Today I read a shocking statistic: the average American girl goes on a diet when she is just eight years old. In second or third grade, girls are dieting. It is hard to imagine, right? Apparently not, for many girls who already feel that they need to change the way they look.
I find it hard to believe that most eight-year-olds need to go on a diet, but I do not find it hard to imagine where these girls get this idea. Media messages all around us still project beauty as a flawless, unrealistic goal of perfection.Teachers, friends, even sisters and mothers can slip into negative self-talk in front of other girls without realizing it. We know that fat talk is bad for us, but this habit is actually very difficult to kick. It requires self-love. Every. Single.Day.
For many of us, January is a time for new beginnings—back to school and work after the holidays, and maybe new resolutions. This year as you get back into the swing of classes, work, and your personal life, remember that the key to happiness is to feel great, not to change who you are in order to look a certain way. We suggest this oldie, but goody about resolving to be healthier and happier, not skinner. Make sure to also check out one high school girl’s awesome blog post on how society defines beauty.