Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another thing to fret about.

It's everywhere, and it's not fair. Personally? I don't know whether sports make it better or worse. I'm surprised I think this way, because I'm like some kind of sports automaton. Must play sport. Must play sport. Sport good. Must run jump hit kick throw MUST MUST MUST..... But girls in sports have to get naked in front of other girls. They wear small-ish outfits in front of stands of people. They compulsively monitor their weight and fitness level.

As soccer players, we used to mock the OCD girl who used to sit in a pool for hours and hours just kicking her legs while she held onto the wall. But we were just variations on her theme. We ate as OCD as she did. We thought as OCD as she did. We even dressed as OCD as she did, hiding our big legs and strong asses. We just pretended we were better because we were all so much bigger. She could afford to tread water for three hours and eat lettuce and low-fat Wheat Thin sandwiches. We couldn't. We had to run jump hit kick throw, etc etc. So we would HA HA THAT GIRL IS SO CRAZY!!! at her. And be secretly envious.

Whatever it takes, I will make my daughter know that she's all that, because we all are.

(from Jaye)


Anonymous TB said...

It's crazy isn't it? As adults we tune that stuff out. At least I think I do and then I go and get all excited because my old jeans fit.
But little kids see and hear everything. I guess the challenge is making sure they hear plenty of positive, esteem-boosting things to counteract all the shit.

10/18/2007 10:01 AM  
Blogger Eliza said...

Holy crap, her hair got so LONG! I played center fullback and kicked EVERYONE in the shins. WHOOHOO!!!

10/18/2007 1:15 PM  
Blogger meno said...

There's nothing like having a daughter to make you into a raving anti-advertising nut.

I remember looking at a Black Velvet billboard after my daughter was born and thinking that i don't want her to grow up in a world where this shit is okay. Now they are doing it to men too. There was a practically naked man on a huge billboard last time i walked past an Abercrombie and Fitch store.

Is this an improvement?

10/18/2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

the age and beauty market is worth BILLIONS. They have a vested interest in making us feel ugly - so we can buy their products to feel better about ourselves. And it's working. Plastic surgery is accepted and even encouraged now. There are even mother-daughter cosmetic surgeries. meno is right, men are being dragged into it too. "enhancement" drugs, hair replacement, plastic surgery for us too - chest implants, etc.

they feed on our insecurities. I am so behind you in teaching your daughter to beware the hype. teach her to love herself.

10/19/2007 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Ortizzle said...

I have to go find out what OCD is.

10/19/2007 1:51 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Sweet Jebus! That makes me sick.

10/19/2007 4:04 PM  
Blogger DoctorMama said...

I love that clip. I'm amazed that Dove made it.

My mother was great about giving me a positive self-image -- even though she was 4'11" and couldn't even begin to fill an A-cup. She praised me for being strong and fast, never for how my thighs looked. But HER mother constantly complained about how she wished she'd had a facelift -- and eventually my mom went out and had one herself. She even SAID she did it because she didn't want to be like her mother, regretting she hadn't done it. It horrified me, still does.

I know people who've had "work" done who say, "I didn't do it because of societal pressure, I did it for ME." Well, okay, but when you do it, you also set an example for others.

I agree, it is hard to tell if sports make it better or worse. For boys, I think probably worse. I know my husband is still affected by his days on the wrestling team, trying to fit into the right weight class.

Your daughter sounds like she's on the intense end of the spectrum, too. I don't envy you the job (though I do envy you the cool daughter!).

10/21/2007 7:26 AM  
Blogger spellconjurer said...

uhhhhh Mignon? I'm so sorry to fly directly in the face of your entire post here,,,,,,,,,,but your new photo? Is incredibly beautiful. I'm not even using any of societies insane values to come to that opinion. It's because it's you, and everything that you share from the inside and the outside. You are gorgeous, you love sports, you make squishably wonderful babies,,,,you are any guys dream girl. Well ok except those guys who THINK they are great at sports, and whose butt you can still kick. Snort.

10/22/2007 6:39 PM  
Anonymous stella said...

lovin the new pic!

10/24/2007 8:41 AM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

My daughter is 10. Over the summer, I bought her her first bra. We sometimes look at women's magazines together and talk about the messages that are being sent. At 10, she GETS it. I hope she can hang on to her ideals through adolescence.

11/06/2007 12:45 AM  

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