I saw this, and all I could think was, "Maybe I’m glad I don’t have a daughter."

          Chances are, my female off-spring will not be tall and slender.  She may be toned, but thin is not a trait I carry.  A size 4 was unhealthy for me – I was always tired, my hair and nails were brittle, I was pale, and I never had much energy.  A 6 felt just right for me.  Where I am at now is a bit excessive, but I am not obese by clinical standards.  All things considered, as I said, my daughter would probably not be Nichole Richie’s size.  How would I convince her that she is just as attractive when the vast majority of advertising, clothing, and even toys promote thin female specimens, and that thin is beauty, that being thin means you can wear all the cutest clothes, etc.?

          While I wouldn’t mind be a bit thinner, I can certainly say I am not morbidly obese, despite the fact that when I look in the mirror, I see Eddie Murphy in "Norbit."  And no, I don’t see a slender black male…  While I also don’t feel that obesity should be something we as a society grow complacent with, perhaps we really do need to look very closely at the images and messages we are sending to our young females.  Bratz dolls, Barbies, wafer-thin models, pop tarts, er, I mean pop stars, and celebrities make me sick.  I can’t imagine having to explain to my little girl why she doesn’t look like that, and why she shouldn’t harm her body to do so.  I can’t imagine trying to make her understand that just because she’s not a size 2 with prefect hair and the hottest clothes doesn’t mean she’s not beautiful.  You can be thin and be very attractive if you are healthy.  You can also be a size 16 and be attractive and healthy.

          Confidence makes a big difference.  The way you dress – what you choose to accentuate and downplay, etc. can make a difference, too.  But I think what it comes down to is what we tell our children beauty is.  Beauty is not a pre-set weight and height, hair color, eye color, earning potential, whatever.  Beauty is what makes you smile.  Beauty is what warms your heart.  Beauty is what makes you look twice, and look harderBeauty isn’t always obvious.  Beauty should never be overlooked because someone is heavier than what we think is "normal." 

          While I am perhaps a bit relieved that I don’t have to worry about my daughter being shattered at the thought that she may never be paper-thin, I still worry about my sons.  How will I teach them about beauty?  How will I teach them to look for beauty in every thing, not just an outward shape?  How will I teach them to appreciate who/what most people wouldn’t look at twice?  Beauty isn’t a size.  I know that much… 

          Do you have a positive body image?  Do things like advertising and celebrities affect your body image (negatively or positively)?

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