EG: Don’t Lie to Your Daughters

One of my friends on facebook has a tendency to use her account for the purpose of reposting things. I mostly ignore this stuff, but then she posted this:

If I ever have a daughter...

This is awful.

I stared in horror, completely flabbergasted by how someone could possibly think that lying to a child like this will spare them any grief.

Let me tell you a quick story. My art teacher and father figure, R, teaches classes for children ages 6 to 18. He sees a lot of kids from a lot of different backgrounds. This particular child was an only child. His entire family loved him and praised everything he did, particularly his art. So he came into the class with a pretty confident opinion of his art. He was around 12. Now, he was not up to his age level when it came to art skills. He was still drawing suns with rays coming from them and such. R has the class do projects, so everyone is working on the same thing, with their own take on it. So, the kid is drawing and one of the younger children, who is about 6, comes up to him. He looks at the older kid’s drawing and says, “You need some shading right here”. The older kid was absolutely shattered. Existential crisis. His parents pulled him from the class shortly afterwards. The parents had done that kid a massive disservice. I have no idea what happened to him and neither does R. What do you bet he never trusted his parents very much after that though?

Lying to your children and sheltering them from the world is not love. It is selfish and cruel. You are not helping them in any way. The truth will out and they will hate you and never trust you again. You can’t control what your child feels, you certainly can’t do it forever.

What does the person who created this intend to do? Sure, they can tell their daughter she is gorgeous all day long. But, how are they going to keep their daughters away from scales? I get weighed every time I go to the doctor. We didn’t have a scale in the house for many years, that didn’t make me less curious about what I weighed. I would step on any scale I saw. I learned how to use one of those old-school scales with the metal weights because the chiropractor had one in the bathroom. Not having a scale in your home will not fix anything.

How are they going to keep their daughters from hearing “fat” and “diet” in their normal usage? Diet doesn’t even always refer to a weight loss regime. Koalas eat a diet of eucalyptus leaves.

diet

di·et

1 [dahy-it] Show IPA noun, verb, di·et·ed, di·et·ing, adjective

noun

1.

food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet.

If you are going to try and control something, control what your child eats so they don’t get fat in the first place. Teach them good eating habits, teach them to adhere to a healthy diet. That will save them far more grief than turning the words “fat” and “diet” into swear words. They won’t have a bad connotation if you don’t let your daughters get fat.

She will feel the same emotions any human feels, unless she is a sociopath. Does this person want their daughter to be a sociopath? I certainly hope not.

All this will do is turn their daughter into a self important, entitled, unhealthy woman who will spend her entire life unable to get a boyfriend or husband and will have no idea why. Even if she wins the genetic lottery and stays thin, she will still have a deeply unattractive attitude. That and she won’t have any real self-esteem, because she will know internally that the praise is empty and unearned.

If you do this to your daughter, you don’t love her. You hate her.

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10 responses to “EG: Don’t Lie to Your Daughters

  • Sis

    As a mom with three daughters, I kind of had my first “diet” incidence the other day with one of them. My 40 lb 5 yr old was refusing to eat her food because it would make her fat. I’m not sure if she got this message from me or from tv or from a friend. Girls know the law, the know they’re not supposed to get fat, they get that message from every single magazine, movie and tv show they watch. It’s not like the mom is going to be able to hide the idea that thin=beautiful from them. The one thing a mom can do that no one else can is to express to her daughter grace, grace that no matter what happens, what she looks like, or how she fails, she is still valuable, she is still loved, and there is still hope for her. Without grace, humans fall into hopelessness. We need both the law and grace to survive.

  • Lena S.

    You can’t plow the roads for them. There are people who arrange the environment for their kids so that they never have to use the word ‘no’. How they think that will help them in the real world I really don’t know. Of course, the kids sure know how to use the word “NO!”

    Focus on their actual talents and be realistic, otherwise you get a generation of narcissists. Oh, wait…

    Sis’s comment is also a good argument for not having a TV. Even without that though, my 7 year-old has asked me if she’s fat! (She weighs around 45lbs!) I’m pretty sure she got that from my brother constantly calling himself fat (he is not fat – he could probably lose 15lbs or so and cut the wheat (and beer) out of his diet since it seems to me it’s mostly wheat belly, but I guess he’d rather just complain).

  • wdydfae

    I know your point’s bigger than the fat issue, but there was a good article in the Atlantic.

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/march/1361848247/karen-hitchcock/fat-city

  • DJ

    Fact its just as frustrating to be told your to skinny I appreciate my Mom always telling me that I was fine and teaching me to eat well and pay attention to what my body was telling me.

  • A baker’s dozen of links. | Sunshine Mary

    […] In Don’t Lie to Your Daughters, Allamagoosa responds to […]

  • Ashley

    I say if a woman wants her child to eat healthily, they will have to move out of America. Nearly no one in America eats right, even the ones that think they do just because they are on this diet or that diet, or are vegetarians or vegans. Either people are overeating or they are starving themselves. Trying to diet the wrong way is actually how people become so overweight.

    • allamagoosa

      Yes, so you say. You ignore the fact that junk food exists outside the US and that healthy food does exist in the US. You are right in thinking that most people in the US don’t eat extremely healthy diets, but that doesn’t make it impossible. It takes effort regardless of where you are. I never said it was easy, I said that if you wanted to help your daughter it is what you would do.

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