Please welcome Jeanne from Jeanne's Endo Blog as today's guest blogger. Jeanne is the mother of one daughter and lives on the East Coast. She is also a women's health advocate, running a support group and a blog about endometriosis. Visit Blog Fabulous today to find out how endometriosis has affected Jeanne's own body image.
Body image is affected by so many outside forces.
The magazines, TV shows (and other forms of media our children are exposed to nowadays) truly affect their own perceived self-worth, body image, and overall self-image.
As a society we need to help our daughters (and sons) by protecting them from damaging media influences whenever we possibly can. I’m not talking about censorship here. I’m talking about PARENTING! In my mind, parenting includes subcategory job titles like, “a strong force that reckons with ‘bad media’ and keeps my child from being exposed to it”. That’s just one of my philosophies on childrearing. It is crucial that our young girls are not exposed to sexualized images like the ones Tracee has written about so often on her blog.
I do not allow Bratz dolls in my house. Like Tracee, I don’t care for these dolls on so many levels. To me, merchandise like this is harmful to children. Like Tracee, I do not agree with the Abercrombie & Fitch ads showing semi-nude models posed in provocative positions to sell A&F clothing.
Ironically, their models wear very little clothing while trying to sell clothing! In my mind, they are simply selling sex. Some of their provocative T-shirts are offensive to me and reinforce negative body image ideas in those viewing the ads. I think they actually encourage self image concerns with their airbrushed ads of ‘too-skinny girls’ and ‘6-pack ab young guys’.
I believe parents have the “power of the pocketbook”… the power to say NO to what they perceive as inappropriate merchandise marketed towards impressionable young children.
Girls are bombarded with these images and so are the young boys who they may someday date or even marry. These media images (think of the controversial Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana shots for Vanity Fair) are not healthy for our children, in my humble opinion.
No one wants their young daughter to wind up like the Hollywood starlets and singers who are in and out of rehab --- when such suffering can be prevented by building GOOD SELF ESTEEM in our children/loved ones now!!
We who are parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors… WE have an obligation to be good role models for the children around us! Children are little sponges and just about EVERYTHING registers in their uncluttered brains, whether they voice it or not. They pick up on so much more than many people realize. Honestly, children are generally far smarter than many adults give them credit for!
Let’s build our girls (and boys) up and increase their self esteem while they are still very young! In this way we will be vaccinating them against certain dangers, self-destructive behaviors, and emotional pain… as the Naomi Wolf quote on Tracee’s homepage suggests we should.
We CAN empower girls and women if we simply take a step back and analyze what media we expose our children (and ourselves) to. It matters!