I’ve noticed, of late, actually scratch that, I’ve noticed for a long time the number of people who comment on images of their friends’ daughters on social media with affirmations on their appearance.
“You make gorgeous looking children.”
You know the type of comments. We’ve seen them, read them, we may have even made them. We think they’re harmless. They are not.
They are not empowering, this is not supportive, it is not girl power. This is applauding appearance, every time. This is saying what’s on the outside is what matters most, you’re a better person if you’re pretty or made pretty kids or are thin in a bikini.
This is the school yard we grew up in, the bus we caught to school with the other girls and boys, the magazines we bought, now the Instagram posts we see, the filters we buy into, the ads we see from every angle.
Just stop it. STOP IT.
“What a great pic, always smiling and laughing, life is good.”
“How fun that day looks.”
“I love how strong your girls are and how they clearly glow when at their favourite place.”
There’s 1000 different positive messages to send and to say in a public forum where everyone is reading and processing and taking it in. We won’t get into when it’s appropriate to post pics and what kind of pics, because that’s a whole other post.
For now. Please. Stop. It.
Because 80% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
Because 30% of 10-14 year olds are dieting.
Because peers and family influence body esteem in children.
Because what you say and how it’s heard matters.
Because young women now pay to remove their labia lest it be “ugly” and not the same as what they see on the internet.
Because girls are acutely aware that how they look is so often how they are valued and how they too often value themselves.
Please. Just. Stop. It.
There NEVER endeth this rant.