And by saving I mean sparing her, to the best of my ability, from a lifetime of body image problems and feelings of inadequacy that stem from a media-influenced, unrealistic (and I dare say fascistic) ideal of beauty.
1. Turn off the television. Or get rid of it. Some of the ways it influences a young mind are so insidious that they are hard to spot, and are not limited to MTV or commercials.
2. Never criticize my own perceived body flaws or weight in front of her. This has a huge impact, trust me. I still remember seeing the ads for little pink heart-shaped diet pills they used to advertise in the back of my mother' magazines when I was four or five years old.
3. Emphasize education, especially math and science. Young people, and girls especially, are made to believe that looks and material possessions are what is important. Watch any television show and you'll quickly see why.
4. Don't let Bratz or other such dolls or toys that sexualize youth into our home. Give her things to engage her mind and creativity, not buy into blind materialism.
5. Convince her father that "feminism" is not a dirty word. And speaking of "dirty," also convince him to never use this term when referring to any part of her or her actions. (While he was changing her diaper once she innocently put her hand between her legs- she was eight months old, mind you- and he actually said "No, that is dirty!" and moved her hand. I was shocked.)He had no idea how this pejorative use of the word could negatively affect her.
What are five things you are doing to save your daughter?
I hear ya, sister. (I also hear you.)
21 hours ago