I overheard a very disturbing discussion the other day. My kids and I were at a local restaurant and in the booth directly behind us sat a few teenage girls. Being in such close proximity it wasn’t hard to overhear them.
Soon after they sat down the conversation turned to the pros and cons of various over the counter diet aids. Which ones their friends were taking, how many to take, how many was too many, side effects as well as how much weight they lost (one gal compared herself to Skeletor when she was on these pills). Apparently fiber pills are big right now with the teen set. And the discussion became hot and heavy as they discussed a diet aid that allowed you to eat mass quantities of food and still have the weight drop off. I listened in disbelief as one described being able to eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting!
The sad thing is that these girls are perfectly normal looking. Not super skinny, not chunky, not obese. Normal. Yet the pressure to be skinny is obviously there and it’s hammering down on these kids. Not that I’m surprised because I felt it as a teenager and as an adult I still feel the pressure to be thin. The message is out that you are not good enough, pretty enough or worthy unless you are back in a bikini 6 weeks post-baby or able to wear clothes your 11 year-old can fit into.
So the key becomes learning to love and accept yourself where you are right now. As parents we need to make sure we send the message down to our girls that they are perfect as they are.
Well, perfect except for the pre-teen “I know everything” attitude.
Now go run!