Saturday, June 15, 2013
As adults, we can become mystified about why girls have unrealistic body ideals. "Can't they ignore the ads and tell that Heroin Chic isn't cool?" we ask. But we're conveniently forgetting how WE felt at their age. Here's a peek at how 11-year-old me thought:
* When I was 5'4" and 105 pounds, I thought I was a huge beast. This is because the popular 5th graders giggled at lunchtimes about anyone over 100 pounds being "fat."
* I read that Cindy Crawford weighed 130, and thought she must be a giant among women, to weigh so much and still look so good.
* I thought that anyone whose belly wasn't concave like Julia Roberts' in "Pretty Woman" had some serious work to do.
* I internalized the line from the Sweet Valley books about the Wakefield twins being a "perfect size six."
* I did many figure drawings of women - and they all had delicate waists, gently curved hips, long legs, and generous busts. Most of my eraser marks were around the waistline.
If you're reading this, I challenge you to make your own list. Take time to recognize how affected you were by media and peer pressure. Then take a moment to realize how far you've come in your thinking. For me, the goal is now fit, not thin. How have your body ideals changed?