Yesterday Judith Warner wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times about the APA report on the sexualization of girls (unfortunately, you have to be a paid subscriber to read it, but if you are, you can read it here).
Among other things, she has this to say:
We all tend to talk a good game now on things like body image and sexual empowerment. We buy the American Girl body book, “The Care and Keeping of You,” promote a “healthy” diet and exercise, and wax rhapsodic about team sports. But do we practice what we preach?
Not when we walk around the house sucking in our stomachs in front of the mirrors. Not when we obsessively regulate the contents of our refrigerators in the name of “purity.” (Did you know that there’s a clinical word fore the “fixation on righteous eating”? It’s called “orthorexia.”) Our girls see right through all our righteousness. And they hear the hypocrisy, too, when we dish out all kinds of pabulum about a “positive body image,” then go on to trash our own thighs.
Overall, I am surprised by Warner’s discussion. In general, I have found her to be incredibly supportive of mothers, and while not letting them off the hook for being selfish or inappropriate parents, she has stood against the tidal wave of guilt that our society provides in plenty for mothers.
This op-ed article, on the other hand, addresses women who are already overwhelmed with body image issues (first about how their own bodies should look and feel, and second about how they should get their pre-teen daughters’ bodies to look and feel) and tells them that they’re still doing it all wrong.
I am disappointed that Warner did not take a higher road on this issue.