In a war, opposing sides typically enter the battlefield, believing they have a chance at winning. As mentioned in my previous entry, this is a challenge young girls are set to lose. Is this battle lost, simply because non-celebrity young girls are unattractive? This is not the case, because beauty does not begin nor end in Hollywood.
One does not discover beauty in a magazine advertisement, nor does it begin or conclude there. However, when a young girl receives visual and verbal displays on what represents beauty, she begins to equate beauty with specific features. She also equates beauty to whomever the magazine glorifies.
When the opinion of others, become part of your thought process as a child, you will have difficulty in discerning fact from one’s own interpretation. A child does not have the experience or capacity, to understand that beauty comes in various forms.
By teaching a young girl to reject a system that sets its own standards of beauty, where each girl MUST fit this description to appear attractive, she will learn to dismiss the idea that good looks occur with ONLY one ethnicity, body shape or racial background.
Lupita Nyong’o, Waris Dirie, Eva Andressa and Lucy Liu–these women are all good-looking. A young girl should not try to become these women, but instead, we should teach her that beauty comes in different forms.
We understand that a Ferrari is a very sexy automobile, but that does not diminish the beauty with a 1968 Ford Shelby or 1969 Toyota 2000 GT. The point is simple: the title of beauty should not apply to only one thing or person(s). The shape of a Ferrari is truly a work of art, just as the Shelby and Toyota 2000 GT.
We know there is a problem with young girls and insecurities surrounding their bodies. In fact, according to NYC Girls Project, weight plays a severely high factor, in how a young girl perceives her level of attractiveness.
To be more precise, by the time they enter high school, between 40-70 percent of girls face dissatisfaction with two or more parts of their body. To make matters worse, between the ages of 12-15, the satisfaction hits rock bottom. This is unbelievably alarming and as a male, I knew the issue was dire, but not to this degree.
So what do we do?
We have more control on shaping the lives of children, than we perceive. As a parent, your daughter MUST hear how beautiful she is. As a parent, you are the first line in building her self-esteem. Merely being there is not enough.
I know of many parents who believe their physical presence is enough, when it comes to parenting. That is horrible and misguided. You must be hands on; thus actively involved in dialogue with your child. I am aware certain topics, or the extent of a topic can be off-limits due to their age, but enhancing your daughter’s self-esteem is not one of them.
Never allow society to shape her degree of attractiveness, because when you do, she will forever seek their definition. This is where the abuse of cosmetic surgery comes into play. If cosmetic surgery is out the equation, her self-hatred flourishes.
…to be continued