I expect to get a million hits today just because of my title.
Honestly, I'm probably not far off the mark on that prediction. This topic seems to be on the forefront of people's minds these days and quite frankly, it drives me nuts. I mean, I remember being a teenager and being obsessed about my body. It was probably even worse for me than the average teenager because I was a dancer. I lived a large part of my life in front of full length mirrors wearing only tights and a leotard.
But, I also seem to remember that all of that angst used to be the territory of young people. I mean, I certainly don't remember my Grandma worrying about her figure. It would have been ridiculous to me if she had, her figure had nothing to do with how important she was in my life. I can understand young people, who are still figuring life out, placing a lot of value on how awesome they look in a mini-skirt; but, aren't we supposed to grow up?
It has occurred to me that all of this body worship probably has a lot to do with how little we value and respect our elders these days. I'll be honest, it kind of scares me sometimes to realize that I'm raising my kids at a time in history where the younger generation is so quick to think of their elders like yesterday's news. Not only is the disrespect ugly, really ugly, but it also is robbing them of a wealth of information that the older generation possesses that could really be helpful to them.
But, maybe it isn't all the young people's fault? Maybe we send the wrong message as adults when we try to look like we're 16? Maybe all the (married) Moms I hear talking about how cute this or that boy toy is, or starving themselves in front of their daughters so that they can still be bone thin, don't help? Maybe?
Well, I'm gonna do my part. In this family, we talk about respect and we practice it. My children do not call adults by their first names. If there are 5 chairs, 5 adults and a bunch of kids; guess who sits on the floor? There are times when I excuse my children from the room because there is adult conversation going on and their age has not yet earned them a place at the table.
I will also show my daughters, by my example, that growing old isn't awful or something to be feared. I am not as thin as I was when I walked down the aisle 15 years ago. But, in those 15 years, I have gained what feels like a whole lifetime of knowledge, plus 5 wonderful kids. I wouldn't trade all of that in for a younger body - no way.