“I understand the desire to make a child feel beautiful at any weight. I truly advocate for size acceptance. The culture of body image upsets me and has tortured me personally. I do think we should be able to be different sizes but I draw the line at when it starts affecting her health.”
– Dara-Lynn Weiss, who was ostracized after she published an article in Vogue all about putting her seven-year-old daughter Bea on a diet. Weiss has a new book out, titled The Heavy, which expands upon that article. Here, she attempts to explain why she put her child on a diet. Elsewhere in the NYMag.com interview, Weiss notes that she was afraid of giving her daughter a complex because of her own discomfort with food. But she also painstakingly explains that the Vogue photos were misleading, because they don’t show Bea’s midsection, and how fat she really is. UGH.
If nothing else, this interview — which focuses heavily on Weiss’s own body issues — sheds light on the vicious cycle of body image problems that mothers pass down to children. Will you give The Heavy a read? [NYMag.com]
My son turns six next week, and among all the other wishes I have for him, I have a silent hope that won’t be shared at his birthday party. It’s one that swims in the depths of my mind, surfacing occasionally when awful things happen that force me to think about it: I wish and hope and pray that my son won’t grow up to be a rapist.
I know that sounds horrible and not a wish a mother of a six year old should even have in the back of her mind, let alone flashing loud and red and painful throughout it. But I can’t help it. We live in a society that is steeped in rape culture, no matter how many people refuse to acknowledge that reality. My worry was driven home more forcefully after watching a video that Anonymous posted online of Steubenville High School students talking about the rape of a 16-year-old fellow student. This case is heartbreaking enough — the victim was sexually assaulted while drunk and unconscious, only to have the photographic proof of her rape spread all over various social media outlets. Her attackers, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, two football players for the high school’s team The Big Red, were let off relatively lightly, subjected to being under house arrest. However, the victim was also punished, forbidden by the judge in the case from sharing any details of the case, essentially re-victimizing her. Keep reading »
I am not a mother. This fact has kept me from expressing my heartbreak over the shootings in Sandy Hook. In the aftermath of this horrifying event, I’ve watched countless friends — mothers, all of them — post wrenching status updates on Facebook. I’ve read them, feeling oddly ashamed inside. These moms talked of compassion for those poor little children, of the need to step up to the plate as adults, of the fear they have for the future, of roiling anger toward the government, and of utter helplessness. They posted pictures of the beautiful young faces lost to this insane tragedy. They urged others to take a stand, and to hold their own children close.
The same thoughts streamed through my head. Tears welled in my eyes, too. I texted my siblings and begged them to hug and kiss their little ones for me.
But something was silencing the part of me that wanted to join these moms in their outrage. I felt it wasn’t my place. How could I know, after all, what kind of fear these parents were expressing? How could I possibly relate to their protective instincts? I am not a mother. Keep reading »
“This subject is old but I have never answered it in its entirety. And even with this post it will remain incomplete. The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.”
– Jada Pinkett Smith took to her Facebook page to address the played-out “controversy” over the way her 12-year-old daughter Willow cuts, dyes and styles her hair. Some, apparently, feel that Jada and husband Will Smith should exert more control over what their daughter does with her appearance, which, I suspect, stems from their discomfort that the burgeoning pop star’s look is not traditionally feminine. I absolutely love Jada’s response to this (which echoes the one her husband gave a few months ago), and especially admire the fact that she doesn’t just call out our culture’s expectations of what a little girl should be, but is also upfront that parents should not use their children to channel their own insecurities. Bravo! [Facebook via Clutch Magazine]
No matter how awesome our parents are, we’re bound to have some issues with them. Whether we hash them out in therapy or over cocktails with friends, certain complaints are going to come out again and again. And you know what? It’s possible your parent’s astrological sign has something to do with how and why you clashed with them. Which sign doesn’t give their kids a chance to speak to their mind? Which sign is super critical? And which sign thinks they’re always right? We’ve compiled a list of quotes expressing common complaints you’d have with your parent, depending on their zodiac sign. After the jump, look up your mom or dad’s sign and see if the corresponding quote is something you’ve said to them a hundred times… Keep reading »
A North Carolina woman named Odessa Clay is set to stand trial for tattooing her 11-year-old daughter with a “small, heart-shaped tattoo near her right shoulder.” The 30-year-old’s excuse for tattooing her little girl last September? “She asked me to do it,” Clay explained.
Instead of saying, “I’m sorry honey, you’ll have to wait until you’re 18 and it’s legal,” Clay broke out her tattoo gun and inked her daughter herself. She told police that she thought tattoos for underage children were legal as long as the parent gave consent. Clay blames her arrest on her ex-in-laws who she feels reported her as retaliation for a previous dispute.
I’m sensing a subtle theme here. Well, bad parenting. And refusing to take responsibility for her actions. WORST. [Daily Mail UK]
In America, we don’t have even have nationwide paid maternal leave. We just have the Family And Medical Leave Act, which ensures three months of unpaid job-protected leave for a new mom. Look and learn, folks, because Australia is putting us all to shame: starting in 2013, Aussies will have the Dad And Partner Leave plan, which guarantees two weeks of paid leave at minimum wage (around $630) for the father or same-sex partner after a baby is born. Australia already has paid parental leave which gives 18 weeks of paid leave at minimum wage for one parent.
Although the minimum wage aspect is not ideal for either plan, it’s so commendable that the country is helping to make it possible for parents to both be at home during those early new-baby days. Why, just look at how overwhelmed this mommy koala is at having to do all the childcare work herself! Keep reading »
Arizona State University police were not laughing about this picture of what appears to be a baby doing a keg stand at an ASU tailgate party. Authorities are still unclear if the photo, which originally appeared on The Dirty, was a an act of Photoshop or a real photo-op. Investigation in progress.
I certainly hope it’s not real … and so does the mother who posted those pictures on Facebook of her baby smoking a bong. I’m sure she really regrets that. When are people going to learn what’s crossing the line when it comes to baby photos? Babies in wigs: funny. Babies pounding beer: not funny. [Buzzfeed via The Dirty]