Sunday, January 22, 2012

Role Models

Being a mom of two girls, I'm especially aware of tv, movies, photos, music...okay, basically anything in the social world today...that will have an effect on their impressionable minds.
I have always had body acceptance issues. Not exactly sure where it stems from, I'm sure a few hours and a few thousand dollars spent at a therapist could help figure it out, but it is what it is. I deal.
My only goal now is to try my best to make sure that I don't push those insecurities onto my children.

Because of this, I have a problem with magazines. I enjoy flipping through a fashion magazine once in a while. I like the clothes (I worked retail for over 10 years and still get excited to see a new season of clothes), I like knowing the trends, seeing the styles. But because most fashion magazines reflect the wrong image I want for my children, I never get a subscription to a fashion mag, or do I rarely buy them. If I do buy them, I'm aware of the cover photos.

I recently read this article that got me thinking.It asks "Should magazines and modelling be banned for under 18 year olds?" This stemmed from the recent announcement and photos released of Cindy Crawford's 10 year old daughter being the face of 'Young Versace' a line for the under 18 crowd. My eyes have rolled so much they hurt.

Anyway, my opinion is yes, magazines are not meant for younger kids, they are too impressionable at that age to understand all the imagiary and what it does to them. In the same breath, I don't think 18 is the age. By the time you are 18, you are already exposed to so much (other than mags) that is seems irrelevant. I think magazines, specifically fashion and tabloids should be discouraged for the under 16 crowds.

That said, I do get a regular subscription to Runner's World. I thought because it is a fitness magazine, the purpose was to encourage healthly living, exercise and being fit. Then one day, when I asked my daughter to join me for a run, she wanted to wear her bikini top. What?? Why?? We're running, no going to the beach! Then it hit me. Sure, RW shows healthy models, but they are usually scantilly clad in short-shorts and bra tops. Not what I wear to run.

So here I'm thinking that I'm protecting my daughters from inappropriate images, but it was right under their noses this whole time.

Recently, Dee, my oldest daughter, who is now 9 years old, went to a birthday party where the favours were 'Teen Beat' magazine. Sheesh! I try hard to not bring that crap into the house and other people are just givin' it away. Before Dee had a chance to grab it, I took a quick look through it to see if there was anything offensive to me. Then I looked at it with her. I commented on the people, the hairstyles, the dresses etc. There was a lot of Bieber in there, but she was more interested in the Taylor Swift article.