While I'm away, readers give the advice.
Don't fret size: Girls' beauty should shine from within
On worrying that your daughters will grow up to be tall and heavyset, like their dad: My husband and I are both plus size, and he's hairy. Our progeny is a beautiful 5-foot-10, size 18 teenager.
We have been very candid with her about healthy eating and exercising, gave her eight years of classical ballet lessons to give her poise, and always encouraged her to stand up straight and be confident in herself. We have talked about waxing and laser treatments, and her first waxing was at age 8 to give her two eyebrows. She has dated a couple of nice young men and is headed to college soon. We have also emphasized that she should have whatever beauty treatments make her feel pampered, but ultimately the beauty within her is what her soul mate will find attractive.
We have told her she is blessed. She is a classic, curvy beauty, and if she doesn't fit the "model," it helps in avoiding superficial relationships.
Tree dreads apple, continued: As a big, awkward daughter who probably would have been fine with it, were it not for my parents' continual efforts to make me dainty, I am sure that the worst thing such a girl would have to face is her mother's embarrassment over her. Parents in this position need to get over it and love their daughters for who they are, and behave as if they expect the rest of the world to love them, too. Yes, there will be mean people, but a girl can learn to cope with them.
I eventually got past my body hatred, largely thanks to a midlife introduction to activity for activity's sake (when you do really fun, cool things, you spend more time thinking about fun and less time thinking about what other people think). But, man, I would give anything to relive my 20s with even a modicum of self-love.
Start with the assumption that all women are beautiful
D: On being dismayed at a mate's weight gain: I've always believed that every woman is beautiful. Every woman. If I don't see the beauty in some woman, that's my problem, not hers. It's up to me to work harder to see the beauty, not up to her to make herself live up to whatever my standards might be.
Cars should have texting while driving prevention
California: On texting while driving: GAAAA! Why can't they invent a thingy on cars that prevents texting while the motor is on??? I have a growing and obsessive fear that one of these morons is going to kill somebody in my family.
Carolyn: Not that these morons will recognize themselves and/or renounce their self-obsessed ways, but maybe this will slap even one in the forehead hard enough to hurt.
Mate's company makes everything a little better
O: On "like" as a foundation for "love": I am 89 and have been married to the same woman for 62 years. This marriage would never have lasted this long if we did not "like" each other. I enjoy her company. A lousy cup of tea tastes wonderful when shared with her. We are the best of friends.