See this? This is a picture I snapped today of a little girls' lunchbox I saw for sale at Nordstrom Rack. Why do I say it's marketed toward little girls? It's pink, it has sequins and it was surrounded by other girls' merchandise. So, safe to say it's aimed at our daughters.
I am SICKENED that this phrase is on a lunch box.
We scratch our heads when we see our little girls struggle with body image, with self worth, with confidence.
We wonder, "Why do our girls worry so much about their bodies so young?" ... "Why does my five year old call herself 'fat?'" ... "Why does my middle schooler stand in front of the mirror and find all her flaws?"
THIS. This is part of the reason why.
Our world is telling our girls it's "cheating" if they eat something that's not 100% fat-free and perfectly healthy. In turn, that tells them self-control and denying themselves is to be valued above all. And that if they dares to step outside of the foods that will keep them perfectly slim and trim, then they are by default "cheating" and need to feel some sense of remorse.
Look, I'm not saying a diet of strictly sugar and chips is right either; but by God, why would a company ever pile onto our girls' already-fragile senses of self by making them feel as though they're "cheating" by eating something that's--gasp--not made of vegetables and air?
"You're overreacting!" you might say. To which I say, No. We are not overreacting when we ask more of the world when it comes to how they treat our girls.
Can you imagine a similar message directed toward little boys? For the record, I'd be equally offended... but I haven't seen anything that is aimed at making our boys feel bad about what they eat, or how they look.
So here's what I want to say, and what I will tell my girls. Girls--you are not "cheating" when you enjoy good food. You are not "cheating" when you eat pizza. You are not "cheating" when you have a cookie, or two, on occasion. You are not "cheating" when you live in moderation and allow yourself things that make you happy.
Girls--you are MORE than your bodies. More than your faces. More than your complexions. More than the clothes you wear and the things you buys and the other girls you hang out with.
You are beautiful, worthy, intelligent, and whole beings--whole beings who are worthy of so much love and respect, no matter what anyone, or anyTHING, says.