Lauren wrote to ask if this is what Disney is teaching our daughters.
I know it's tempting to blame all of the irrational, loathsome, impossible images of girlhood and women that we fend off like swarms of gnats every day - I fear this one may be on me.
(Because I'm the Mom, most things are, indeed, my fault.) This actually might be.
There is lots of talk at school about bodies and thinness and unthinness (argh!) and who looks like whom -- in real life and on television.
So she and her 2nd-grade peers notice bodies and compare and contrast to find their places in the world.
Why do girls in magazines and movies have the kinds of bodies they have, she asked me. I talked about how much older they are than a 2nd grader, how bodies find their way to adulthood when they're ready, how some bodies aren't even really what they appear, how magazine photos are airbrushed and how movies have lighting and actors have staffs to do hair and makeup, and all the tricks they have to change real bodies into mythical ones. And, of course, how American society puts pressure on girls and focuses so relentlessly on outsides and not nearly enough on hearts and souls and kindness and health. She hasn't seen much TV other than Disney but there are so many images out there...just on magazine racks.. RACKS....with the oppressive stuff we all fight every day.