At the park the other day, my daughter, “Peaches”, made a new friend fast. Holding hands and giggling, the two of them were immediately in sync. It was sweet to witness – the first time my daughter clicked with another child right away. Mary was older. Then, playfully, she started to pull my daughter, hands still grasped, legs running, towards the far end of the park. “Where are you going?” I asked, hoping my question would cause the girls to slow down, to turn and respond. I didn’t want this lovely experience brought to a harsh end with my daughter falling from being pulled too fast. Mary’s reply threw me for a loop. “We’re going to Weight Watchers!” she said, with an earnest grin.
At first, I smiled. They were so deep in imaginary play. Then I felt sad. I remembered a pregnant friend telling me she was relieved to be carrying a boy, because if she were to have a daughter she’d fear passing on food and body issues, like she and her sister had “inherited” from her mother. Another friend told me that whenever she goes home to see her mom, her mother either tells her she’s too skinny or too fat. How young are girls when they start to pick up ideas about eating, weight and appearance?
Just think about the name: Weight Watchers. What message does it convey to young girls? That one’s weight is of utmost importance and must be watched! That you need a group of people to support you in watching it! Couldn’t it have been called Healthy Lifestylers? I’d have no qualms about my daughter hearing that name. To me that would be a positive message. Some might say these are two sides to the same coin, but I disagree.
I want my daughter to know about good nutrition. I was pleased, and also chuckled, yesterday when she asked, “Are these organic, Mommy?” putting grapes into our basket. (If you don’t know which fruit and vegetables have the highest levels of pesticides, read the updated list, here.) I want her to witness mindful eating in our home. I want her to understand how her body feels when it is hungry and how it feels when it’s pleasantly full. I want her to enjoy food. And find forms of exercise she loves, as she grows up.
I recently heard about a great organization (thanks, Jenn!) called Girls on the Run. Everything about this non-profit seems fabulous. (Well, ok, I’d rather it were ‘Girls on the Swim’ because I love to swim…but, wait, did you stop to read their Mission and Vision on that link? ) Let me share:
Mission: We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Vision: We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
It’s for girls age 8 – 13. Pretty awesome, right? I want my daughter exposed to those kinds of messages. Yes, please!
And then, when she’s around 13, I want my daughter to know about color and style BECAUSE IT IS HEALTHY. I want her to recognize that her coloring is one possibility out of many millions, and so is the shape of her body. I want her to appreciate that there is a huge range to the female form, and yet every single woman can look stunning. They just need to know their best colors and styles.
In unison with the founders of Girls on the Run, I want my daughter to be joyful, healthy and confident. Without question, how she feels about her looks as she enters adolescence affects how joyful, healthy and confident she is. I hope she never stops liking what she sees when she looks in the mirror wearing new clothes.
Still in agreement with the folks at Girls On the Run, I want her to be part of a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Worry about one’s appearance is time consuming and energy zapping, whereas feeling confident in appearance is energy releasing. When a person looks their most beautiful, authentic self, doors in the world open. We have more opportunities because people see us for the beautiful, put together, capable souls we really are. More time, energy and positive influence can only help us to move faster to our dreams. Style and Color know-how can be a catalyst to activate this limitless potential in girls. I know of no other color and style consultant who focuses on helping young women, and it boggles my mind. So much value can be added to these young lives and so much distress avoided. Personalized color and style guidelines offer a healthy, fun, real approach to feeling and looking great. To work in this capacity, enabling girls and young women to better pursue their dreams, is my life purpose.
My four year old is not going to Weight Watchers. My daughter will be part of a new generation of women who are empowered and body wise from a young age. And if she ever asks me what Weight Watchers is, I’ll tell her,”Honey, its an old fashioned notion.”
Please note: I mean no offense to anyone that goes to or has benefited from Weight Watchers. I simply detest the name and prefer my food not have points. What gets me is the notion that we should watch our WEIGHT over our HEALTH. People are meant to be different shape and sizes.
If you’d like to see photos of my professional color analysis work, please click on menu links above, and see more here.
I think it is so empowering for mothers and daughters to embrace authentic beauty, and for mother’s to be good role models of this. I really love that you are working with both mothers and daughters to achieve just that 🙂
I am so impressed with the passion, love and knowledge that you are bringing to young women (and their Mom’s too).
I can’t wait for the time (hopefully soon!) when women are accepted as they are and are allowed to pursue whatever dreams they have. That day is way overdue, IMHO.