I had this video in my heart for a long time as I wrote my book, Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls & How to Help Them Thrive Despite It. We need to tell all the girls in our lives how beautiful and amazing they are. But just as important, we need to tell ourselves. Remember, our daughters, nieces, grand-daughters, students, and girls we mentor need to know that WE believe girls can be beautiful at a variety of sizes. Do these girls know that you believe that YOU can fit into the definition of what beauty is? Can they? Tell a girl she’s beautiful today. And then, go look in the mirror, and tell yourself.
Here are the words to the “Fighting Weight Obsession: Good Girls Don’t Get Fat” video, as requested. And may I take this moment to just send my appreciation to all those who have reposted the video, talked about it, and praised it? Thank you so much for helping to send the message.
There was a time when we loved looking in the mirror. Remember? We’d strike a pose, sing into our hairbrush, and call ourselves “rockstars.” We’d kiss our reflections and smile at the person staring back at us.
There was a time when we defined ourselves and others by talents Strengths. Assets. Character. Goal. Passions. Great dancer. Gifted artist. Makes me laugh. Awesome athlete. Smart. Fun. Funny. Silly. Entertaining, kind, proud, loyal, helpful, happy, nice, brave, intelligent, generous, fair, sensitive, determined, beautiful.
Then why is it, right now, in this time, that so many of us HATE our bodies? (My thighs are so huge. My stomach isn’t flat enough. My butt is too big. My hips are too wide. My boobs are too small. I hate my nose…my legs…my skin…my hair…my chin…my arms…UGH. I wish I looked like her…I wish I WAS her.
We become…a number
Fat grams= …500
Somewhere along the line, a seed was planted within us — a seed that grows and grows and grows, taking over like a wild weed, pushing all the positive compliments and assets aside to make room for the negative.
Did you know that 95% of girls ages 16 to 21 want to change their bodies in some way?
Because they learn
FAT is BAD. (ugly, lazy, gross, stupid, nasty, unpopular, smelly, blameworthy)
Thin is GOOD. (beautiful, successful, sexy, smart, sophisticated, controlled, well-liked)
They learn that Good Girls Don’t Get Fat
Who do they learn it from?
From all the messages around them. Toys. Games. Cartoons. Advertisements. Primetime TV. Movies. Clothes. Billboards. Actresses. Models. Mannequins. Reality Shows. Documentaries. Books. Magazines. Newspapers. The News.
Look thinner! Lose 10 pounds! Tighten up! Bikini body! Lose the Freshman 15! Skinny jeans. Get the body you want…you need…you must have!
They surround our girls. Engulf them. Become part of them.
But most of all, they learn it from…
People they know and trust…
They learn it from…
Mother, Father, Friend, Teacher, Boyfriend, Coach, Neighbor, Doctor, Nurse, Sister, Brother, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent
Have you gained weight? I’m so fat! You got so big! Have you see how fat your Aunt, Friend, Neighbor, Teacher, Mother, Sister got? Should you be eating that? Don’t eat that. You’re so fat. She’s so skinny! I was so bad today. She was so good today. Just water, thanks. No, I’m not hungry. I do not need food. She’s so hot. I’m the biggest one here! I have to fit into my skinny jeans, my prom dress, my bikini. I have to look like…celebrities…models…reality stars. Portion control. Control top. Control yourself. Nip/tuck. Weigh your food. Weigh yourself. Careful! You might get fat…and fat is bad…and GOOD GIRLS DON’T GET FAT
It doesn’t go in one ear and out the other. It rattles around in their brains. The voice is Persistent. Resistant. Insistent. It gets louder, louder, louder. Until it becomes our own. We talk fat. Think fat. Wage war on fat.
Restrain. Purge. Over exercise. Disordered eating. Eating Disorders. Smoking. (Good Girl)
She skips meals and pats herself on the back. Good girl.
Girls who meet the criteria for “overweight” or simply believe they are overweight—may be more at risk for extreme dieting, disordered eating, eating disorders, dropping out of school, fewer friends, depression, not going to college, discrimination (peer, employment, medical, economic) poor self esteem, AND even suicide attempts.
The girl in the mirror never measures up.
So what do we do?
We MUST build her up from the inside out
Positive Body Image, High Self Worth, Initiative, Courage, Sense of Purpose, Core values,
Emotional Intelligence, Assertiveness, Goal-Setting, Positive Risk-taking, Accountability, Expectations, Positive View of the Future, Self-esteem, Perspective Personal Power, Sense of Purpose, Initiative, Competencies (physical, cognitive, social), Positive Attitude, Leadership, Authenticity, Positive Self talk, Caring, Character, Humor
And the outside in: Positive Peer Groups, Media Literacy, Constructive Use of Time, Sports, Alternative Activities for Girls, Volunteerism/Contribution to Community, Connections, Supportive Adults, Role Models;
We must reignite the SPARK (Support, Passion, Action, Reason, Knowledge) that will help drive her.
Andeach her to respect her strengths.
Kiss her assets.
Love her body,
Believe in herself.
Teach her that
She is who she thought she once was… she thought she would be. She is
Beautiful. Powerful. Amazing. An asset girl. A rockstar.
Discover more about how society is Messing up our girls and how to help them thrive despite it in Good Girls Don’t Get Fat by Dr. Robyn Silverman. For parents. For educators. For you. (Available on Amazon and book stores near you.)
Please share this video with every girl you love– and everyone you know who loves our girls. And remember, boys are not immune to body image issues as well so have your whole family watch and discuss what struck everyone the most. And please, let me know what you think of the book! So excited to hear from you.