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Mom Talk: How Young is Too Young?

Local moms discuss what (if any) age thresholds there are to start talking about body image to your children.

This week, we talk about the release late last month of padded bikini tops for 7-year-olds by retailer Abercrombie & Fitch.

This just spurred on the conversation of what message retailers and television, magazines and pop stars are sending to our children.

Here is a snippet of the conversation:

"This is so scary. I actually heard on the radio today that a woman gave Botox to her 8-year old. What kind of message does she think she's sending to her daughter! And what kind of doctor would actually do it?

"My own 6-year old just started telling me that she has fat legs. It's absolutely insane. I know that I don't say that about myself, but she must be picking it up from somewhere.

"So sad—and so hard as a parent to reassure her about her body image in a convincing way. It seems like I get the eye roll every 15 minutes these days."

Anne-Michelle Francis, owner of Ohana Board Shop

"I completely understand, Anne-Michelle, and I don't think it's just girls anymore.

"My son actually started crying the other day when I tried to get him into his 'bubble' jacket, because it's the warmest one he owns, and it was kind of chilly with the rain.

"He told me he didn't like that one, because it made him look 'fat'! We don't talk about this kind of stuff at home, because I never thought it an issue, but apparently he, too, is picking it up from somewhere."

Mayra Flores De Marcotte, editor

Brittany Patterson April 12, 2011 at 05:59 AM
I'm a big fan of Dove's "Real Women" campaign. Definitely a breath of fresh air in this media crazed age. You can check out their videos on Youtube.
Mayra Flores de Marcotte April 12, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Thanks for the comment, Brittany! I agree. I feel that it's one of the only campaigns out there that is stripped down and real. At least closer to what's real ...
Laura Connell April 12, 2011 at 08:25 PM
I'm actually not a fan of the Dove Campaign because it keeps the focus on our bodies. I do believe we need to get the focus off our physical bodies and onto our characters and capabilities. It is the only way to empower our girls and ourselves as women. You are still objectifying your body even when you say you love it. Our bodies are functional, made to do things--not be looked at! Even by ourselves.
Mayra Flores de Marcotte April 13, 2011 at 05:26 AM
Laura, Thank you for your comment and for adding your perspective. I agree, the focus shouldn't be on the physical, but as the lesser of the two evils, I think this commercial does a better job at offering up a realistic view of what physical beauty is: everything, rather than the narrow view of so many others. Keep commenting and joining the conversation!

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