But I Want to Be a Size 0, Mom

10 years ago

This is from my friend, Mary McDonough, who was Erin on The Waltons

This new Dove video is AMAZING to me. It illustrates the problem with the beauty industry. I don't think I could have said it better. It perfectly shows the onslaught of images young girls see. And we wonder why we have obesity issues, self esteem problems, cutting issues, depression, drug addiction and eating disorders at an alarming rate in our country. Our girls don't stand a chance, my own daughters included.

These images are part of the reason. Young girls are bombarded with these messages that say they are not enough. The beauty industry that makes millions on the low self esteem of women is to blame. They want us to hate ourselves. It lines their pockets.

Two days ago I went shopping with my daughter to buy a new pair of jeans for her. As I endlessly brought her new pairs to try on, I could feel her frustration grow from inside the fitting room. It grew into an agonizing moan. "Nothing fits..." I went and got the next size up, but that wasn't good enough either. She emerged from the room depressed and sad. I asked her why and she said, "There all so big, or too small. I want to be a 0, Mom."

My throat seized and I felt so bad for her, my baby girl, then for all the baby girls hurt by growing up and not feeling right or pretty or enough. Then I was sad for the mother's, and then all women who feel this frustration.

My little girl doesn't want to be a size 1 or 3 or 5. My sadness turned to rage and feelings of failure. How can MY daughter feel this? She is so loved and knows she is beautiful and that she is even more beautiful from the INSIDE!!! Haven't I taught her enough through my pounding those messages in her head? Has she learned NOTHING from my mistakes?

"Not MY kid," I ranted in my head. "She will not fall victim to big, ugly, misogynistic-male industry," I cried in my silence.

We buy the one pair she deemed okay. We exit the store, weary from the experience.

The next day, she tells me she was troubled at school because after PE the pants didn't fit. I looked at them on her and they were SKIN TIGHT. No wonder. She'd bought the smaller size! "I want to be a 0, Mom," rang in my head and my heart broke again.

Read more here.

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