Kim Kardashian’s Armpits and Other Things My Daughter Doesn’t Need to Read About
An In Touch article, printed at the height of Kardashian’s pregnancy, was entitled something like: I’ll Never be Sexy again; Even my Armpits are Fat! Let me say for the record that I do not care about Kim Kardashian’s weight gain and I don’t care which celeb’s beach butt cellulite it is under the cutesy “Guess Who?” label.
Image source: Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/402720391651170546/)
I am not interested in learning who the tabloids deem “scary skinny” or who’s had a recent plastic surgery debacle. And since I don’t care – not even when these magazines are under my nose at the A&P check out – I don’t read them. I scroll on my Blackberry if I have a long time to wait or else check out the five hundred dollar nail clippers Oprah says I must have. Easy for me. But guess who is reading the tabloids? Who is turning to page thirty to match the dimpled derrieres on the cover page to the celebs sporting them? Who’s reading Kim K.’s lament about her pits? Getting the scoop on the new diet Kendra is swearing by?
My daughter, that’s who. My daughter and everyone else’s daughter who happens to be shopping with us. Despite our best efforts at raising them to think highly of themselves and their bodies – the way we avoid putting ourselves down, the way we choose accepting language if we must speak of different body types – our girls are bombarded with counterproductive, body-loathing messages all day long. Here are the questions I get, standing in line at the supermarket:
Mom, what’s cellulite?
Mom, is it bad to gain weight when you’re pregnant?
Mom, what’s a boob job?
I answer everything simply and honestly:
Cellulite: The normal texture of your leg flesh when you get a little older.
Weight gain while pregnant = good thing. It’s how your baby gets big and healthy enough to grow and live outside of you one day.
A Boob job is when people want their breasts to be bigger or smaller and they get an operation. It hurts way, way more than a flu shot. ’Nuff said.
But my daughter is twelve, and these days, unlike the happy days of elementary school where my answers were the only ones she sought, I know she’s getting information elsewhere, from friends, from friends’ big sisters and cousins, from the internet, and even from teachers who may share too much personal information in order to be cool and liked by students. What I say – especially when I tell her that she is beautiful – is taken under advisement and often cast aside. I can still give her guidance, but my daughter is at an age where she’ll weigh it all and come to her own conclusions.
I hope, I pray, that her body image and self-concept come out on top.
Lisa W. Rosenberg is a writer and psychotherapist (L.C.S.W.), specializing in families, couples and teens with a focus on multiracial identity. A graduate of the Ackerman Institute for the Family, Lisa has published essays in New Jersey Jewish News, Interfaith Families Online, The Defenders Online, and Social Work in Healthcare. Lisa lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her husband and two children.Lisa blogs about body image and identity at http://lisawrosenberg.com. This article was originally posted on May 1st, 2013.