Have you ever considered yourself to be LUCKY to not be a super model?
It turns out there’s a certain curse which comes with being too good looking. Don’t believe me? Check out this TED talk.
Unfortunately, no one on the spectrum of beautiful-pretty-fair-plain-ugly is spared; we all have insecurity.
I once read the autobiography of a woman who had a deformed jaw. She went through all the teasing and bullying in her childhood, and knew a person was good simply by whether they treated her respectfully.
As an adult, she had major surgery and became a normal-looking pretty woman…and was shocked to find she could no longer tell the good guys from the bad ones!
In some ways, it was harder to date, and not only that, her insecurities were not cured. She’d created a habit of mind, thinking that changing her looks would fix her problems, and of course, it didn’t.
That’s the marketer’s message: if you only looked like this, it would all be perfect! So buy our product. It never works, not even a little.
This is one of the focuses for the Mother-Daughter Day-Treat this Saturday. I can’t wait!
For those of you who won’t make it though, this can be a great conversation to have with your adolescent. Ask, “who do you think worries more about their body and looks, _____ (their favorite celebrity) or ______ (you, a friend, a neighbor)?”
Your teen might answer that the less pretty person worries more, but I’d argue the opposite. We don’t reach for the unattainable, we make peace with it.
Then you can suggest watching the TED talk together. It might be a revelation to her to think that her imperfect looks are a huge asset – she won’t be as anxious as the supermodels, and no one will date her to have the perfect accessory at their side, a status symbol.
Of course, the most powerful thing we can do to help our children accept their bodies as they are is to model it. Please take some time today to love and nurture your body, just as it is.
In support of you,
P.S. For more tips on protecting your child’s body image and reframing media messages, join us at the retreat or check out Embody and The Elephant in the Gym, two awesome books on my books list (go to the 14+ tab).