It’s Slimming

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 14, 2010

Good morning!

My special breakfast this morning was a Green Monster Parfait!


Green Monster Parfait


  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 large banana (reserve 1/4 of banana)
  • 1/2 scoop Vega Choc-o-Lot powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup Power House Glonola 


Directions: In a blender, blend the spinach, 3/4 of the banana, Vega powder, almond milk, and chia seeds. In a large glass add a few tbsp of the glonola. Now add a large layer of the Green Monster followed by another scoop of Glonola. Finish with remaining GM (you might have some leftover) and top with the 1/4 of banana (sliced) and Glonola.

The Green Monster Parfait was ok, but not wonderful. I think I had high expectations for it and I’m not sure I liked eating it with a spoon.


After tasting my granola again this morning, I concluded that I overcooked it! Whoops. 

I guess it is possible to screw it up after all. ;)

I would suggest cooking it for no longer than 10 minutes on each side and not letting it get as dark as I cooked mine.


I also concluded that the clump factor is missing in this recipe.

Checkout my ‘old’ Glonola version…



Total clump factor!

However, the original Glonola had too much clumping and stuck together too much. Maybe I can find a happy medium with both recipes?! :)


I think I am going to make another recipe integrating the original recipe with this one. I will have to tweak it a bit more….you know me, I am picky with my recipes!


It’s Slimming



Are you ever out in public and you hear a conversation going on and you can’t believe what you are hearing? That was me the other night. I was at a department store looking for a gift for a girlfriend and I passed a group of 3 girls who were looking for back to school clothes. They couldn’t have been more than 9-10 years old.

Girl #1: ‘I need to get some new jeans. All of my jeans at home are fugly.’

Girl #2 & #3: ‘Yea same here.’

The girls were browsing through a couple racks of jeans and holding pairs up as they went along.

Girl #2: ‘I like these ones. I might try them on.’

Girl #1: ‘Those jeans are not slimming at all…they are too light and light colours make you look FAT.’ She scrunched up her face in disgust.

The girl quickly threw down the pair of jeans, as if they had some sort of contagious illness.

Girl #3: ‘I agree, you have to get the dark wash. You will look skinny in them. Dark colours are slimming’

‘Here, try these on. I have this pair and they make your butt look awesome.’

She handed Girl #2 a pair of dark wash jeans to try on.

Then I decided to stop being a creeper and I left the scene.

But, I was sad in my heart for these girls.

They couldn’t have been more than 10 years old and they were already concerned about having jeans that made them look skinny.

I remember being around 11 years old when my disordered eating started to develop. While I admit I didn’t know about slimming jeans (or even had a general fashion sense aside from neon and snap-on bracelets), the feelings were still very real.

It is important that we do not dismiss young girls when they talk about weight or slimming jeans or wanting to look thinner because when you are going through it it, you are like a sponge that absorbs every comment, every magazine ad, or every commercial on TV. Your surroundings are telling you to be ‘skinny’ and to wear ‘slimming’ clothes and so that is what you do.

Our weight-conscious culture seems to infect whatever it touches with messages that you aren’t good enough the way you are and that you need to change your body or wear slimming pants. These messages are hard enough to dismiss when you are an adult let alone an impressionable young girl who is fighting to fit in at school and to find out who she is.

I couldn’t help but wonder as I walked around aimlessly in that department store: What can we do for these girls?

I think two big ways that we can have an impact are 1) Educating about a positive body-image at home and setting a proper example for our kids, perhaps with a great tool like Operation Beautiful. and 2) Introducing special Body-image classes (for girls and boys) into the school curriculum. I don’t think this topic gets enough attention in the school curriculum even though the issue is pervasive and affects all aspects of a student’s life.

Have you ever overheard a similar conversation or perhaps were in a conversation when this was going on? What can we do for young girls who are developing a poor body image?

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{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet September 14, 2010 at 8:21 am

I couldn’t agree more! I was raised to have a positive body image and I feel so blessed that I was. I hope I can do the same for my kids one day. I think it all starts at home.


Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow September 14, 2010 at 8:24 am

I remember when I was teaching 3rd grade (8-9 year olds) overhearing countless conversations from the girls in class about feeling fat, eating too much, hating their outfits…wanting my outfit! The focus on outward appearance was overwhelming.

I thought and thought and thought about how to reach these girls and help them see how much more they have in life. And how beautiful they are and how unique they are. It saddened me to hear so much. As Jessica said, so much of this starts at home. We can’t control what children are exposed to at school but we can reinforce healthy body image at home!


[email protected] September 14, 2010 at 8:25 am

I think the best thing we can do is to talk to anyone and everyone when the opportunity arises about body image in our culture. I might have even said something to those girls if I was overhearing that conversation, even though it might seem inappropriate. Young girls need to hear directly that they do not need to live up to anyone’s standards of beauty but their own, and that health is the most important thing.
I can’t stand how clothes are marketed as “slimming”- I won’t buy anything with such a label.


Michelle September 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

It saddens me as well when I hear anybody, young or old, feeling like they aren’t good enough. However, as a teacher, I’d rather not have “body-image” classes taught at school. Frankly, I hear too much about everyone with a special interest thinking it should be taught in schools. It’s just not the place. On the other hand, what schools (in my opinion) can be used for are simply to set good examples. Rather than explicity teaching these things, all adults can eat healthfully, not criticize their bodies or anybody elses in front of kids or teenagers (or at all!), exercise and generally be an example of a physically and emotionally healthy person.


Lily @ Lily's Health Pad September 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

Schools already do SO much. Some responsibilities must belong to parents, and I think this is one of them. But I agree with Michelle. The school setting a good example for students is invaluable.

As an early bloomer, I totally remember this phase of my life, and never, ever would I want to go back! My heart goes out to those girls. Unfortunately, I believe their feelings are the norm these days (and even in past days!).


Tinka September 15, 2010 at 6:32 am

I’m definitely feeling the same way about the schools. In an already overpacked curriculum should teachers really be responsible for catering to the distorted body images that students create? I think that parents should really consider the environments/experiences and media that their children are exposed to and inhibit or counter the body images that come as a result.

Definitely a valuable post in addressing children though. Thanks Angela.


Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 14, 2010 at 8:27 am

Yes I’ve heard similar conversations like that! And to this day I catch myself saying stuff like that (not to a 10 year old, but to myself or a friend). I agree that projects like Oper Beautiful help girls get that positive body image, and that it should be “taught” at home. Although, my parents were always positive to me and gave m compliments when I was growing up, and yet I still have a poor self image. I’m not really sure where that finally broke into me — high school? Other girls? Peer pressure?

I think it is mostly in the media, and although that needs to change, I’m not sure it ever will! Designers will use size 0 models, magazines and movies will show thin “role models” for girls, etc. It truly makes me sad to hear this story today!


Kristina @ spabettie September 14, 2010 at 8:31 am

I don’t know how my mom did it, but I have always had confidence and positive images of myself… it most definitely starts at home. Something AT SCHOOL might be helpful – the conversation is already out there so any way to change it would be good.

Your parfait looks BEAUTIFUL ! YUM. Clump or not, that glonola sounds and looks tasty! :)

Have a FANTASTIC DAY, Angela !


Rachel @ Suburban Yogini September 14, 2010 at 8:37 am

I agree, but I have no idea how my mum did it either. I guess our mum’s are just awesome right?! :)


Amanda September 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

You’re very lucky your mom was so good about helping you have a positive body image. My mom was always nagging me about what I was eating. When I was in high school and wearing shorts one day she said to me that my shorts were riding up on my legs like they do on fat girls. This summer was the first time since that day that I wore shorts.


Kristina @ spabettie September 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm



Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 14, 2010 at 8:32 am

Oh wow, that’s so sad! I’ve never heard anything like that, but I hate seeing really young girls dressing waaaay above their age, smoking, drinking, boyfriends etc. I just want to scream at them to enjoy their childhood and being young whilethey can!! It’s soo saddd :(
Iblame the media personally. If celebs’ weights weren’t criticised as much and they wrren’t all so skinny, I bet the problem wouldn’t be as big.


Laura September 14, 2010 at 8:33 am

I too have had a constant battle with weight, food, looks, etc., so I’m always on high alert to make sure these issues are not passed along to younger girls. I was out shopping a while back and while I was perusing a rack I overhead a mother tell her young daughter (maybe 12 years old) while she was trying on clothes, “you’re getting fat, you need to watch that.” First off oh my word, who says that to anybody let alone a child, and secondly there was nothing absolutely nothing in the way of an extra pound on this child. If I had not been so mortified and caught off guard I would have said something — months later I am still reeling in shock and of course now that I am not right in the moment, I have an entire speech ready for this woman.


Ange @ Health & Swellbeing September 14, 2010 at 8:35 am

Wow – that is heartbreaking to hear. And to think there are even more pressures on girls at a young age now than when we were they’re age….I was reading an article how the consumption of dairy has let to girls getting their periods as early as 8 years old now.
It’s terrifying to think of my little girl having to face issues like this. I feel it is so important for mothers to be a healthy example to their daughters especially now that they are beginning to judge themselves at such an early age.


Rachel @ Suburban Yogini September 14, 2010 at 8:35 am

And this is why I’m glad I had to wear a uniform to school until I was 16 :)


Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

I loved my uniform. Being able to wake up late because you don’t have to fret about what to wear to school was so liberating.
…I must admit that I would stress out about dress down days.


Christine September 14, 2010 at 8:47 am

A uniform was both a blessing and a curse for me. It certainly helped me get to high school on time (dress down days–not so much)! And it did help me avoid body confidence issues–but all it seemed to do was DELAY them.

I got to college and A) had very little by the way of “casual” clothing, B) had no idea how to dress and C) grew increasingly aware of flaws as I tried to fix points A and B. To make matters worse, I was (and still am) in a male dominated field, and had very few women to turn to.


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats September 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

I am so glad you wrote about how young girls internalize the messages of skinny is good around them – I remember I was 7 years old when I started internalizing those messages, and by age 8 felt that eating less was better. And it wasn’t a feeling as much as a sense of absolute knowledge – like “I must eat less” – how sad is that? I just got sad typing it. You are right that education is the best – as wonderful as my mom is, she was always upset about her weight, as was my aunt, and my father’s mother – the only woman in my growing-up years who was not upset was my mother’s mother, but she was on the thin end – so I thought she was not upset because she was thin, but in hindsight I think she was very happy and just did not think about weight.


Erin September 14, 2010 at 8:37 am

Stories like this break my heart. Unfortunately, they are so common. My sister is a third grade teacher. However, she interned in a Kindergarten classroom when she was still in college. One day, she noticed one of the 5 year old girls pacing around the classroom repeatedly. My sister asked the girl what she was doing, and the little girl replied, “I ate an Oreo cookie for snack. Now I have to burn off the calories.” It literally made me cry. My stepdaughter is 6 years old and already talks about “skinny” and “fat”. When she stays with us, I really try to let her know that it is OK to eat sweets in moderation, and I make sure never to use “fat talk” around her. Children are so impressionable, and we have a real opportunity to teach them at a young age that they are special because of their talents and personality.


Christina September 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

My heart just broke reading this :/ 5 years old. I’m at a loss for words.


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg September 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

That makes me sad :-( I used to take a yoga class with a lot of college-age girls, and it would make me so sad to hear the way they would talk about their disordered eating (“Oh my gosh, I starved myself all day so that I can go get ice cream after this class”) and body image issues– it reminded me of how unhappy I was in my own skin during those four years (and before and after, too!).

It’s crazy how early those issues can start– I remember feeling distinctly unhappy about my body from about the age of 9-10 onwards.


JenATX September 14, 2010 at 8:39 am

i think young people should be learning about this in school. if they don’t learn early, they are just going to absorb everything from the media & develop this frame of mind throughout their lives until they learn otherwise. I didn’t learn anything about body image until I was in college. This is probably when I needed to learn it, but obviously some girls should hear these things much earlier.


Amanda September 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

I completely agree with you about needing to educate young girls about body image…girls on the run is a really great organization I’ve started supporting that is working towards just that.

I was in the airport the other week and overheard a families conversation that also made me sad. The father had just gotten an ice cream cone and was encouraging his daughter (probably in her late teens and far far from being overweight) to get one. She decided to get one but after getting it and having her mom make some discouraging comments about how unhealthy it was proclaimed she was going to eat it but start a diet when they got back from the trip. It made me sad that this young girl could not enjoy a simple ice cream cone without feeling shamed by her mother or feeling like she needed to go on a diet.


Katie September 14, 2010 at 8:40 am

I’ve seen some of my young cousins on FB posting messages like “why am I such a fattie?” and all of their friends chiming in to say things like “you’re ridiculous, I’M the fat one” or “that’s why I skipped everything but dinner today.” It was so sad and I wanted to say something but also felt I might sound like a presumptuous adult who “doesn’t understand.” I ended up messaging my cousin the Operation Beautiful site which she loved and I hope shared and took to heart. I don’t know what the best thing to do would be, as friends my age talk the same way sometimes!


Robin September 14, 2010 at 8:45 am

Even though this may sound harsh, I don’t think school is the place to teach girls and boys life lessons; that’s their parent’s job. As an 18 year old who is just over a year out of the US public school system, I think in this age there exists a fine balance between teaching positive body imagine and telling kids that they are acceptable no matter their size. The much bigger problem we face isn’t kids wanting to be skinny, but kids who are eating themselves to death.


shannon (the daily balance) September 14, 2010 at 8:45 am

my heart hurts when I overhear conversations like this… such a huge problem and I completely agree with your mindset. Luckily there are some great organizations out there that are addressing the problem head-on.


Paige @ Running Around Normal September 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

Well the parfait certainly LOOKS cool! Like a piece of art almost, haha!
I hate when I hear conversations like that. My little cousin nearly broke my heart when she told me she was fat. She’s six :(


[email protected] September 14, 2010 at 8:52 am

I couldn’t agree more. I think it really needs to start at home. I know my mom used to talk about looking fat and diets when I was a young girl. Parents, friends, and family need to stop the fat talk and set a good example of healthy body image around children. I hope to never mention weight or “skinny” vs “fat”, but instead show healthy eating and being active for fun and to feel our best.


Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place September 14, 2010 at 8:55 am

Ugh, that conversation makes me sad.


Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf September 14, 2010 at 8:56 am

I was in the shower at the YMCA one day when I overheard other girls talking about how to properly make themselves throw up. It was heartbreaking. :(


Amanda September 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

It is so sad to hear young girls call themselves fat. It almost makes me scared. Should I ever have a daughter, would I be able to protect her from our cruel culture??


Becca September 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I think about that ALL THE TIME. It makes me so scared!


Katie September 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

I was at the YMCA in the women’s locker room when a mother was weighing her probably 5-6 year old daughter on the scales. When she told her daughter her weight, the daughter asked “Mommy, am I fat?” She was obviously a normal looking young girl and it hurt my heart that such a young girl would automatically associate those words with weighing herself.


Christina September 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

I wonder why the mother was weighing her 5-6 year old daughter in the first place?

How heartbreaking :/


Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 14, 2010 at 9:11 am

This topic is exactly what I wrote my thesis on (I’m a wannabe school counselor – just need a position to open up) and I developed a counseling program to teach students how to fight the negative criticism – from themselves and others. Within my research, I found that no schools within the U.S. had yet to implement similar programs. What’s even more heartbreaking is that yes, it does start at home, but I hear moms and dads make the same remarks about themselves.


Shelly September 14, 2010 at 9:18 am

When I was waiting in line for the bus to my first race ever, I was standing behind two women who looked like they were in their mid to late 30’s. They both were very pretty and had nice figures, but were definitely talking about how they needed to run more to make up for stuff they’d recently eaten. A girl walked by who was *very* emaciated. (I know some people are naturally very very thin and I’m not judging the thin girl in anyway. However, she seemed significantly underweight for her height in a way that I would not assume was healthy.) The ladies both said in an admiring tone “Wow. That’s what a *real* runner looks like.” I thought it was so sad. The runners who win local races are very lean, but they also tend to have really good muscle tone, which the thin girl didn’t. I felt really bad that those women were impressed by the idea of being skin and bones.
It only made me run faster though, I thought “I’ll show you what a real runner looks like!”


Camille September 14, 2010 at 9:20 am

One of my biggest goals when I have children is to teach them to be comfortable with their bodies. I had a lot of scrutiny from my Mom when I was growing up which is one of the things that fueled my eating disorder. Even if I have to lie a little because I’m not feeling too pretty one day, I want to teach my children that I am beautiful no matter how many lumps, bumps, or curves I have and hopefully they will follow suite!


Karen September 14, 2010 at 9:21 am

When I make granola, I bake it low — at 300 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes. Although, mine lacks a clump factor too! Doesn’t it make the house smell more fabulous than any candle could?!

I have 2 boys, and I know body image is becoming an issue among the male population too, I’m so glad I don’t have to fight this war with a daughter! It’s so sad. Why aren’t 10 yr olds out playing jail break or roller skating? A kid that age (either sex) shouldn’t be so concerned about fashion and appearance. :(


Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans September 14, 2010 at 9:23 am

This is a topic I could go on and on about. Its very sad to see that young girls are judging themselves so negatively and basing self worth on how they look in a pair of jeans. I think parts of our society sends an unfortunate message that is heard loud and clear from a young age. Celebrity culture, Barbie, movies, they all have an impact on impressionable youth. But I think that this idea is perpetuated closer to home for some girls too. Its hard not to think “fat” thoughts when your mom, aunt, sister stands in front of a mirror and dissects her appearance or is constantly on one diet or another. Until we can convince women to love themselves its going to be really hard to manage that idea with young girls.


Krystina September 14, 2010 at 9:24 am

The choco carob looks great!

I think it’s so sad when young girls suffer from poor body image. I think it’s based on environmental, cultural and familial factors, mostly, but ultimately I agree with Jessica in that a healthy lifestyle and personal view does start at home.


Gillian September 14, 2010 at 9:25 am

I had two instances that upset me recently, especially since they were with health focused people. One was with a nutritionist. I had mentioned my cleanse- which I did for my health and skin, not weight loss- and she asked excitedly “Ooh did you lose any weight?” I replied “I don’t weigh myself, I don’t know.” And she seemed shock. Another was at the vegetarian food fair with one of the vendors. I mentioned how I eat mostly vegan and that it worries my mother because she has it in her head that I’ll lose too much weight eating this way (even though it’s kept me at a very healthy weight). She said “Is it even possible to lose too much weight?” I was so surprised I half smiled and left the conversation. I wasn’t ready to go into the fact that YES, it is very possible, it is something I’ve experienced and never want to focus on again.


Shanna, like Banana September 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

Yep, heard this before…very sad.

However I distinctly remember pounding on my hips willing them to be narrower when I was about 10. Sigh…starts so early!


Priscilla September 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

The sad thing is, you know the place these girls most likely picked up this kind of talk: the mothers. I think as women we have to work harder at listening to what we say more consciously. Young girls identify so closely with their mothers, and if the mothers believe they are inadequate in some way and voice that feeling, the daughters will also believe they are inadequate. It takes a lot of work to break the cycle.

On another note, I heard a similar conversation standing in line for the restroom of a nightclub in Vegas. One girl, who was as cute as a button, was looking at the girl across from her and finally said, “You are so pretty. How do you do it? I wish I was as pretty as you.” And the other girl–no joke–made a face and said something bad about herself. I couldn’t take it, so I said “You are both pretty. You should know that.” The line got quiet, and everyone looked at me like I was a nut. Another woman about my age (early 40s) turned to me and said, “I stay out of those things.” But I couldn’t help myself. I am so tired of hearing women put down themselves and others, and it just makes me sad so many respond this way to any sort of kindness or compliments.


Lauren September 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Good for you!! Don’t listen to that women- you did the right thing! We can’t sit back and complain about this, if we don’t stand up and say something!


Ashley September 14, 2010 at 9:36 am

Wow that is SO young. It makes me think of my cousin, Jenna, who is is 7th grade right now. I would never want her to feel anything less than perfect just the way she is. I agree about adding REAL LIFE classes to school curriculum, like um, how to parent children, etc. — I just bought carob chips for the first time and wow they are different. I think I like them? hehe


Alicia @culinarybliss September 14, 2010 at 9:37 am

I think it’s important to recognize that this stuff doesn’t come from school or tv, it usually comes from home.
I have a friend who gained weight after a hard pregnancy and when I try to take pictures of her and her daughter she says “don’t take my picture, I look awful!” At some point, her daughter is going to notice this is wonder why, and realize that there’s a connection between weight and shame.
We have to think about children when we talk about our bodies, and we shouldn’t say things we wouldn’t want them to repeat.


Lesley September 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

This is a topic that is starting to concern me. I have two girls, age 5 and 3, and already they are starting to internalize this idea of beauty, and I don’t know how to counter it. For example, their Nana (my mom) loves to send them fancy crinolined dresses. Whenever they wear them out, complete strangers will ooh and aah and tell them how beautiful they are. When they wear their regular pants and t-shirts (or even the occasional skirt), no one says much. So, they’ve logically concluded that they’re only beautiful if they wear fancy dresses. Combine that with the flourishing “princess” culture being marketed to young girls, and it’s hard for us as parents to overcome those messages and convince them that beauty is not about what you wear and how you look, but about who you are.

Sigh… I just hope that at some level what we tell them and how we live is sinking in, even if it’s not apparent right now.


schmei September 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

Have I ever overheard such a conversation? Hoo boy, yes. Every time I’m with my mother/aunt/grandmother (yes, my 86-year-old grandmother still talks about how she’s “too fat”. Which, by the way, is not true). We were _not_ raised with positive body image. My mom misses no opportunity to talk about how she’s “fat”… and then she reaches for the prepackaged fake food, drives to places when she could walk, and wonders why she has trouble with her weight.

Now that I have a baby niece, I’m working hard to be a positive influence for her. I want her to grow up loving who she is and enjoying all the things her body is capable of. My sister is doing the same thing: focusing on fitness and eating real food. Here’s hoping this baby girl isn’t having that same conversation 9 years from now…


Heather (Heather's Dish) September 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

that’s so sad…and i totally remember having those conversations when i was young too! i honestly think the best thing is to maybe say that you have those jeans and they look great…and i think that (not to be totally creepy) coming from a beautiful, thin, and HEALTHY woman like you it would mean a lot. even if you don’t have those jeans, letting the girls know they look great in anything is something they’ll remember forever!


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

What a heartbreaking conversation. When I was in my high school, I was in the bathroom when a girl came out of the stall and told her friend that was standing at the sinks near me:
Girl 1: “I totally just threw up!”
Girl 2: “Good for you! I threw up this morning as well!!”

I was shocked that anyone would be encouraging such awful behavior even though we take numerous classes telling us all the horrible consequences of eating disorders :(


Katie @ Health for the Whole Self September 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

I think your suggestion to incorporate some kind body-image education into the school curriculum is an interesting one. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to think even more broadly – a self-acceptance curriculum, if you will. Because while body image is of course an issue, young girls and boys are told that they are not good enough in many ways that go beyond their body shape or size. Shy kids are told they need to speak up, or gregarious girls are told they’re too loud, etc. I would love to see the entire dialogue be altered – from “here’s what’s wrong with you and how you should fix it” to “here are your unique strengths and how they can be used to do good things in this world.”


christina September 14, 2010 at 10:29 am

from “here’s what’s wrong with you and how you should fix it” to “here are your unique strengths and how they can be used to do good things in this world.”

YES. If there was a ‘like’ button I’d ‘like’ this a bunch of times :)


Meredith September 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

I think my sister and I both went through the toughest time self-image wise ages 8-12. Those tween ages are really hard for girls because of the different rates of physical development. I was an early bloomer – tall with boobs at age ten, but compared to my friends I thought I was big and fat! Once they caught up I felt way less self-conscious.


Allison September 14, 2010 at 9:44 am

One thing I admire about the way my oldest sister is raising her kids is how she tries not to talk about fat/skinny, calorie counting, etc. in front of her kids (boy and girl). My nephew is 10 and my niece is 7, and I know what they watch and hear what they pick up from other kids. (at least my niece. i don’t typically hear my nephew talking about fat/skinny, but i know he is affected by it, too.) I’m living with the three of them for the time being and I have had to tame my tongue on the topic. This has been life-giving and encouraging to me.


jenna September 14, 2010 at 9:48 am

i totally hate hearing girls say bad things about themselves it is so heartbreaking! i also get so worked up when i see young girls, mostly right out of high school/college girls out dressing aweful(short shorts, tight jeans/shirts) and not taking care of themselves. it’s just sad and you want to scream have some respect for yourself….i understand how they feel and maybe thats what upsets me the most, because i would never want anyone to feel like that!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2010 at 9:50 am

thank you so much for your thoughts everyone! I value your opinions :)


Amy September 14, 2010 at 10:02 am

Growing up I was this tiny little bean pool with a pronounced rear end. My entire family called me “Bubble Butt” I was so horrified growing up. I was always very aware of how I dressed so that I could make it look smaller. Now I am happy & proud of my shape! I always remember that when talking to my daughter about looks. Not to judge, not to call names and always to realize that everyone is different and that is what makes for a wonderful world. Being healthy & happy is beautiful!


Julie September 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

When I was younger I had terrible body image issues. I think one of the best ways to help is to avoid size-focused descriptions of people. Even when you think it is a positive message, it can be interpreted negatively. A classic example is all of the attnetion plus-sized models have been getting recently. Constantly revering to size 8 or 10 women as ‘plus-sized’, even if they are described as beautiful, can make things worse. Girls don’t want to be ‘plus sized’- the name itself implies that you are bigger than average- and they really shouldn’t be thinking of their beauty in terms of size anyway! Calling people thin can be just as bad as calling people fat, because it still places that emphasis on body size. Instead of using size-related terms, people should use health-related terms. Describe people as looking healthy, happy, fit- whatever term you like that doesn’t imply a certain pant size! Remind girls that everyone is beautiful, by pointing out beautiful people, and describing their beauty in terms of things other than size! When girls stop thinking of everyone else in terms of size, then maybe they will stop thinking of themselves in terms of size, and will instead see what is really important.


Tina September 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

When I taught highschool I heard things like that all the time. It is so depressing. I will do anything I can to help my daughter grow up believing she is beautiful, strong, healthy, and wonderful.


Janna September 14, 2010 at 10:19 am

Recently my six year old cousin asked me “Janna, is being skinny good?” I didn’t even no how to answer. And she has asked me on a couple occasion if she “was skinny” and told me I “was skinny”. I told her that everyone is beautiful no matter what they look like and she answered with “No. Not fat people.”.



Lisa September 14, 2010 at 10:20 am

Its so sad what this world is coming to. The fact that those girls are 9 and 10, is just absolutely terrible.


Wei-Wei September 14, 2010 at 10:28 am

I don’t want to be pessimistic but I don’t think this is an issue that can be solved. I mean, we can definitely help, but it can’t be solved. :(


Andrea September 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

This is definitely an issue I’m passionate about- it’s tragic that young girls (heck, all girls and women) feel the pressure to look a certain way. I’ll walk through a bookstore see a magazine that used to be oriented toward “girl power” for tween-girls suddenly advertising kissing tips and how to look good and it makes me sad. I know first-hand the life-stealing experience of an eating disorder and it makes me very worried that young girls could so easily fall prey to body image issues that could lead to such horrible disorders. I want to raise more awareness about body image issues for young girls, because I wholeheartedly agree that this is a domain that is seriously lacking in education systems and society in general. I think by talking about it in public forums (like your blog!) we’re all doing what we can- but I’m hoping that with time positive body-image messages can help to minimize the harmful effects of the mass-media on girls’ self-esteem and body image. And now I’ll step down from my soap box… haha.


Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker September 14, 2010 at 10:44 am

OMG. I was just thinking about something similar I heard the other day. I was shopping around Target for some turtlenecks and this mom with her two high school aged daughters started walking through the aisles near me. The one sister was like: “You’re too fat for that size, You have a muffin top, etc., etc.” and the other sister was like, “I wear a size two. If I can’t get a size two, I’m not getting it, etc., etc., etc.” It got me thinking as well. I forget about all the pressure I used to feel to wear the “right” size and have the “perfect” look. Ever since I became an athlete my body image has changed dramatically.

Anyway, I think a way to almost secretly promote better body image is through athletics. If you make girls feel empowered, strong, capable . . . make them see their bodies as more than just objects to gaze upon, they’ll feel better about themselves. They’ll (hopefully) focus more on their abilities and progress and less on their hips and thighs.

Plus, exercise keeps girls healthy. Healthy eating goes hand-in-hand, etc.

At least that’s what worked for me — and I had an ED for many years.


Kristy September 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

I have an 11 yr old daughter and it is one of the most difficult jobs in the world! They have so many more outside influences that I can remember having when I was this age.


Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA September 14, 2010 at 10:51 am

I have heard conversations like that and it’s really sad.

My mom taught me to identify with the inside of my body, and treat myself well so my heart, lungs, and brain would work well. She also taught me to love my body for what it can DO and encouraged us to be active for that reason. I think her perspective helped me a lot.


Mama Pea September 14, 2010 at 11:03 am

I’m not just saying this because I pride myself in a fat talk free home, but it really does all start at home. Those girls have heard SOMEONE say all those things, and I’m guessing it wasn’t their teachers. Maybe they read it in teen magazines, but SOMEONE is buying those magazines and allowing them in their home. Not me!


MoniMeals September 14, 2010 at 11:09 am

It is very sad, indeed. Who is too blame? I love Operation Beautiful on so many levels for how much of an impact it can and does make. I think if woman could stop comparing themsleves to one another and just embrace themselves, they will feel Free and empowered instantly. I try to work with many of my clients on this one, it is just so deep. One Negative comment, hurtful parenting, low self esteem…all of this plays a role on a self image.
I probablly would of stepped in and said, “Don’t call her fat, she is beautiful!” lol :)jk


Sara September 14, 2010 at 11:29 am

Geesh this stuff is starting way too early. I do remember being 11 in 6th grade and realizing my stomach was pudgy, and I know that it was about then when I started to think about things like that. To think some girls are learning it as young as 5 is SCARY!


Marie-Sophie September 14, 2010 at 11:40 am

A few weeks ago I also overheard the conversation of a few young girls on the bus (they also might have been around the age of 10) and they were talking about their weight. And my heart almost stopped when one girl said “well, if I don’t eat anything tomorrow, I am going to weigh 37 kilos (which is like 80 pounds)!!”
I so wanted to turn around and just scream “are you crazy???? not eat anything?? you are still a kid!!”

But instead my heart just sank (after it continued beating) and I also thought “what can we do for those young girls who don’t know how VITAL it is to eat in a healthy way?”

I totally agree with body image classes for young people – and I think they should be paired with some education on nutrition as well. I didn’t get educated on the important role of fats in a diet and when I also got sucked into this dieting tunnel, I thought “yey, low-fat, let’s cut every bit of fat out that I can possibly detect”
How should they know that our body is like a factory – it NEEDS all sorts of things to work properly, to develop, to grow new life and to live long.

I am in the middle of preparing for my clerkship exams but I was thinking about taking some night classes on nutrition and then trying to set up a way to reach those girls and boys who don’t know what they are doing to their future health & body image!


Tracey September 14, 2010 at 11:42 am

I agree, I think messaging on positive body image needs to come from both the home and school environments. I have 10 and 12 year old nieces and it kills me to hear them talk about their bodies. The 10 year old is already concerned about losing weight! The 12 year old talks to her friends about who has a better body and what they need to change about their own. Growing up with a poor body image, I know how it can affect every aspect of your life and control the way you think, act, and feel. I love the mission of Operation Beautiful and would love to see some sort of body image lessons implemented into school curricula.


Stacy September 14, 2010 at 11:45 am

I have seen my best friends 5 year old little girl do this! She was playing dress up and made a comment to her sister along the lines as “I am a princess but a chubby one.” It broke my heart. First, how does she even know the word chubby. She is only 5 and already thinking about her looks :( I grabbed her and gave her a hug, and said you look so beautiful as a princess and you are a princess :)
I think that we lead by example. If little girls see their mommy partaking in fat talk and pointing out things that they dislike in themselves, they will learn to do that to themselves. My mom did and does this. She never points out the positive about herself. So, growing up I learned to look at myself that way too. I focused on negativity and would not believe there was anything beautiful about myself. I struggled with getting beyond the fat talk and learning to love me. I feel that if girls and/or boys are surrounded with positive talk they will learn it and feel it. Positive affirmations, positive imagery, and positive messages from others are very powerful!
I think positive body image messages should be over flowing in the school setting. Teachers should step in, but that’s a whole can of worms I won’t open :)
When I have children I am going to read to them Caitlin’s Operation Beautiful book. It is honest and helps people of all ages learn to love themselves. Also, I believe being honest with kids about the “reality” of celebrities, models, and the images we are slammed with are lies. That real beauty comes from within :) Also, to learn to see not just the beauty we see in others but in ourselves as well :)


Heather September 14, 2010 at 11:46 am

Great post!

I could not agree more about a class in school on body image, or for it to at least be included meaningfully into health/life management course material!

I was a camp counsellor my first year in University and I lead a cabin of 8 year old girls. The conversation around the dinner table was similar. “Don’t eat that, it will make you fat”, often they wouldn’t eat dinner and would want sweets later in the evening. I made a rule; everyone had to eat a bit of dinner and no negative self/body/food talk at the table. I also explained that we were very active, swimming and hiking everyday and that our bodies needed fuel for energy!

Having a tenuous relationship with food myself, my heart went out to these girls. I think the best thing we can do is lead by example and be as caring and understanding as possible!


Jen September 14, 2010 at 11:53 am

I recently found myself getting into running, and eating healthier, including many recipes found on your blog. The initial impetus for this was to lose weight that I’d put on over the past two years. I found myself telling people these past couple weeks that I’d be totally okay with not being able to get back to my 26 year old weight. If I am leading a healthy lifestyle, my body will settle at the size it should be. I am 30, and I only came to that realization now. At 11, there’s no way they can come to that realization without help from us adults (in terms of advertising, your body image class ideas, the brilliant Operation Beautiful post it projects, etc).
Great post Angela!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

As a mother of a 3 year old daughter, I think it’s sooo important to stop the fat talk at home, allow your child to see you eat and to see you eat healthy food, to have her watch you exercise, walk, yoga, etc but doing so in moderation, and to just lead by example by being a strong confident woman.

They will emulate what they see and hear. If there is no negative body talk at home, and they see their mom being strong and proud, they will hopefully come to take refuge and solace in that. Not that the bombarding of it will stop in society, but we all must be that one voice, that one light, hoping to raise and change the overall consciousness of society.

Great topic :)


Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey September 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

I’ve tried eating my Green Monsters with a spoon before too, and I agree: it’s not my favorite. I like drinking them and getting a green mustache. :)

The clump factor is definitely important in granola. I can’t wait for the “perfect” recipe.

Wow, that is so sad about those girls!! That makes me want to cry. Age 11 is about when it all started happening for me, too. You are crazy influenceable at that age and you have to be so careful. I can’t believe those girls were already worried about how their butt looks and what jeans make them look skinny. I guess it isn’t much of a surprise when all we see on TV is this new slimming jean that makes you look this many sizes smaller. I definitely agree that a positive body-image class would be helpful, but at the same time I’m not sure that it would be. No matter how often you are told “You are beautiful just the way you are” there is still the desire to look like that perfect girl at the beach or that skinny dancer on DWTS. Ah, it’s so hard.


Viviane September 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Some days I feel the world is going crazy. The media portrays body image as the solution to all your problems, as the key to happiness! Ironically enough, for me at least, being at peace with my body image is the key to my happiness. If I find these messages overwhelming, I can’t imagine the pressure young girls have to deal with. Sometimes I do find myself wondering about the challenges that my future children will face. This motivates me even more to be at peace with my body because I strongly believe that kids start building their confidence at home.

On another subject, snap-on bracelets ruled!!!!! Haha!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

It blows me away how image-conscious young girls are today. I don’t think I ever gave a second’s thought to what was “slimming” when I was 10. I’ve heard some pretty outrageous tween conversations lately, one in particular was last week at the cinema where 2 girls were talking in bathroom stalls about boys and I couldn’t believe how low their self-worth was. Operation Beautiful and classes with the same message would be so helpful.


Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 14, 2010 at 12:07 pm

That’s awful!! So sad :( I remember overhearing a conversation between 2 first graders, FIRST GRADERS, about how they were fat and needed to go on a diet. It broke my heart.


Laurab @ foodsnobstl September 14, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I agree that it starts at home. Dads are super important too, as they help girls build an understanding if what a man is and how they should be treated by a man. I think that has a lot to do with body image as well.


Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks September 14, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Conversations like that make me so, so sad.

While I never had an eating disorder where I didn’t eat enough, I did have a problem where I ate too much. Despite being a pudgy kid, I never felt bad about myself until I was around 11 years old. In middle school I became hyper aware of the fact that I was larger. Right down to my own friend announcing, “You have a big butt!” when I was putting on my jeans after a sleep over at her house. I didn’t have the willpower to restrain from food, but I did try to hide the fat however I could. I started wearing huge shirts and men’s jeans to hide my figure. To hide my shame. What started when I was eleven continued on until I was twenty-five. And even now, though I am much more balanced and educated, I still get uneasy.

The idea that those little girls are running around, thinking that they are fat, that they need to find clothes that make them look skinny, and that they even need to have good looking butts in the first place is a tragedy. Ever since I started to try and find health and happiness in my own life, I’ve been crying for the eleven year old me who got told she had a big butt. For all of the years where I missed out on life because I felt like an ugly thing like me needed to be in the shadows.

I agree that there needs to be education and involvement in projects that teach these girls to love themselves…and each other. That teaches how much this stuff really hurts and damages a person. I really want to get involved in reaching out to kids on this subject…not sure how I can yet…but I do want to make it a goal to try. Girls shouldn’t have to grow up like that.


Caitlin (EatFeats) September 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Yes! I used to take public transportation daily, so I’ve heard a lot of disturbing body image discussions. Additionally, my STUDENTS (11-14 years old) sometimes felt negatively toward their bodies. It was SO SAD to hear KIDS talking about how they were fat or ugly or how they had not eaten all day.


AGS September 14, 2010 at 12:35 pm

It is disturbing to note that focus on weight/body image at increasingly younger ages. I think that we need to also keep in mind that the goal of being slim has been around for quite some time. Having a slim figure at the age of 11, however, does seem to be a newer issue facing our culture.

What to me is the real problem, is that there *are* quite a bit of unhealthy behaviors that kids adopt at a younger age, and that many of these kids *are* out of shape, and eating unhealthy foods. Instead of appreciating quality foods, and healthy behaviors, kids seem to only appreciate a particular “look”. Although I have a deep belief that the home determines a child’s outlook for the most part, I do believe that have incorporating a series of speakers who are female atheletes to discuss health could be good on a school/community level. I vividly recall an assembly on AIDS when I was in high school, where many myths/areas of confusion were cleared up by the group of speakers. Something like that could make a difference.


Valerie September 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm

This is so sad. It’s true that schools don’t focus enough on body image — we talk about eating disorders briefly from time to time, but the feelings behind them are never really addressed, and even the students without specific eating disorders may still have those strong feelings of inadequacy and striving to reach some ideal impossible image. I think classes like that would have been helpful for me when I was young, and now that I’m nineteen (but turning twenty tomorrow!) I have to sort of figure those things out for myself… long after those feelings of inadequacy have already sunk in. It’s hard. But hopefully future generations of girls won’t feel the way I do, or the way other girls who struggle with weight and body image do!


Jenny September 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I hate hearing anyone talk negatively about their looks and body, especially young girls who have so much ahead of them.

I make it my mission to never refer to the way I look or “feel” outloud, and it actually has helped me stop having negative body image thoughts as well. I also try to steer conversations away from body talk when I’m with friends who are about to start bashing themselves.

As positive as I try to be about my body, there are times it can be very hard to find a balance between thinking and feeling confidently. Some days a cute outfit or fun makeup DO help me to feel better, and I think that’s okay sometimes. I have to remind myself that these are temporary and its a positive body image in the LONG run that will keep me happy consistently.


liz September 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I think we have to start by feeling good about ourselves. I have so so so so many girlfriends who constantly say “ugh, I look fat” and “I can’t wear this because I’ll look like a whale” etc etc. None of us have kids yet, but if we already think this about ourselves now, how will we feel about our bodies after they change drastically in pregnancy and we have kids? I can’t imagine it’s going to get much better. I think it’s so sad and we need to embrace being healthy instead of being thin. I know I am guilty of having those moments too, but I try to be aware of them so I can stop the negative thinking in its tracks.


AGS September 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I very much agree with this. In the last month, I have really started to work with myself through writing to overcome some deep-seated (but not often-acknowledged) struggles I have with body image. By all accounts I’m healthy, active, fit, happy, and successful in life/career/family/etc. If *I* can let go of absurd notions about body/life perfection, why would I expect young girls, who are just barely understanding their world, to be able to let them go?

If I ever have a daughter, or regularly encounter a young girl/woman, I would want to represent that a generally healthy life, combined with following one’s true passions brings happiness and fulfillment far beyond anything you “achieve” by fitting into a particular size clothing.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Love this point…very true


MaryZ September 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm

This breaks my heart! I think I was about 10 or 11 when my disordered eating started and was full blown anorexic by 16.
My daughter is 16, a dancer and couldn’t be more proud of her strong athletic body. I have always told her as long as you eat healthy foods to fuel your body, no size is too big (fat) or undesirable. I wish the world would see people for their beauty!


Sonja September 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm

When we celebrated my daughters seventh birthday this year i asked one girl (6 years old) if she´d like to eat one more piece of cake. She answered: “No, if i eat more i will get fat.”
I was totally speechless!


Lauren September 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

OMG!! That is so sad :(


Amber K September 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I think it is really important to start a conversation with young girls when they start talking like that. I was looking at my wedding pictures with me 6-year-old niece when she mentioned how “fat” I looked. Well I WAS. I weighed almost 100 pounds more back then!

But we talked about how “fat” isn’t something nice to stay. I talked about how happy I was that day because I was marrying a very special man. And how he loved me for everything I was and still am.

It really worried me because at a play place a little girl had told my niece to move her “big fat butt.” I think that’s where she first heard the word and I don’t want her to think there is anything wrong with the body God gave her.


Lauren September 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I worked at a kids camp during the summer and often the lunch time scene was horrifying. There were kids as young as 6 years old discussing calories- I wanted to cry..6!!! I didn’t even know what a calorie was until I was like 12 or older. I had 9 and 10 year olds saying, “You shouldn’t have more than 1200 calories a day.” I obviously jumped in and said my part, (Umm, 1200 is not enough guys! You are growing kids and we don’t count calories- we eat when we are hungry and our bodies tells us we need fuel!) but I really think that the parents definitely play a HUGE role. Media is huge as well. Things like Operation Beautiful are awesome too! One person CAN make a difference, so I feel we all have an obligation to speak up if we feel able. It may make a difference in one young girls life! :)


Kath September 14, 2010 at 2:57 pm

You should have put the GM in a BOWL!!! With glonola on top!


[email protected] September 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I’ve definitely heard little girls talk about being “fat.” It’s very surprising and sad how young these negative thoughts can start..


Liz @ Tip Top Shape September 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm

That is so sad. I think I became aware of weight a bit earlier than most but definitely not at 10 years old! You should be enjoying your childhood then not worrying about buying flattering jeans. I mean…you’re ten. That is just ridiculous and very, very sad.


CathyK September 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

one way to help young girls with their body image is to be a personal example to any young girls in your life. whether we realize it or not, or want to be or not, young girls look up to us and admire us, as ” special and important people” in their lives.
different topic, quick story: angela i stopped drinking diet coke a couple weeks after eric did. he was partly my inspiration (talk about role models!). NO cravings, all was going great…until about 10 days ago when i REALLY started to want a diet pop. i relate it all to a couple stressful weeks…anyway, i caved today and bought a coke zero. took one sip and….BLECH! it was SO syrupy and sweet! i poured the rest out. best $2.25 i ever wasted. i am so relieved! anyway, hope eric is still pop-free, too, and that his lifestyle change in that regard is going well!


Jodie September 14, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I have a 4 year old daughter and I hope she never has to deal with disordered eating like I did. I try to focus on our food making us strong and giving us energy. Or on the other hand if we are choosing not to buy sweets, like other people might be, we talk about how those foods don’t give us energy for playing all day and we need energy. I hope I can always keep the focus on health and doing and eating things to make us feel strong. I know when she gets into school things will be different and I will keep doing my best to stay positive and be a good role model.

It is frightening as a mom to a beautiful little girl. It makes me want to hide her away from all of the world some days.


Gree September 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Ugh, as a mom to a little girl this makes me so sick to my stomach. I know in our family we try to focus on good healthy food and how that makes your body feel and how exercise makes your body feel. That and making sure you talk to your kids about body image and health, that matters…especially when you start from a young age.


Leah @ Why Deprive? September 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I think its important to lead by example. Although I would never dream of blaming my mother for any of my past issues, shes been on a diet my whole life, so it seemed normal to me.
Actually, one of my first memories is from when I was maybe 5, we were at the neighbors house and she was talking about her daughter, who’s probably 5 years older than me so she would have been ten at the time. Anyhow, I remember her saying something about how helpful her daughter was because she would get up and say “we need to go on a diet today mom”.
Even at 5 I can remember wondering why someone so young would go on a diet. Diets were for old people in my mind.
I just think its so sad how obesessed we’ve all become with weight. It isnt the only thing in the world. There is SO much more to life that people are missing out on because of this obsession with being “thin”.


Allison September 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

It’s sad, but I’m convinced that most of those attitudes are learned at home — from mothers, big sisters, aunts, etc. I was just as exposed to all the media messages as my friends were growing up, but I attribute my (mostly) healthy and sane outlook towards weight, eating, and working out to my mom. Even though she never really sat me down to talk about that kind of “girl stuff,” she led by example, staying active herself, signing me up for every sports team I wanted, and never pressuring me about how I looked or how much I weighed.

I’ve noticed, though, that SO MANY girls/women use those speech patterns, suggesting that their clothes make them look a certain way. When I realized this a few years ago, I started trying to consciously change my comments, from “I look good in these jeans” to “These jeans look good on me.” ;) *I’m* the one wearing my clothes, not the other way around!


Jade September 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Last year I was at the pool with my three-year-old daughter. She is very tiny and petite. There were three girls, who couldn’t have been older than 11-12, looking at her and one of them said, “She is so thin!” and the other one said, “I’m so jealous!” I hope that they were joking, but I really don’t know. It kind of blew me away. She’s three years old! That kind of talk bothers me a lot. My younger sister went through that with her friends a few years ago, all of them thinking they were “so fat!” when they were not at all. I hope I can instill a positive body image in my own daughter.


Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm

It is conversations like those that break my heart. I was actually only saying to Mr BBB the other day that I have never felt more ‘free’ with my body image than I do right now – and it pains me to hear others bemoan, belittle or hate their bodies. I think that is why movements such as Operation Beautiful are just so very very important – in terms of challenging how you see yourself, and to challenge the norality of comparing yourself to others.


Jen September 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm

One of the most interesting things that I can remember doing at school that really opened my eyes was in sex education classes… we split into groups of boys and girls, and then had to make a list with all of the things that you would want in a boyfriend/girlfriend, both physical and personality related.

The boys put on theirs that they wanted someone who wasn’t really skinny, who ate normally and who didn’t slap on loads and loads of makeup every day – until that point, I’d thought that unless I was super skinny, perfectly made up and pretended that i wasn’t hungry and didn’t like eating in front of boys, I would never be able to have a boyfriend.

I’m aware that this exercise could have gone wrong in several ways (or been offensive as it is if you were a naturally skinny person) so I don’t think it’s necessarily a good idea, but I do think that it’s important that girls understand that other girls their age (especially when they’re teenagers) generally are not happy with their own bodies, and quite a lot will lash out at others to make themselves feel better, and that you shouldn’t take things like that to heart.

The things that I remember which made me feel bad about how I looked or start to develop disordered eating were being called a whale when I was about 13 (when I wasn’t fat at all….) and another person coming up to me and my friend and calling us Jenny fat and Abi ugly (which I realise now is ridiculous, as Abi is in no way ugly, and I was not fat!)… I think it’s important to realise where those insults are coming from, and that they probably have little to do with how you actually look.


Jillian @ Reshape Your Life September 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I have been one of those girls… And reading this made me sad. Young girls shouldn’t feel this way. There is too much pressure on young girls to be skinny and perfect.

I agree and love your idea of having body image classes!


Heidi September 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm

This post hits so close to home! My little sister in law has been saying for the past few months that she needs to lose weight and then just recently she said she’s trying to get down to the same weight as her older sister. Both these girls look fabulous! They’re both healthy, very active, gorgeous girls. I never know what to say to her, so I just tell her she looks great the way she is, she doesn’t need to lose an ounce. I know it’s not getting through. I can’t see how this girl can think she needs to lose weight, but I know it’s from what she sees of other people. Her mom is always talking about how “fat” she is, but she’s no where near overweight and I just recently lost about 20-25 pounds after having my baby girl. I’ve told her it’s not very healthy for her to be trying to lose weight at her age as she’s only 13. I wish I could help her, but I don’t know what else to do except be a good example and stop with the fat talk(which I have! There’s no way I will talk like that now that I have kids… But I think I need to talk to my mother in law about it too :( )


stacey-healthylife September 14, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Both granola’s look good. I’m making some as soon as I can find the time. :)


Julie September 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

One time, in American Eagle, this woman was shopping when her young daughter (maybe 11-12) and everything she tried on, she asked her daughter “does this make me look fat?” and “I have such huge thighs” and let me just say, this woman’s body was rockin’. Her daughter was just like, “No! You look so thin…” Broke my heart to watch this woman teach her daughter to objectify herself like that.

I don’t have kids yet, but my Mr and I already have started to focus on “health” instead of “thin” or “muscular” in our house. We eat healthy, whole foods and exercise because it makes us feel good to be strong and healthy. I could probably lose 5 lbs and better fit into the american standard of beauty but it is more important to me to be free of worrying about calories or cardio than it is to have a six pack. Free from guilt over food, free from guilt over skipping a workout, eating nutritious, delicious whole foods and working out to feel good because I like they way I feel when I’m healthy.

I personally believe that a healthy body STARTS with a healthy mind and healthy attitudes.


Larinna @ September 14, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I love how personal this post is! When I read your blog everyday, it always gives me inspiration to follow my dreams and reminds me of why I should be healthy. Thanks for the daily inspirations!


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed September 15, 2010 at 6:56 am

so sad, isnt it?! i wrote a post on this a week ago. it is SO common, it is heartbreaking.

on the other hand, the birdseye photo of your green monster parfait is brilliant!

Heidi xo


Dominique September 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm

A couple of younger women (by maybe a couple of years at most) where having a similar conversation just today. I was sitting beside them during a morning break and one was offering the other chocolate cake but the other declined in fear of getting fat! But both these girls are rather slim–even slimmer than I am and I’d consider myself average or slim. I couldn’t believe it. As I sat there eating my oatmeal and drinking my tea, I could only imagine what they’d be saying about me behind my back.

I really wanted to say something to them, about how NOT fat either one of them are and how talk like that is ridiculous, but I hardly know either one of them since we don’t work in the same department. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing.


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