Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

Are they TRYING to mess up our kids?!

Pole dancing classes for kids, Anorexic Animated Disney Supermodels and Plus-sized clothing labels for kids.

I kinda feel like my head might explode.

When I started my Fit vs Fiction Body Image workshops at schools, I was told (often) that I was fighting a losing battle and that society’s extremely warped concept of beauty and fitness was an impossible hurdle to get over and that I was a little crazy to even try. Truth be told, I’m probably more than a little crazy because the only way I will stop trying to make a difference in the way kids see and treat themselves in respect to their body image, is when this is no longer an issue, so basically I may never stop fighting.

For every issue tackled another dozen or so pop up in its place. This week, I’ve heard a lot about pole dancing lessons for kids, or as some people call it, pole “Fitness”. While I totally understand the strength and skill that go along with this activity and while I think it could be a fun thing to do as an adult; I can’t get comfortable with the image of young girls throwing themselves around a pole. I’ve heard it argued that it’s only sexualized if parents make it sexualized and that it’s really just like gymnastics. Really?! There’s a reason why so many of us have been cringing at the concept. There are just certain activities that kids just don’t need to participate in. Here’s a thought, if it’s just like gymnastics, why not try GYMNASTICS?

Twiggy, Kate Moss and now….Minnie Mouse??

We all heard about how Barneys NY teamed up with Disney to create a 3-D Film using Disney characters as supermodels, complete with painfully frail physiques. Is nothing sacred?! First of all they’re ANIMALS, second of all, they’re ANIMATED, third of all, they are for CHILDREN! I advise parents on the best ways they can provide their kids with healthy messages about body image in our thin obsessed world and things like this are as dangerous as they are infuriating! We can throw out our fashion magazines and channel surf around self-esteem crushing drivel on TV, but now they’ve hit us where it really hurts. DISNEY! It’s bad enough that Disney is full of one dimensional Princesses, but did they have to mess with Donald and Mickey too??

Plus sized labels for kids? Funny, I was just thinking the other day, “You know what we just don’t do enough of these days? Label people!”

Kids are growing and changing ALL THE TIME. If we label them as “plus-sized” when they are very young, they will carry these labels in their heads and hearts long after their bodies may have dropped them. Like it or not, kids are desperate to fit in and be just like everybody else and while we are TRYING to teach them that it’s okay to be different and unique, it can be extremely difficult to feel like you just don’t belong. Having kids who are shaped differently than their peers have to buy clothes that say “Plus-sized” on the label can be demoralizing. What’s the point,anyway?? As one little girl said in an interview with the Today Show,”I’d rather they just put numbers like for other kids.”

It seems like the world is always telling us that we’re just not good enough. 9 year olds want to be 12, 12 year olds want to be 16, 16 year olds want to be 21 and 21 year olds are getting botoxed because they’re afraid of not staying 21 forever!

It’s enough already. We do not live in a One-size-fits-all kind of world. If we spend our time and energy trying to be who society tells us we’re supposed to be instead of appreciating who we already are, we are totally missing the point and when we finally figure that out, it may just be too late.


2 Responses to 'Are they TRYING to mess up our kids?!'

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  1. I love that last paragraph. It really drives home the overall point of defying and arguing against society’s beauty standards. Beyond-basic beauty has always seemed like a waste of time to me, but it really saddens me when people see drastic and expensive procedures as absolutely necessary. We can’t keep driving up the (false) standards until 16 is the only acceptable age to look. It’s just a waste of effort for everyone!

    • fitvsfiction said,

      Imagine all the incredible things we could accomplish if we didn’t waste our time, energy and money trying to look like somebody else.
      Thanks for your comment!

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