Dear Mouthy Housewives,
Yesterday my 7-year-old daughter asked me what she should do to get “bikini ready” for summer. I don’t know where she heard that phrase, but it very much upsets me. She shouldn’t even be thinking about that type of thing at her age. How should I handle this?
Not Ready For The Bikini-Ready Talk
Not Ready For The Bikini-Ready Talk,
Well, my guess is that she probably saw the phrase “bikini-ready” on the cover of a magazine. And if that’s the case, just be glad she didn’t see last week’s US Weekly cover that had a picture of a lovey dovey Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn with the huge headline, “IN LOVE WITH A SEX ADDICT.” I almost broke an ankle trying to hide that one from my kids. Sheesh.
Anyway, yes, she’s only seven and therefore way too young to worry about what her body looks like in a swimsuit. However, odds are that she probably still has a very basic understanding of this whole issue. Therefore, you should be okay with just a simple, “You don’t need to do anything to get bikini ready, sweetie. You look great just the way you are.” Then maybe throw in some peppy talk about sunscreen being the most important thing you can wear in the summer and for that reason, she totally shouldn’t whine and whimper when you pin her down on the floor to apply it to her squirming little face. I MEAN, CAN'T SHE JUST HOLD STILL FOR ONE STUPID SECOND!?!? Whew. I might have a little bit of suppressed sunscreen rage going on.
If that doesn’t mollify her and she still asks questions about being “bikini ready,” let her know that it just means making sure your body is healthy for the summer. And the way to stay healthy is to eat good, nutirious food, exercise and get plenty of sleep. I really wouldn’t launch into a whole body-image discussion with her quite yet unless she's hearing things from her friends that need to be addressed.
That said, you're definitely going to have to broach this subject again. Maybe soon, in fact. So now is a good time to figure out what you want to tell her about girls, health, body image and all of the reasons it's nobody's business but yours if you're bikini ready or not.
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