I’m a huge fan of Ted Talks. Ted is like opening the fridge door and ALWAYS finding something to eat.
Every now and again though, there is something that completely shifts the way I look at the world. This talk is one of those moments.*
There are 2 things that really stood out for me:
- Habitual Body Monitoring: as women, we think constantly about how we sit/stand/look and how much of our mental space this takes up.
- “We raise our little boys to view their bodies as tools to master their environment, we raise our little girls to view their bodies as projects to constantly be improved.”
Think about it. I’m not saying we do this on purpose, but my girls see me not eat potatoes and rice and ask why. They probably overhear me talk about having to lose weight to my friends.
We teach our children that, as long as you are healthy, it doesn’t matter what your body looks like. That you should love your body just the way it is. It’s mostly lip-service though. We don’t always live by our own words.
The other thing she mentions is how much we (and, by default, our children) are exposed to objectification in advertising. We switched off Dstv about 18 months ago and have never looked back. I do NOT miss being bombarded by adverts of how my life/body could be better. Sometimes I do get a little FOMO when people talk about a great advert, but that’s what YouTube is for.
In saying this, our kids are, however, still exposed to the little girls at school who tell them that “they aren’t allowed to eat a chocolate because their Mom says that they will get fat”. How’s that for teaching your child that their body is not a project to constantly be improved?
I hope you watch the talk. If you do, please let me know what you thought?
*I was contemplating just sharing it on Facebook, but am nervous it will go missing in all the noise there. Also, this way I get to “keep” it here for ease of reference, because, trust me, I’m going to be showing it to EVERYONE. Consider yourself warned.