Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[Girl Moms] On Wednesdays We Wear Pink... for healthy body image


Hello! I’m Jenny and I blog over at Growing Up Jacobson. I’m a Stay at Home Mom to an awesome 18-month-old toddler, Callie. I’m feel so honored to be a part of Erinn’s Girl Mom Series! I started following Erinn’s blog through the “Kid Tested, Mom Approved” Link up in September and I immediately feel in love with the Girl Mom series! 

I had always thought if I ever become a mom I wanted to have a little girl. I’m not really sure why as I’m not particularly feminine and I don’t have a lot of close girl friends. I just never envisioned myself raising a boy. Since Callie will be our only child I am very thankful for getting my girl. I love the special bond we have and the things we do together. 


So what does it mean to me to be a girl mom? 


As someone who's studied identity development and gender I think about it all the time. I think about how I’m role modeling to my daughter how to be a strong woman. I also think about how it’s important to let her be herself. If that means princesses and bows then I want to support that. If it means mud and footballs I want to support that too. I think about our activities during the week. I want to be sure I give her a chance to bake but also to use tools. I think it’s just as important for her to pretend feed her baby doll as it is to push around a fire truck. I try to make sure she helps me with chores like laundry and vacuuming just as she helps her dad build her step stool or repair sprinklers. I also think it’s important she sees me hammering nails in the wall and her dad dusting. 


Being a girl mom also means I want to raise my daughter to love herself. I want her to be confident in her skills, abilities but also her own body. With all the images in the media these days I think this is the most important lesson I can teach her. 

A few weeks ago I read this article on body image and little girls. This article just made me sad. 

I do not have my ideal body, or even close, by any means. I have been overweight most of my life. However that hasn’t overshadowed my life. Somehow I managed to grow into an independent confident woman regardless of my weight. I haven’t ever let my weight stop me from doing things I’ve wanted to do or hold me back. Sure I have a little more confidence when I’m healthier but it doesn’t guide my happiness or my identity. I consider myself lucky. 

I certainly am working to be a healthier role model for my daughter. If I can’t physically represent healthy to my daughter I want to make sure she understands her body doesn’t drive who she is. 


I worry that in today's society that my daughter can grow up in a house where the word diet will never be uttered, but will know what it means in elementary school. I don’t want her to ever use the word fat but I worry it will become a regular in her vocabulary before she stops playing with dolls. Callie is a healthy little girl but is a big girl and that means odds are she won't ever be one of those super skinny girls. I want her to be confident in whom she is so that won't matter. I want her identity and self worth to be her own and not tied to her body image. I want to teach her to be proud of all her body can do. I want her to have confidence in her skills, abilities and creativity. I want her to be herself without being weighted down by concerns of what she “should” look like. 


I certainly don’t worry all the time about these things! However they are on my mind when I think about what I want to teach my daughter. I think about all the things as mothers we need to teach our daughters. The list is endless. However the most important thing about being a girl mom to me is being the best woman I can be so I can role model that to my daughter and maybe, just maybe if I’m lucky, pass that strength on to her.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing, Jenny! Such an important topic and something all us moms need to be mindful of

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  2. I love this! From encouraging her to play with everything down to giving her a positive outlook on her body and making sure she's confident and happy and not on a "diet" at age 5 (which is just plain terrifying).

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  3. Oh this is great!! it is so important to teach our daughters (and sons) to appreciate themselves and to boost their self confidence. Having a positive self image is so difficult (especially with the media today) I am grateful for what my mom taught me and hope I can do the same for my Ellie!

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  4. Wow, awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing. It is so interesting how the gendering process begins SO EARLY. It's hard to resist it. I want my daughter to be able to be whoever she is, not feel as though she has to fit some narrow mould of what a "girl" is or should be. The norms are all around us - from those kids clothing stores with a pink wall and a blue wall to the toddler toys (toys!) labelled 'girls' or 'boys'. I've had people remark on how outgoing my "little guy" is, as though they would never expect a girl to be that bold. I don't ever want my daughter to think that who she really is inside is 'wrong' - I know so many heartbreaking stories of people who have struggled so much with their gender identity and their sexuality because it didn't fit in with what the norms. My heart aches for these people that just want to be themselves, and are told that it's not good enough, or wrong. Thank you for this post - let's all work to teach our babies that they are all beautiful, unique, precious and loved, no matter what the norms say.

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  5. Thanks so much! I agree that it's important for boys and girls! It's such a challenge today thats it's an important lesson to teach all our kiddos! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Thanks so much! I couldn't agree more with you. It's just sad the way fitting in is so ingrained in our society and so early. We just have to do the best to teach our kiddos to be strong so they can be themselves! Thanks for reading!

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  7. Thanks Erin! I don't think I even knew was a diet was until jr. high and the stories I hear of little girls in elementary school asking if they are fat just hurts my soul! Let's hope we can raise our girls to be stronger than that!

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