Body Image Tips from Victoria

I am trying not to sound like a sarcastic skeptic¬†but¬†I was rolling my eyes big time when the latest model comes out claiming the industry gave her an eating disorder.¬† She’s apparently a model for Victoria’s Secret and was told to lose weight when she was obviously already thin.

Gag. me.¬† Seriously.¬† Parents- don’t let your kids grow up and be models.¬† Or child actors.¬† Or singers.¬† Just give them a normal upbringing and don’t let them go into careers were their living depends on fitting into an unattainable beauty standard.

It’s a good publicity move.¬† I’ve never heard of her until this week.¬† She got two days worth of headlines because she also apologized for misleading her social media followers by claiming she was stick thin as a result of healthy lifestyle and she was giving impressionable people tips while promoting her frail body as a model of health.

Forgive me if I’m not being sensitive enough.¬† It just irritates me.¬† Of course Victoria’s Secret promotes unhealthy, unattainable beauty standards.¬† The real secret is under-eating and breast implants.¬†¬†2E8A8B7C00000578-3322752-image-m-2_1447797528275Of course the blame doesn’t lie with the particular model.¬† She’s just a cog in the massive beast of a system.

The problem goes back to a lack of common sense.  We need to do better for our daughters.

My little girl is only 5 but you can bet when she gets older I’ll do my damndest to keep her from being exposed to messages that tell her that her¬†intrinsic worth as a human being¬†depends on her ability to be sexually appealing or ridiculously thin.¬† She will not be on social media or read trashy magazines until she has the sense to be able to differentiate truth from fiction.; real beauty from stinking bullsh*t.

As someone who has struggled with body image issues myself, I feel a real responsibility to ensure that my daughter grows up with healthy self-esteem.¬† I don’t make remarks about the size of her body.¬† I don’t make remarks about my weight, or any other women’s weight.¬† I don’t tear down or criticize my appearance or anyone else’s.¬† I tell her that she is¬†strong.¬†¬†She is¬†brave.¬†¬†She is¬†smart.¬† She is¬†kind.¬†¬†And she knows that her parents adore her.

My kids see me eating healthy and lifting weights.¬† Not the pink kind, either.¬† Not that there’s anything wrong with that- we all start somewhere!¬† But I work out to get stronger.¬† I eat healthy to nourish my body.¬† I care a bit about my body fat but I care¬†more¬†about the fact that I have great bone density.

Things aren’t going to change until we stop feeding the beast.¬† Don’t buy overpriced, uncomfortable underwear.¬† Don’t read fashion magazines.¬† Stop the negative self-talk and build other women up.

Our words become our mantras.  Our mantras become our beliefs.  Our beliefs become the foundation of who we are.

When I see my daughter conquering a fear and quietly whispering to herself, “I can do it, I am BRAVE.”¬† I know I’m doing my job.¬†29513277_10160291168480074_8974072131688246731_n

I hope we can reject the destructive messages that would seek to undermine our value as human beings, and women.  I hope that we would instead choose life.  That we would pass onto our daughters messages of strength and worth that put enough steel in their backbones that they can reject the lies and embrace their true intrinsic worth as well.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

ADHD and Diet

Aye aye aye…it’s always something, right?

My young daughter has always been, ahem, “unique”.¬† She has the face of an angel and the temperament of a feral raccoon.¬† She’s sweet, silly, fun but she has zero impulse control.¬† Have you heard of the marshmallow self control test?¬† Where the researcher tells the child not to eat the marshmallow and then leaves the room?¬† Well, Shiloh would not only eat the marshmallow but then she’d toss up his file of papers into the air.¬† She’d find a pen and scribble unicorns on the wall.¬† She’d dig through his briefcase and doodle on the leather.¬† She’d do all this with great joy until she got busted at which point she’d wail with impassioned (feigned) heartbreak at her own naughtiness.

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She only looks angelic!

She’s always been kind of nuts but we’re pretty used to it.¬† From the time she could crawl she was getting into everything¬†with a destructive twinkle in her eye.¬† She’s my third so I’m chill with my parenting almost to the point of being negligent.¬† We just kind of accept and love her for who she is.¬† She routinely makes us laugh as we struggle to maintain a straight, disciplinary face.¬† Like the time she decided she needed to smear zinc diaper cream¬†all over her entire body.¬†¬†

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This is why I drink, people

 

In a leather chair, no less.  Why?  Well because the tube was there and supervision was not.  Of course she was extremely apologetic after the fact.

So this has been a running joke in our family.¬† But it got considerably less funny when her kindergarten teacher started dropping heavy-handed hints that she is severely A.D.D. and struggling big time in school.¬†¬†giphy (1)Since I’m really not keen on medicating my 5 year old I am going to try to deal with this the way I usually do.¬† Denial.

Haha just kidding…. seriously though, I’ve been doing research (everyday I’m googling!) and I’ve decided to put her on a gluten free diet, at least for a month long trial run.¬† For two reasons; I have a genetic predisposition to gluten intolerance.¬† It’s highly likely it got passed down to her as well.¬† And apparently there is a huge link between gluten and ADHD .

So it makes sense to start there.¬† And because I’m an overachiever I’ve decided to force all three of my precious little, anxiety-ridden angels on a gluten free plan for at least a month.

I know I’ve greatly reduced my anxiety and general nuttiness through diet manipulation.¬† It makes sense that I could use a special diet to improve their health and especially their mental health, as well.¬† I’m not going to push keto on them, because it is so extreme.¬† But cutting down on grains and junk food definitely can’t hurt.

Makeup and Trends

Yesterday I met up with a friend, daughter in tow, to seek out an eyebrow pencil at a fancy makeup store.  As I approached the cluster of heavily madeup employees my daughter grabbed some lipstick and smeared it all around the general vicinity of her lips.

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Nice Sales girl toning down her bold choice

Flamboyant tart was the shade, I believe.¬† Lesson one: don’t bring your slightly A.D.D. daughter to a fancy makeup store.

I told them I wanted a long lasting eyebrow pencil.¬† Did they have one that lasted like, multiple days?¬† They make those, right?¬† Nope, no they don’t.

I did end up sitting in the makeup chair while the sales girl tried out a $25 eyebrow pencil on me.  I considered the age gap as I sat there, comtemplatively, her acyrlics mere centimeters from my eyeballs.  This girl was a decade younger than I.  She had never been indoctrinated into tweezing and plucking her eyebrows into glamorous submission.  She was raised on instagram eyebrows.  eyebrows

Brows that don’t enhance your look, they¬†are¬†the look, girlfriend.

I however, was not.  At 11 I realized I bore an uncanny resemblance to my dad, with my thick eyebrows.  I followed my older sister into the bathroom and learned the art of the tweezer.  The cool girls, like Gwen Stefani, had pencil thin eyebrows.

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How does she look younger now?

Of course I’ve realized pencil thin eyebrows may be glamorous but they are very aging and not exactly natural looking.¬† All this was too late for me, because my poor, be-plucked brows had tapped out and stopped growing back.

So the sales girl leans in, contour on point, probably quietly judging my sad, patchy scraggles where eyebrows should be.¬† She works away on my brows for a solid 7 minutes, I kid you not.¬† I glance in the mirror and…¬†15181920372231871738540.jpg

emit an audible gasp of horror looking not unlike this baby.  She picked up on my not so subtle displeasure and wiped away most of the pencil.  I thanked her and raced out as quickly as I could.  I bought an inexpensive pencil on amazon instead.

This got me thinking about trends in makeup and just in general.¬† Now that I’m old enough to have weathered trends swinging from one extreme to the other: I have a bit of perspective.¬† Lesson two: trends come and go so you should only adapt what actually works for¬†you.¬†¬†Not every girl should wear those super short crop tops.¬† Very high-waisted jeans make your butt look weird and elongated.¬† I thought we learned this back in the 90’s when those were known as¬†mom¬†jeans.¬†¬†SMH

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Oh my eyes

Just cause everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it isn’t dumb and regrettable.

Makeup that looks good in indoor lighting and through three phone filters looks horrifying to the rest of us.

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We aren’t fooled, we are, however; frightened

You want to use as little as possible, just enough.¬† If you are caking anything on or need a sandblaster to get it off, it’s too much, cupcake.¬† If you can’t go out in direct sunlight because your face will run off like beige lava, it’s too much.¬† Makeup should¬†enhance¬†your features, not completely obscure them.

Use as few products as you can.¬† If you’re trying to impress the opposite sex- they tend to prefer a more natural look, really.

Wash off your makeup really well every single night.¬† No makeup should ever touch your pillow.¬† Do a deep clean/exfoliater every week because soap isn’t always enough.¬† If you keep your skin in good shape you won’t need a million products, anyways.

Lesson three: don’t buy clothes based solely on what’s trending.¬† Figure out your body type and what styles actually flatter your particular shape.¬† Who cares if it’s trendy if it looks bad?¬† Forge your own path and develop your own style!