You know what angers me!? 3-6 year old have body image problems because they DO have issues with being over weight! 1 in 3 North American girls are fat! Stop feeding your kids lazy-mom food like Krapdinner, Mc Donald’s, and then plunking them down with snacks and tv all day!! Get active with your kids, feed the wholesome foods and then see what happens to body image statistics!
This is a very lovely article. I mean, I’m still going to compliment kids (girls or boys) on their cuteness and their beautiful, or cool or practical clothes. But I am totally down with talking about their interests and deeper things. I think we can do one without necessarily excluding the other. Complimenting a boy/girl on their lovely/cool/unique outfit/hair etc is okay, I think. Just keep it appropriate. There’s a reason we all look and dress differently. It keeps things interesting. We admire beauty in nature. We’re a part of nature. We should be able to see and admire the beauty in and out of everybody and view appearance in a healthy and positive way. I guess that’s harder to do than just ignoring appearance completely, but I think that’s just being in denial.
As a child, I was not told I was beautiful. My red hair was noticed certainly, and I was told that I had “such pretty hair” by many a complete stranger, but even my parents did not tell me I was beautiful. And guess what? I grew up thinking I wasn’t and had all the problems mentioned above growing up and still do not think I am pretty. So please realize that your plan to never call a little girl beautiful may backfire.
To celebrate the Swanlights album release, Antony will be "taking over" the music website for a week starting on Monday. We have prepared interviews with Marina Abromovic and Bjork, essays including one on Native American Two Spirit traditions, video debuts by Charles Atlas, Peter Sempel and Antony and the Johnsons, features on several musicians and an art series. We are really excited about it! Check in throughout the week for daily updates.
after so many terror attacks do u still feel proud to be an Indian, will u still say mera bharat mahaan or for that matter are you still living in the utopia that saare jahan se aacha hindustan hamara...
It’s so important to teach a girl that it’s not only okay to be smart, but to be proud of it. When I was in college, I clearly remember not telling new guys I met that I was at an Ivy League college because I grew up with the perception that smart girls were somehow less attractive…we really need to make sure our daughters don’t grow up thinking that too!
I don’t know, I was told as a girl that I was smart as well as pretty. I feel like they both should be complemented. To not hear that you are pretty can be as damaging as not hearing that you are smart. When it comes to little boys, many will comment how cute or handsome they look, as well as their intelligence and for the most part, they turn out fine. I understand where you all are coming from, but why should we take those compliments away just because the child is a girl?
Thank you so much for writing this! I am a seventeen year old girl who is constantly plagued by the fact that looks tend to fall in a higher priority to teenage (and sadly younger) girls than does intelligence or personal accomplishments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled with adults when I was seven, let alone teenaged, as I tried to insert my opinion on the world or nearly force them to ask me what I was reading. So thank you for giving me a bit of hope that women who still believe in the power of females still exsist out there! I work with younger children on occassion and I always try to ask these questions because really, male or female, physical attractiveness needs to diminish as a factor of value.
This article definitely brings to light an issue in our society today. However, in my experience, I am not sure that this is quite the right response. I think that NOT telling a young girl that she is beautiful at a young age can negatively effect her. It is not a bad thing to want to look beautiful. I also think it’s not a bad thing to want to jump in puddles, have tangled crazy hair, and throw sand in the sandbox.
Our girls are bombarded daily by the media, especially magazine covers in checkout lanes, reinforcing the message that women who aren’t thin, tall, or beautiful don’t matter. Turning that around can be very difficult, especially in the middle school years when girls often become more body-conscious due to puberty changes. I would love to see more programs in the schools and youth groups in the late elementary years to address this…..here in the south many girls are often worried about being attractive by 3rd and 4th grade. Unfortunately a negative body-image theme often creates much larger self-esteem problems in the upper grades, and again when dating begins.
Wow, I obviously came to this article a few years late but I think it’s awesome. I’m getting to the point now where I’m thinking about having kids, and it’s such a huge deal to teach little girls that their value isn’t based on their appearance. Growing up my sister and I were cute little girls and we would get compliments all the time, but nobody was as impressed as the day I spelled Mississippi all by myself at a family birthday party. I still remember the feeling, and I want that for my kids. Thanks for the reminder!
Every little girl is beautiful because yes you are looking at her physical outward appearance but inside of her she’s got a beautiful heart, a beautiful brain, a beautiful soul, etc. I understand that some people put way too much emphasis on the beauty and not enough on the brains but I don’t think it’s right to separate them. And I am a person who thinks that everyone is beautiful. Literally.