Monday, March 21, 2011

I'd be afraid to raise a girl.

With hubby headed this way, in not too terribly long, I can't help but to think of us making babies. Not because we're going to try again right away, but because, when he's here, it feels like our life is our own again and we can make decisions as we see fit. Outside immaculate conception, getting pregnant while he's deployed is pretty impossible ;-)

Anywho, so I'm thinking about, in the future, when we, once again, pull the goalie the possibility of having a girl. I hear the odds are 50/50?? ;-) And, I started thinking about how tough it can be on a girl these days. I know boys have their own crosses to bear, but I know how hard it can be, at times, to be a girl.

Mostly about body image.

I mean, this rail-thin, pre-pubescent-boy-like-figure that some try to shop as what girls should be is not my cup of tea. I think that's, pretty much, the anti-sexy. Of course, if that's one's body shape, more power to them. BUT, it shouldn't be what girls try to force their bodies to be. And, on top of it all, chickies aren't "allowed" to say things like these because it seems like a jealousy thing. I swear, on a stack of interpretative dance quarterlies, that is not the case.

My first semester of my senior year in college, I was in one of my psych classes where a mom, with a 7 year old, told a story of how her daughter came home from school asking if she was fat because that's what some girls at school had taunted her with. Seven. Years. Old.

Eating disorders can start that way. It just broke my heart that my friend's daughter has to think about that at her age. Women have their entire lives to feel self-conscious, it's horrible that they seem to start so young these days.

I know raising a girl would (will?) be an amazing experience. It's one, if given the chance, we won't take lightly. All we can do is to continue to raise our kid(s) the way we are and hope that we can keep just enough of the outside world just that....outside.

I know how much "power" parents have. Gary and I definitely subscribe to ideal that, rather than blaming commercials or song lyrics, parents have a very, very heavy affect on their kids. That seems like the duh-statement of the year, right?!

Plenty of my friends have at least one daughter and I wonder if these are conscious thoughts for them, or does it just seem like more of an issue than it is to me because I have a son?

I know I'd relish the opportunity to have a girl, I just hope that, somehow, the ridiculous amount of aesthetic pressure lets up at least a little. I want our theoretical-, future- daughter to be healthy and happy and to feel beautiful in her own skin. I suppose I'll take comfort in the fact that my presence has more of an impact than I realized :-)

All we can do is our best, right?


Daily Dose of Dahl said...

I was beyond terrified when I found out our second child was a girl. I do think (at least so far) that boys are easier. Way less drama and hormones. Way, way less.

I am so with you on body image fears! Unfortunately, it's not just peers that start body image issues. There's a lady at the gym that constantly comments on her daughters' 'chunky' legs and 'big' tummies. I'm willing to bet a hundered dollars that these girls are underweight on a BMI chart. Also? They are 2 and 4. It makes me as sad to see and hear that as it does to see parents letting their kids eat massive amounts of unhealthy foods, whether or not there's a weight issue.


Erin said...

I get scared thinking about all the nasty stuff M has to face growing up female. That and how mean she is going to be to me as a teenager.