Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Older girls.

A cold spring day, both reading "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".

Jake was talking to Grace last night. He asked her what she wished she was better at and she said 'gymnastics' and that she wished she was skinnier. When Jake came and told me what she had said, I burst into tears. I mean, really? At 8 years old? One of my beautiful, healthy little birds is worried about her body? No, it couldn't be true. I must have heard wrong. 

I went into her dark bedroom, where she was reading in her bed and talked to her in length. Mostly I just listened. About how she wanted to run faster and be more flexible. The girls at school had been talking about being skinny. It was mostly very innocent and had little to do with a specific body image. I was partly relieved that it was more simple than what I thought. But still, there was the shadow of what's to come. Countless years of self-esteem coming and going and coming and going. 

Girls and women have a hard time in our society. Hopefully I can help them fight this battle. 


John Genho said...

It's crazy but I already get a little of this from Ava too - at 6! She'll tell me how she's bigger than her best friend (who's dad probably weighs 120 soaking wet) and who is still wearing a size 11 shoe at 7 years old. I think she's ok with it b/c we just talk about different people being built different but it scares me for what's to come.

Lynnie said...

and that was NOT John, just for the record!

kristen said...

i know what you mean. i constantly catch myself when i say, i need to lose weight, or i am getting pudgy! cause i know they hear me and to them, they take it literally. girls are sooo sensitive to these issues. good self image and self esteem starts at home, but it's so hard to teach with so many outside influences and with what i might say too.

good luck. if you have any advice, lend it please!!!

kellebelle said...

Time to fess up. I discovered your blog from your comments on The Apron Stage, and have been reading ever since. I live about 30 minutes south of you. (For now, that is. I am possibly looking at an international move soon, so I also stalk Rebecca's blog and garner courage for that.) I have three girls, ages 8, 5, and 3, so I relate to you and your girls a lot. And you sucked me in with your gorgeous photos and beautiful writing. I love your blog because you help me remember to notice the joy and the beauty in the everyday with my girls.

Maybe it's just because it's 2 a.m., but this post called me out. Just a week ago my perfect, lovely 8-year-old was telling me that she thinks her face looks "weird." I told her that Heavenly Father created her perfectly and that it's Satan who wants her to feel badly about herself. 'Well, he's doing a good job,' she replied. Do we really have to fight this battle so young? It's heart-breaking.

Obviously I do not know you in person, but based on what I see and read here, I have every confidence that your girls will grow up knowing (as much as they can) that they are incredible. I only hope mine will, too. We have such an important job to do! I know your blog is primarily for your own family's benefit, but thanks for inspiring me and making my job a little easier, too.

LuCDay said...

It's something they all realize at one point and have to think about. Alex was worried about it for awhile too and she's skin and bones. Dont worry, it'll pass. You teach your girls confidence and Grace will be fine. Just prepare yourself because it'll happen a few more times in your home. ;)

Laurel said...

i kind of don't think it does pass. and it's why I tell my male friends who are dads, "kind of like your only job is to make sure your girls know their dad thinks they are beautiful." Dads can't say that enough to their daughters but I really believe if they do, THEN that phase passes...because it's not a phase. You either believe you are okay or you believe you are not. And I think a lot of that comes from a girl's belief of what her dad believes.

I really do.

SO...your girls will be okay. Because they have YOU and they have that really amazing husband of yours.

(PS I just love your blog. If I haven't said that enough, let me just say it again. I just love your blog.)

Rachel Elizabeth said...

This idea really hit me today. Thank you for it. I kind of want to paste the last two paragraphs to my forehead and just soak them in for some reason. Kind of gathering our armies. Thank you for your insights and pictures and stories; they are wonderful!

Sarie said...

Yay! New people! Thanks for your insight Kellebelle and Rachel. xoxo

Missy said...

Keep sharing Sarah. You are inspiring and it takes a village to raise these little ones. But, you are ahead of the game.