@ the park and simply have to Blog about this.
There are two little girls here: one in shorts and a t-shirt the other in a bikini--although there is no pool or splash pad in sight (why her mom is okay with that I don't know). There are also two little boys around the same age.
One little boy says to the other: "Do you think they're hot?"
At first I think they're talking about something they are playing with. It's the only thing that sounds logical to me, so I ignore them and continue watching my kids play.
Then the other responds: "Not the fat one, the one in the bikini".
I'm shocked. I'm literally sitting here in disbelief over what I've just heard. I couldn't resist pulling out my phone to start typing with my thumbs!
This is ridiculous!! These kids can't be more than 8 or 9. Where do they learn that kind of vocabulary at that age? Maybe they have older brothers? or watch too much TV? I don't know. I just can't believe what I've just heard.
Then of course my mind is reeling now. My daughter is going to be nine next week. Is she seriously already being subject that kind of scrutiny? Its no secret that as mothers (and fathers!) we need to be careful about what we let our little girls wear in public but why should they also have to be worried about how their bodies look? At 9?!
I can't believe I'm approaching this stage of parenthood already! Here I thought that at this point all I have to worry about is how to teach my daughter to respectful of others and herself, to love herself and be proud of her blackness. But no, not just that. We're going full steam ahead with no time to breathe.
I'm always conscious of how I talk about my body around my daughter. I let her know that I'm proud of my unique African features but I also don't complain about my weight or anything else when she is around.
We all have body issues from time to time but I think that, as mothers, we should put our daughters first and keep their fragile consciousness in mind when it comes to our own body image issues. Whether we think we are too fat or too skinny we need to let them know that it doesn't entirely define who we are. If we can, we should keep our negative thoughts about our bodies to ourselves! If we're dieting make it about our health not our waistlines!
And Moms, in this day and age with pedophiles and predators lurking in the shadows,don't be stupid. Please, please, please don't let your daughters run around in bikinis!