As noted on WebMD, “by the time most girls reach their teens, they’ve consumed years’ worth of messages about what a female body should look like.”
According to Renee Hobbs, EdD, associate professor of communications at Temple University, “the average teen girl gets about 180 minutes of media exposure daily ,” compare to “only about 10 minutes of parental interaction a day.” For too many American girls, being “model thin” is a very real aspiration, and it starts at a shockingly young age. In one recent study, researchers found that TV programs focused on appearance are swaying the self-esteem of girls as young as 5. Read the entire article on WebMD, including what parents can do to help their daughters develop a healthy attitude about their own bodies.
Justine Amodeo, mother and CLP instructor offering the class Tapping the Body’s Wisdom, is doing everything she can as a parent to help her daughter explore and express her feelings in relation to her own beauty and media and society. She recently shared the expressive art piece made by her daughter recording the feeling of “smallness” she felt in relation to her dolls. She writes, “take a step forward towards being your own person.”
Image courtesy Justine Amodeo and Ms. Magazine.
Using creativity to contemplate and examine visual culture, girls are able to break down the images solidified by the media of what a body is “supposed” to look like, and arrive at their own ideas of what is beautiful and healthy. Doctors conclude that more than anything else, dialogue and critical thinking about what is healthy and truly beautiful can serve young girls more than any other activity. The needs of her daughter to have a creative outlet to develop her own ideas about beauty and body image inspired Justine to develop Tapping the Body’s Wisdom, which combines ritual, writing, art, dance and music to bring out the true spirit of each child while examining the pressures they experience from their peers, the media, and society. Click here for more information on Justine’s class, which happens every Saturday morning at 10am, for a suggested donation of $5-$10.
Images courtesy Center for Living Peace.
Peace Grl Out.