‘The power of life and death is in the tongue’

It is often said that girls as young as six can have problems and issues with their image. They consider themselves to be either too fat or too thin. This is obviously shocking but it is also obvious that the little girls’ loving devoted mothers may be responsible for this.
What mothers tell their children affects their self image.
What mothers tell their children affects their self image.

It is often said that girls as young as six can have problems and issues with their image. They consider themselves to be either too fat or too thin. This is obviously shocking but it is also obvious that the little girls’ loving devoted mothers may be responsible for this.

At this age it is assumed that none of them read Cosmopolitan or Glamour magazines, or even surf fashion sites on the internet. They don’t read gossip columns of female celebrities’ bodies on whether they are fat or in good shape.

Six year old girls still have their clothes bought for them by their mothers; they know nothing of fashion, other than pink and flowery dresses.

These kids do not exist in the adult female world which is full of judgments on how one looks and more often judged by fellow women. The irony about all of this is that men don’t seem to care whether their love object is a size 4 or a size 14.

Where then does the little girls’ dissatisfaction with the way they look come from?

Sarah is a single mother who says that there is power in the word of the mouth. “Whatever we as parents say to our children has a very big impact in their lives.

Sometimes you may hear a parent saying to her kids, “You have been eating a lot of chocolates that is why you have become fat!” she exclaimed.

“If you ban the average toddler from eating chocolate, it then becomes the most desirable thing the toddler can think of. If you ban chocolate and tell your three-year-old that it will not only rot her teeth but also make her fat, you’re introducing the idea of weight at an age where it has no relevance whatsoever.” Sarah advised.

Again at that age the only way these kids access to chocolate is through you, the parent. The whole idea of becoming high maintenance and sending this message to our daughters that it is not only necessary but desirable to suffer in order to be beautiful is not the good example to set to children.

The things said while assuming the kids are busy playing are usually picked up. Complaining loudly about some clothes no longer fitting, moaning on how your figure is turning round and wondering out loud about dieting within earshot of the children, even as a joke contribute to making little girls far more aware of adult weight issues than they should be, to the point where depending on the mother and her obsession with her own figure you get children barely out of nappies going about commenting on their adorable little girl shapes.

Adult women are free to do what they like with their bodies, and we all agree how miserable it is to be fat. Equally, we are free to pass our self imposed complexes on to our children and introduce to them decades of Anorexia and Bigorexia (in the case of boys )or to keep it zipped up and quietly get on with it and let them enjoy the small amount of childhood left to them.

Karuthum@gmail.com

 

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