How to talk to little girls
I just love this essay by Lisa Bloom on how difficult but important it is to talk to little girls about anything besides how they look or what they are wearing. Bloom, the author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, notes that nearly half of all 3- to 6-year-old girls worry about being fat. Preschoolers! Worried they are fat! Geez.
She writes of her encounter with an adorable 5 year old girl named Maya and how tough it was to remind herself to keep the topic away from fashion and beauty. Instead they talk about her favorite books and read one together and talk about what the book was about. "Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It’s surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I’m stubborn," she writes.
"So, one tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages to our girls. One tiny nudge towards valuing female brains. One brief moment of intentional role modeling. Will my few minutes with Maya change our multibillion dollar beauty industry, reality shows that demean women, our celebrity-manic culture? No. But I did change Maya’s perspective for at least that evening."
Well said, Lisa Bloom, and I promise to join the opposition next time I meet an adorable little girl.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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