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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Empowering Girls: Distorted Bodies

4974CB75-C506-4B07-811F-D696D1DA9151.jpg

by Tracee Sioux

When I was a girl, Dolly Parton had "big ones." They were big like a caricature. Dolly's were abnormal and the butt of jokes all over the media.

I was a B or C cup and my breasts were "normal." When you're a girl it's important to be "normal."

In today's terms Dolly Parton isn't even that big. As a society, we are inundated with images of overly-large, disproportionate, abnormally perky, unnaturally "perfect" breasts all over the media and marketing.

Vast numbers of the breasts we see as "perfect" and "normal" have been altered, surgically or graphically.

Where Dolly Parton's breasts were an anomaly for our generation, Dolly Parton's breasts are essentially "the norm" for our daughters. They have no other frame of reference.

Yesterday on Blog Fabulous, I wrote about how our own perception of what breasts are "supposed to look like" has been distorted. This distorted perception is creating poor body image in real women. Women tend to stand in the mirror and compare themselves to this distorted image of the media's version of "normal."

Imagine how much worse it must be for our daughters?

What I'm about to say may be radical and may seem wildly inappropriate in 1970s parenting terms.

Get ready . . .hold your breath. . .

If it is age-appropriate and you're hearing your daughter mutter dissatisfaction about the size or shape of her breasts or the color of her nipples, you might consider visiting the Normal Breasts Gallery with her.

There, I said it. You should show her pictures of non-sexualized real women's breasts to show her what real women naturally look like.

The Normal Breasts Gallery is an Internet gallery of nude photos of anonymous real women's breasts, combined with short essays exploring how these women feel about their breasts.

Without it, our daughters' only frame of reference is the distorted media representation of breasts and our own. That can't be good for making them feel normal and coming to self-acceptance.

Read more about the damage of seeing only sexualized breasts in the media in APA Reports Sexualizatuion of Girls Devastating.

Image Source: Ebay Ad - click to buy it.

4 comments:

Mim said...

The real breasts gallery was the first thing that popped into my head as I began reading this post. I certainly have it bookmarked for future use should my daughter someday need a reality check about body image.

Tracee said...

That's great to hear Mim1 I was afraid people would think the nudity was a crazy idea.

I enjoyed the reality check of the Real Breasts Gallery myself and I think such a tool will come in very handy for parents of teens struggling through body image issues.

Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter said...

I'm also bookmarking this for future use. It's fantastic. Thank you so much.

Tracee said...

I'm so glad.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Empowering Girls: Distorted Bodies

4974CB75-C506-4B07-811F-D696D1DA9151.jpg

by Tracee Sioux

When I was a girl, Dolly Parton had "big ones." They were big like a caricature. Dolly's were abnormal and the butt of jokes all over the media.

I was a B or C cup and my breasts were "normal." When you're a girl it's important to be "normal."

In today's terms Dolly Parton isn't even that big. As a society, we are inundated with images of overly-large, disproportionate, abnormally perky, unnaturally "perfect" breasts all over the media and marketing.

Vast numbers of the breasts we see as "perfect" and "normal" have been altered, surgically or graphically.

Where Dolly Parton's breasts were an anomaly for our generation, Dolly Parton's breasts are essentially "the norm" for our daughters. They have no other frame of reference.

Yesterday on Blog Fabulous, I wrote about how our own perception of what breasts are "supposed to look like" has been distorted. This distorted perception is creating poor body image in real women. Women tend to stand in the mirror and compare themselves to this distorted image of the media's version of "normal."

Imagine how much worse it must be for our daughters?

What I'm about to say may be radical and may seem wildly inappropriate in 1970s parenting terms.

Get ready . . .hold your breath. . .

If it is age-appropriate and you're hearing your daughter mutter dissatisfaction about the size or shape of her breasts or the color of her nipples, you might consider visiting the Normal Breasts Gallery with her.

There, I said it. You should show her pictures of non-sexualized real women's breasts to show her what real women naturally look like.

The Normal Breasts Gallery is an Internet gallery of nude photos of anonymous real women's breasts, combined with short essays exploring how these women feel about their breasts.

Without it, our daughters' only frame of reference is the distorted media representation of breasts and our own. That can't be good for making them feel normal and coming to self-acceptance.

Read more about the damage of seeing only sexualized breasts in the media in APA Reports Sexualizatuion of Girls Devastating.

Image Source: Ebay Ad - click to buy it.

4 comments:

Mim said...

The real breasts gallery was the first thing that popped into my head as I began reading this post. I certainly have it bookmarked for future use should my daughter someday need a reality check about body image.

Tracee said...

That's great to hear Mim1 I was afraid people would think the nudity was a crazy idea.

I enjoyed the reality check of the Real Breasts Gallery myself and I think such a tool will come in very handy for parents of teens struggling through body image issues.

Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter said...

I'm also bookmarking this for future use. It's fantastic. Thank you so much.

Tracee said...

I'm so glad.