Disappearing daughters

I don’t have the precise number of calories I have consumed today (unlike the diary entry of Bridget Jones) but I do tend to have an approximate running total accumulated in my head. I was like this the last time I did weight watchers but now its every day (a bit like this blog). I just about gave myself a break from it over christmas but also felt really guilty. I also felt fat. I’m sure this pressure I’m putting myself under didn’t exist a decade ago. The scary thing is, it is filtering down to our daughters.

I was shocked yesterday to hear that a private school for girls has banned the salad bar at lunch-time because too many pupils were eating salad, in small quantities, in an effort to starve themselves rather than feed themselves until they felt full. My nanny friend who looks after two girls from the school has to work hard to get them to eat. These girls are only nine years old, they are not anorexic, they are very, very slim and they are very normal girls with no other issues. They are just submitting to the current social pressure to be as thin as possible.

I am conforming too and I can’t stop myself. However, I feel I am still a healthy weight – aint nothing gonna shift that ass. But, what does calorie counting do to a body of nine years old?

Thankfully my daughter loves food and eats well. However I am convinced that she picks up feelings about eating, body image and weight loss. So far so good but as she grows and becomes more aware of her ‘image’ I will have to be careful that she continues to eat a balanced diet.

Going back to discussions with my friend, we have known each other since school and I do not recall a single day when I thought “I’m not going to eat all of my packed  lunch or visit the tuck shop because it will make me fat”. I was at school in the early nineties. So what has changed?

I think part of the solution is to lessen the importance of body image in women and girls and to focus on other aims and achievements in life. Healthy eating is all our daughters need to know so we need to start flicking the ‘v’ sign to Heat magazine, Vogue and all those other rags for perpetuating the importance of how you look in a bikini over and above anything else. We need to start saying – ‘who gives a fuck about Kardashian’s arse pre and post baby’ We also need to start saying – I care less about what Kate Middleton and Mrs Cameron look like and more about what they have to say on topics other than high street brands and designer gowns.

Girls we are going backwards in time in our thinking and this is impacting on the next generation.

I am blogging every day for Unicef. Please donate a £1 if you enjoyed this blog by visiting my page on the Unicef site.

Thanks for reading.

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