good job I did raising my own daughter to confident and have a good body image.

I, myself, have never been comfortable in my own skin. When I was in high school, at 120 pounds, I thought I was too fat. For two years after my daughter was born, when I got down to 105 pounds, all I centered on were my flaws. I had fat places no one else but me could see. After I started gaining weight when my daughter was two and reached the highest weight I have ever been, 190 to 200 pounds, I knew I was fat. Even after I lost the weight and finally reached 110 pounds I still couldn't enjoy my success because I was too busy being hard on myself and seeing all the things I wasn't. The weights issues, combined with self esteem issues, definitely didn't do wonders for me. I swore I would not pass this legacy down to my daughter. Now, at 21, if my daughter decided to opt for breast enlargement (as one of the young guests on the show, who didn't even fit a B cup, did) I would understand and support her decision but I would never, in my wildest dreams, suggest that she should do something like that. I can't imaging what that mother was thinking telling her daughter that she should think about having plastic surgery. Both her and her daughter insisted it was done out of love and concern for the girls well being but my feeling is with family more than willing to tear you down, what do you need enemies for. I agree with Dr. Phil, it sends the worst kind of message. It tells your child that she isn't good enough and that all that matters are looks.

I recently read a survey that 66 percent of respondents indicated that they would have plastic surgery if money were not an option. This is a scary statistic in my mind. It is saying that 66 percent of people polled are not happy with who they are. I do have to admit, though, that when I lost weight the last time, I did think about the possibility of surgery to get rid of all the extra skin I had to deal with. That was, of course, before the deaths related to liposuction occurred. Also, when I was in the process of losing weight, I told people close to me that if I didn't go down a couple cup sizes I might think of breast reduction. I don't know, though, if I would be able to go through an unnecessary operation for vanities sake. If I weren't such a chicken, I'd do something about my thin lips. Maybe then I can take a decent picture that doesn't make me look scary for my networking sites.

I just wish that all of our daughters being raised in this generation could be confident and happy and comfortable in their own bodies. It shouldn't matter what shape you have as long as you are healthy, eat right, and exercise daily.
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