Sarah Jio is a well known writer and current blogger for Glamour.com for their Health and Fitness section. This week she has touched upon subjects such as body image issues and eating disorders. I wrote her an email with my take on the matter. Here's an excerpt.
"I know that weight between mothers and daughters is a century old battle. It's an issue discussed at length in magazines and on television. Why? Do all daughters forget what it was like to be criticized by their mothers? How about fathers and daughters? How about casual yet careless comments about food or a double chin at the dinner table? As this generation becomes parents it might be wise to double check ourselves as we speak to our children about this sensitive issue (of weight).
I know that all kids are not sensitive about their weight but I can gather that most are aware of it. I teach high school kids and almost all the girls are unhappy with their bodies. Some blame media but I honestly think a loving and accepting family holds much more influence than images or ads. They can not only build a foundation of self esteem and self worth but also combat the pressures and ruthless ideals from the world.
While putting band-aids (or huge gauze strips) on wounded self images is so important to me and to many woman today, I also believe stronger defense systems are needed from the start. The dinner table should be a refuge from the world, not a place of struggle or self consciousness."
As our generation becomes parents, aunts, uncles, and mentors I think we have a responsibility to stop the cycle of self doubt and self consciousness before they start in children. This is part of the challenge for Love Our Bodies Week. My friend Ashley has not only taken up this challenge but also had her children participate in listing 5 things they like about their bodies. Isn't that awesome?
What's your take on this? Were your parents supportive or critical? Why must weight ever be an issue at home?