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How to talk to little girls

Friday, June 24, 2011

I read this article today on the Huffington Post after seeing the ABC news report on how girls are developing a fear of being fat at a younger and younger age:


Both pieces struck a note with me and I have conflicted feelings. I do think childhood obesity in this country is problematic. As an obese child myself, I was often teased and was called a "sumo wrestler" because I fat and Asian in a predominantly white community. Often, I turned to food and my academic work to hide my sadness and loneliness.

While, I loathed being fat, it made me who I am today in many ways. Since I wasn't the prettiest or thinnest girl (aka. not the most popular), I think I found value in other dimensions of myself. My humor, compassion, and love of learning were healthy things that came out of the pain of being overweight. They are traits that have made me who I am today.

Anyway, these news pieces reminded me that there's a tenuous balance between striving for a healthy lifestyle and equating thinness with health, happiness, and a positive sense of self. I am grateful to these little girls for reminding me that I am more than a number on the scale. I hope that as I come in contact with young girls as well, I'm able to foster the development of a positive sense of self that's rooted in more than their appearance.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm about a month late in seeing your post, but thanks for keeping it out there.

    Your comment about finding other dimensions of ourselves rings true in my experience and my daughter's too (not overweight as children, but not with the "in" crowd either).

    My daughter (now nearly 17) told me a few years ago, in all of her middle schoool wisdom, that she felt sorry for Popular Girls A & B because people only saw that they were pretty and boy crazy, and they didn't have much else going on in life.
    3571 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10067869
    Provocative read. Thanks for sharing!
    3613 days ago
    Hey, this is great! Thanks for sharing the article and your comments! Your honesty and willingness to share your feelings on the subject is awesome!

    Have a great weekend!

    3613 days ago
    Interesting article...I do think its important to let young girls that they are valued for their thoughts/gifts/interests etc but I don't think there is anything wrong with giving a young girl, like my DD a little nudge of self esteem when I tell her how beautiful she is...and that it's b/c her beauty radiates from the inside out! There just needs to be a balance of both. emoticon
    3614 days ago
    I love your comments. I have posted the link to my facebook page along with a challenge to all of my friends to use her methods.
    3614 days ago
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