Yesterday I volunteered with my daughter's class. The kids were quilting. As they made designs with their pieces of fabric, I watched the girls and wondered how they go from supreme self-confidence to debilitating lack thereof.
Where does it start and what can I do to prevent it?
The first thing that occurred to me is that putting a copy of Teen Vogue in my daughter's Easter basket might not have been one of my better ideas.
Except, I was so certain it was perfect!
My daughter loves fashion. She wants to be a designer. She keeps a sketch book of outfits and regularly pillages through my closet for inspiration.
True, it was three days before Easter and I was a little desperate to fill the basket. Also true, I thought she'd think it was fun and glamorous, cause who doesn't think the Easter bunny has a fun and glamorous side? What I didn't think about is that Teen Vogue isn't just about fashion.
The first thing she focused on, as she flipped through the magazine's glossy pages was the dresses. There was a prom feature and so we spent a lot of time talking about fancy dresses. Later, her sketchbook had several new Vogue inspired designs. The second thing she noticed was an article about The Hunger Games. Two weeks later, she's on chapter six of a book she had previously dismissed as not for her.
The third thing that happened was she overheard a conversation between her brother and her father. This conversation involved a three letter word. Maybe it was fun or cat, or sat. It's hard to say what the word really was because what my daughter heard was fat. "How dare you call me fat," screamed my fifty-five pound daughter as she threw a pillow at her brother.
And there it is.
Despite my enthusiastic pronouncements that "Mommy is perfect just the way she is, all sizes are beautiful, strong bodies are beautiful bodies," and many, many other variations on these sentiments my daughter has gotten the message that thin is the best currency.
On Monday I'll talk about my ideas and look forward to hearing all of yours too.