Monday, September 24, 2007

Little Gi*ls and Big B*llies

At what age are little gi*ls taught it is not appropriate to stick out their tummies whenever they feel so inclined?

I love this picture simply because this child is so unselfconscious as to her body.

A b*lly just is. And if you want to stick it out, you just do.

And then you grow up and learn to suck it in, make it as flat as possible. Or worse, you undergo a tummy-tuck.

Why? Because the world tells you that’s how you attract a man – with a flat b*lly and some perky or big b**bs.

The original Barbie doll's measurements would have been an incredible 39-18-33. In response to criticism that these measurements might create unrealistic expectations for young girls to live up to, Mattel has since adjusted the chest measurement down and the waist measurement up.

(Might create unrealistic expectations? I had Barbie and Ken dolls. Never mind Barbie - if you took Ken’s body as a definitive example of manhood, you were in for a big shock.)

The admonition to suck in my gut stayed with me. I simply can’t bring myself to stick it out (any further than it already does). As for the b**bs? They’re fine as is. No lift, augmentation or implants are in the cards – even if some day the awesome twosome appear as though they could use some help. What you see is what you get. (So to speak.)

That little gi*l in the picture? Yeah, it’s me. I love her unselfconscious stance. And the fly-away-hair thing at the back? It still happens.

(Have edited this post re: undesirable hits.)


Trish said...

I love little kids and their uninhibited poses...really cute! And it is so sad that we almost always grow up to hate our bodies in some way or other.

I remember the first time I really looked at my self in the mirror (around age 5) I was fascinated by body and then sometime around 13 I really looked again and was appalled. I wasn't lithe and skinny like the other girls...I was thick and crooked...with glasses...and a bad haircut. Oh, that was a bad day.

The toy companies still don't get it though. They may be making some adjustments (good for them) but as far as I can tell skinny is still in.

Trish said...

*rooting around in my photo's*

I think I have an old picture like that too...I'll post it and then we can compare bellies. ha!

oreneta said...

Little kids have such big bellies too, and they love them...pat pat pat....sweet.

All my old photos are packed...I can't play post the belly photo with y'all ;-(

Beth said...

I guess it's around the ages of 12 and 13 that we started cluing in to the advertising propaganda. Bad timing - that was my chunky phase too. Double whammy.
I checked out your belly pic - I think mine is bigger or I'm just arching my back a little more!

How about a current photo?
As if - I've seen you - you don't have a belly to speak of!

patricia said...

Awwww...that is such a sweet photo! I've always found little girls in bathing suits with their little bellies sticking out to be so cute. But yeah, then they all grow up and become image-obsessed creatures for the rest of the lives, present company included. I'm forever trying to suck in that gut. Too bad there's no way to suck in one's thighs, too.

Just wondering, Beth...was this post in any way inspired by the death of that poor Toronto woman who went in for liposuction on her tummy? Did you see the photo of her? She looked lovely. In her 30s, married with a kid. What an absolute waste.

Beth said...

I actually wrote this (when I came across the picture) before reading about that woman but thought of her today when I posted. Coincidence - but timely.
What a shame and how very sad.

Pavel said...

What a wonderful post!

You're right, though. Little kids just ARE, that is, until taught otherwise.

Unfortunately, my 9 year old little girl is now concerned about her weight. She's skinny as a rail, yet I've heard her say she doesn't want to eat this sweet or that because she doesn't want to be fat!

I love the picture and you are simply adorable stinking out that tummy...

Beth said...

I've seen those pictures of your daughter - she's precious and perfect as is. You've got quite the job ahead convincing her she's just fine - tread carefully but do work on her self-image!

charlotta-love said...

My (!)brother(!) who is 9 is worried about his weight. And he hardly has to unbutton his pants to pull them on. Instead of focusing on good/bad foods, we say what food group they represent (carbs/protein/veggies/fruit/dairy). That way, as he looks at the food pyramid, he can see what he needs to balance his food without worrying if it will make him "fat".

msp said...

and then there is that little "slut" kissing an older man! Whatever became of her???

Beth said...

Skinny nine year old boys worrying about being fat?!
Sounds like you're all doing the right thing to steer him in the proper direction.
(Thanks for visiting.)

Not sure. I think she grew up to be a real sweetheart!

Beth said... were so cute! I love the fly-away hair, I gotta get me a scanner so I can scare you with pix of me as a kid! ;)

cute, cute, cute

Beth said...

You couldn't possibly scare me with your childhood pictures - you would have been adorable. Look at you now!

(Put a scanner on your Christmas wish list.)

Shari said...

Ahh, those days of innocence and happy thoughts.

My daughter (13) accepts herself as she is. My other one (7) is a skinny little thing and she loves to eat sweets. I try to limit the amount of sugar she eats, but it seems the more I restrict her, the more she wants it. But I am not worried; she's skinny.

I am the one who is obsessed with weight. I don't want to be "fat". The media always show these ultra thin models and superstars. I know...I shouldn't worry about it, but I can't help it. :)

Eileen said...

Beth, I love the picture you shared with us, your childhood picture was such a treasure to look at. I love how care free and happy you look. I love that about kids in general, but all too soon, and it is earlier and earlier, the message about weight/diet and sucking in that stomach starts. Some kids at my school, as young as 7 are telling me they are on diets. So sad to me, they look beautiful the way they are. Too much America's Next Top Model or something.....

psychgrad said...

Very nice picture. I think the stand straight, suck in your gut lesson comes a year or so after the keep your dress on and below your waist lesson. Unfortunately, there is video out there of me prior to learning these lessons.

Dorky Dad said...

My boy loves nothing more than to run around the house naked, laughing his little head off.

Ah ... the freedom of youth.

Beth said...

Good news about your girls.
As for you (and millions of other women) obsessing about weight, it's an obsession we've had since childhood and it's fueled by the media. We have to learn to love ourselves as we are - and that too is a tough lesson in this day and age.

Seven year olds dieting. That is just so wrong. Peer pressure and the media. If parents can't curb this, perhaps schools could incorporate lessons as to body image in phys. ed classes. Something should be done to help these kids.

I think little girls receive far more lessons in how to be a lady than boys ever do as to how to be a gentleman.
(I also think you should post that video!)

dorky dad:
And what a joy it is to see them doing that! They take such delight in their bodies.

Lainey-Paney said...

I love that picture!!!!

Beth said...

Thanks - I like it too!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Ah yes,
Songs of Innocence
Songs of Experience

Beth said...

I kind of wish I was back singing those Songs of Innocence. The songs of Experience aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Angela said...

Marvelous! I was so hoping that was you in the photo!

Beth said...

Yup, it's sweet little ole me!
(I've changed a slight bit since then...)

Princess Pointful said...

I do miss the days when I lacked constant self-awareness.