Friday, November 30, 2007

Does it have to happen?

pure white camelliaA couple mornings ago I read a story on petite anglaise's blog about her daughter calling her butt big. I couldn't help but chuckle, but I also tensed at the recounting of a small child calling her mother's rear fat and whale-like...and then laughing about it.

Then, zoot posted her links for the day last night, one of which included story on an after-school workshop for teen girls that is part of the Dove campaign for real beauty. I think it is wonderful that the message of altered images producing unattainable perfection for our viewing is being spread to teen girls, but something one of those girls in the clip said just struck me with such sadness. It was something like she was happy to have learned about this because now she doesn't feel like she needs to feel bad about herself all the time. I just couldn't help but wonder why she's felt she needs to feel bad about herself all the time before.

When does this happen to children? When do they lose the non-judgemental view of others? When do they start comparing themselves to everyone else? Does it have to happen?

I've taken for granted that my boys have never referred to someone's size as big or fat, save for adults as big people since adults are obviously so much bigger than they are, that they have never referred to someone by physical characteristics, such as hair or skin color, nor expressed a judgement of someone's appearance as ugly or pretty. People are simply called by name, and if the name is unknown, they are a baby boy/girl, little boy/girl, etc. I have never quite appreciated their innocent blindness so much; I just wish it would last forever.

7 comments:

Princesse Ecossaise said...

The innocence of a child is one of the most beautiful things in the world. It would be nice if adults could look at the way children view the world and take a leaf from their book!

Heather said...

It's so hard to know what would happen if we were raised in an entirely different world, but I wonder. Sometimes I see things about other cultures and their views on what's attractive are dramatically different than ours here in North America and other Western countries. And yet, I'm still waiting to find any human society which doesn't have its own set of mores that include a standard of beauty. And as long as there's a standard, there will always be people who don't live up to it. Which is a very sad thought.

Churlita said...

I think that all changes during puberty. At least with my girls, there was a lot more stress about looks once they got to junior high.

Jonathan said...

Peer group pressure. There's a ton of stuff on this in attachment theory too - the forming of attachments between youngsters, and strength of those attachments being based on the "fit" to the group...

Eunice said...

It's funny that you blogged this, because I wondered the very same thing the other day. When do we stop loving ourselves the way we are and start wishing we had the things we don't? There's just something so much more peaceful in watching a child's naivete.

baby~amore' said...

so true - if we were all blind we wouldn't be able to judge others byt heir appearance .
TV shows/movies and jokes making fun of fat/ugly people & racism is where they learn it - slowly creeping into their innocent minds.
The Dove program sounds wonderful.

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