I want to begin by explaining that I’m making a bit of an exception here, this podcast does mention weight loss, something I try to avoid on my blog. That said, it’s so much more than that and even the weight loss mentions are good and done in a body positive way.
What the rest of it is about, is how to talk about body image with girls in your family. It applies to boys too, but the pressure on teenage girls and women to look thin and “perfect” – as if thin is more perfect than round-, is enormous.
I have three “grandchildren” two grandnephews and a grandniece, all adorable.
I want them to grow up without having to hear things that subliminally tell them that thin is better and that calories are bad.
Often adults don’t think about this, and may say things that children overhear, comments that do much more damage than you might think.
Perhaps you’ve heard someone say,
“She’s ran fast yesterday, didn’t she?
Yes, you can tell that those couple of pounds she lost made a difference.”
“I’m not hungry, I had a big lunch, so I’ll skip dinner.”
“This is great, it’s low fat!”
“Eat this, it’s low carb.”
“OMG, 456 calories!?”
Comments about someone who’s thin, “Oh look at her, she’s beautiful! Look at her hair and that dress. It looks gorgeous on her.”
Comments about someone who’s not thin,
“Oh look at her, she has such a pretty face.”
“Wear this, it hides your middle.”
“This one is good, it holds you up better.”
“I feel great! I lost 40 pounds!”
“Oh you run! That’s such a great way to stay thin!”
“Cake? Oh, I shouldn’t.”
“I ate so much I have to roll home.”
“People are just making conversation; these comments aren’t a big deal.”
Yes, they are, they send the message to our girls and young women that it’s better if they’re thin, that they’ll succeed in life and will accomplish more if their bodies look a certain way. Comments like this might set someone on the path of a lifetime of disordered eating.
If you have a child in your family, do listen to this podcast. Gerri and Jill have a wonderful conversation about how to talk to your child about body image, how to deal with the added pressure of social media and what we can do to change the way we talk amongst ourselves to be better role models.