Welcome to the October edition of
Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Body Awareness!
This post participates in the monthly Authentic Parenting
Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting.
This month participants are sharing how they actively influence their children’s body awareness, and how they experience their own.
Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants!
My daughter Ellah, and her friend Ella (both 9), danced with abandon at the Goddess Crafts Faire this weekend. The belly dancers and musicians on stage were an inspiration: each elaborately dressed and decorated, these women were of all sizes and shapes: ample, curvy, skinny, and a stunning pregnant belly-dancer! My daughter and her friend danced so freely, so un-self-consciously that it brought tears to
What encouraged such freedom?
I believe the answer lies in MODELING. The women on stage were so care-free in their dance, each representing a completely different type of beauty. The media, both written and electronic, tries to impose on us, and imprint on our girls’ impressionable minds, the “one and only” beauty standard: skinny, boyish, and unfeminine… As a result, girls around the world starve themselves, and develop eating disorders to achieve this ideal, so unnatural to women’s bodies.
When I got up to dance at the Faire, I was moved by my instinct, as well as my mind: the music awakened a rhythm in me, and I felt compelled to move. No one else was dancing, though… I became aware that by getting up and dancing, I would be giving the girls permission to do the same! And so they did: not a moment passed and both Ellah and Ella were by my side, letting the rhythm move them.
It is YOU who can tip the balance for your girl! Leaving the role-modeling to the media will leave your girl with no choice, and show her no options. You, on the other hand, are her truly viable option!
Are you feeling beautiful regardless of your body’s proximity to that of the super-models? Do you allow yourself to celebrate being a woman with movement, stretch, dance, skip, song, whatever moves you?
What does your girl see when she glimpses you looking in the mirror? What does she hear when you mention your shape, your weight, your period? Does she see behaviors you would like her to follow? Does she hear messages that encourage her to feel beautiful?
This is both “the bad” and “the good” news, all wrapped in one:
YOUR model of womanhood is what will allow your girl to feel beautiful about herself! It may be bad news for a moment, if your messages have not been so positive so far. But the good news is that change is in your hands!
Take a week to observe yourself, and jot down all the messages your girl may be receiving, verbally and non-verbally, about her body/ menstruating/ being female… Don’t judge yourself, just observe.
After a week of observation, take a sheet of paper and write down all the messages you would LIKE your girl to be exposed to, regarding her body/ menstruation/ being female. Put this new list where you can see it often, and start living it out!!!
© 2011-2012 DeAnna L’am, All Rights Reserved
Visit Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Skin Color and the Mixed Race Child – As a mother of a mixed race child whose skin tone falls between her mother and father’s, Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama tackles the tough question of “is my skin light or dark mama?” You can also find Hybrid Rasta Mama on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- Know Your Body – Momma Jorje shares one way she encourages body awareness and autonomy in her children. You can also follow Momma Jorje on Facebook.
- Fat is Just a Word – Laura tries to actively debunk the negative connotations of the word ‘fat’ after a shocking discovery, on Authentic Parenting. You can also find Authentic Parenting on Facebook and Twitter.
- Your Body is Beautiful Now – Lauren at Hobo Mama offers your body a love poem. You can also find Hobo Mama on Facebook and Twitter.
- Does Your Daughter Feel Beautiful – DeAnna L’am of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women and Girls writes about how Moms can model self acceptance and a strong body image for their daughters.
- 6 Ways for Children to Learn about Their Body – Ariadne is sharing calming yoga games, art activities and other wonderful ways for children to learn about their body over at the Positive Parenting Connection. You can also find more peaceful, positive parenting ideas and resources on the Positive Parenting Connection community Facebook page.
Thank you so much for participating, DeAnna.
This message is so true and powerful. I have heard it before, but it is never enough. We grow up with so much self doubt and self loathing, it takes lots of these messages to break the pattern.