Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Having a little girl is complicated:)

I have a little girl and her name is Grace. She is the most beautiful little girl in the world. I love her spunk, her independent streak and her ability to see things n black and white (there is no gray area for Grace). I tell Brian so often that I wish I could be more like her in so many ways. God is growing her into the most beautiful little girl. Raising her does not come without struggle however, but that is alright.

I always wanted a little girl and God gave me one. But with mothering a little girl comes great responsibility. There is so much in this world that attacks the image of a woman daily. We are bombarded with images, ideals and standards that seem impossible to live up to. Having a five year old girl reminds me of this daily.

Being at school for Grace has been great, she has tons of friends and she loves to learn. But being outside the home in school with all kinds of kids with all of their own sets of influences has been interesting. I have had to diffuse more girl issues this year than I ever dreamed.

A couple of months ago I was driving Grace to Bellingham for ballet when she burst into tears. I was alarmed, she was unconsolable. It was a messy situation. Once I got her calmed down she told me she didn't want to put her leotard on. I asked her why and she then told me someone at school told her she had a big tummy. Shock, Horror, Outrage and Anger ran through my veins. If you have older kids and have had your childrens hearts broken you know the feeling. Its heartbreaking. The hardest part is in talking to her and explaining to her that she was made beautifully by God. She told me I wouldn't know because this girl was six and grace is only five so this little girl must be right. I know its not right for me to want to beat up a six year old but really. Secondly there is no merit to the statement this child made to mine. Never did find out who this child is. Probably for the better. However I have prayed for her.

I guess I am sharing this to spread the awareness. To spread the awareness that our little girls are already facing body image issues at the ages of 5 and 6. That a uber confident happy little girl can be crushed by soemone elses view of her. Its earth shattering to me.

I have been reading another blog recently that has been featuring a series on body image. It is written by a psychologist that specializes in body image. She is really enlightening. You can find her here. I love her view on the subject. It has given me realization that this is a universal problem. And with this realization comes change and with that change comes promises.

I have kept quiet about this for awhile because every time a woman of my size says anything about this issue others give you a look and if its not a look its a laugh or scoff. I am tired of this. We all have self esteem and body issues...if you say you don't you are lying. And for my daughter and my friends and my mothers and all of the other women in my life I refuse to ignore it anymore.

Because of my recent realization I am pledging the following. I am pledging to exude an air of self love in order to be a good influence on not just my daughter but any other girl in general. I am pledging to give my daughter confidence in her self that is built on a foundation that does not depend on your pant size or what you look like in a bathing suit. I am pledging to raise my daughter up to have healthy body image and healthy life practices in order to produce a healthy body to promote a healthy life. I pledge to make healthy choices for myself so I can lead by example. I am pledging to teach my daughter to love her body because it is the one God gave her. I am pledging to love my body for the same reasons. And we are beautiful because He thinks so. I am pledging to never use the D-I-E-T word in her presence ever! I pledge daily to pray for her self image in order to help her continue to have confidence in who she is.

I know these things will still not be enough and she still will have her heart broken. But I pray that I can aid in her loving her self a lot earlier than I did. A lot earlier than a lot of us do. I want her to know she has a woman in her corner that loves herself to.

I pray that if you have young girls in your life or just girl friends in general that you would make this pledge as well, that you would make a pact to lift yourselves up. That you would would make a pact to love each other for your heavenly purpose not because of the number that shows up on the scale or the number on the tag in your jeans.

Obviously this is important to me. Its alarming to me. It is something that I am on a mission to defeat. And only with Gods help can I even try:)

I am Jessica Jager and I love the women and girls in my life to much to ignore the problem! I hope you do to!


Jeff and Andrea Ashmore Family said...

Jess this is such a powerful post. I am crying for numerous reasons. You worded it all perfectly and it's scary to me that these little girls are already faced with such pressures.
Grace is absolutely beautiful, inside and out and you can't hide that. She has a good momma too.

Tammy said...

Thanks for this post Jessica!! We too have dealt with this issue with our Erin =( breaks my heart! we have also taken that pledge!! its so sad what our little girls (& boys) have to go through these days, it is so different now....I cant wait to check out the other blog you posted about!

it was good to see you on Friday ;) hope Lia is liking her new furniture :)

Julie said...

Amen. We must combat what the world says with THE TRUTH! Obviously, we four daughters in my home, we are "on this" constantly. I have a number of good books to recommend to you. I will gather them up and make you a list. And when Grace starts 2nd grade, I hope you will send her to GEMS (& maybe even join her as a counselor!) because as our mission is to bring girls into a loving dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ, we must show them Christ's acceptance and love as the source of their worth. And it is a mission we do with God leading us, because we too are women who continue to feel threatened in this world!