Thursday 3 February 2011

Unattainable perfection...

When I was pregnant and hadn't found out that Monkey was boy, I hoped and prayed he wouldn't be a girl. I was worried, even then, about how media and society has created this norm of unattainable perfection. (Don't get me started on the sensualisation of children...) I know how hard it is to page through magazines and look at the fashion layout and see NOTHING that would suit me... Or anyone who eats a healthy meal once or twice a week.

Now I am aware of how it also affects boys. They see perfection everywhere. Movies, videos, magazines, billboards etc. How can we protect them from feeling the same need to look like Mark Wahlberg in the Jockey Ad (yes I am that old) or thinking a girl isn't beautiful because she doesn't look like the latest It-Girl?

Does my aim of getting smaller affect the way he views himself and others? I have made an effort of telling him (when he asks) that I am trying to get healthier and be able to run fast like Daddy... I don't want him to think that I am doing it to be happier - I will never be a size 4 but I don't want him thinking that losing weight makes you happy. I don't want him thinking that for his friends, boy or girl...

What messages are we passing on to our kids? How do we make it positive?


  1. I think I'd have been less aware of it if I didnt have a girl. Its amazing how quickly they equate "pretty" to good and seek affirmation by asking if they are pretty. Its very sad!

    Have you seen this - it really hit home for me:

  2. Wow! Powerful videos!

    Smaller doesn't have to be about pretty. I thought it was more about your own personal happiness and lifestyle.

    Monkey is actually less of a concern - he doesn't have years of self-doubt to overcome. If he has confidence and a strong sense of self he'll shrug off the magazine definition of pretty and make it through his teenage years without too much struggle. And hopefully be smart enough to tell the difference between advertising and the real world.

  3. I hadn't really thought about how if will affect/effect(?) Neo. I had decided long before he was even born that any child of mine would hear everyday how much I loved them and how gorgeous they were. And both of my boys hear this everyday. I am hoping that by hearing these endearments they will believe it...?? I try to be specific , I love your big blue eyes, they are perfect eyes for seeing things! During my own weightloss journey(s) I haven't really discussed what I am doing with Neo. I hope he has seen me enjoying exercise and he has been exposed to healthy food choices.....My attitude is to not make a big deal out of it..

  4. Holy Moly - that's a really freaky thing to wa tch. I've seen before and after shots on a blog (somewhere out there in interweb land) of (I think) Hessica Alba. They were incredibly different.

    Body Shop used to run a campagin about how many billion women there were in the world and only a small handfull liked their own body. Sad.

    I'm trying so hard to change our lifestyle and way of thinking peramanently (and loosing weight as a bonus). That's why I'm referring to it as weight loss/health gain journey.


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