|via silver blonde|
I use the computer a lot; for my down time and for any admin I have to do. I'd rather text or email than speak to someone. I am on Pinterest constantly. Less so for Twitter, but definitely Instagram and Facebook. And then there is the blog, littered with beautiful images. I have images in front of me all the time. The thing is: these social media things are fun. But what does my daughter take from seeing me do this? Whilst I am trying to set rules for her to use her phone less, and get off-line (and failing), I find myself inadvertently doing the same thing I am asking her not to.
Last night many thought-provoking points were made about how teenagers see their parents behave and how closely linked that is to body image and self esteem. A daughter for example, will benefit from seeing her father be amorous with and attracted to her mother. A daughter will pick up on whether her father finds her mother (post-childbirth, with wrinkles) attractive and sexy. A son will covet the 'six-pack' referred to all the time on TV and in the press when he is as young as 7 or 8. Ultimately theirs is a generation raised with the expectation that if you look like a model, life will be perfect and that attainment of that goal is everything. Even though so many physical characteristics are genetic, they (and we) are led to believe that it's something that can be controlled and somehow conquered (eat less, move more).
I started thinking that in recent months I have become more down on myself than I used to be, when it comes to my appearance. I attributed this to the fact that 40 was looming, but after hearing the points made in the lecture, I wonder whether I too have been effected by the conspiracy in the media to portray perfect women, airbrushed and flawless. Even the more 'mature' women have the distinction of 'looking amazing for their age'. It's the 'for their age' part that is relevant. It stands to reason that if you spend all day looking at the perfect, real life/body/hair/face can pale in comparison.
I feel like there is a perfect storm right now that will specifically impact how my children grown up. I suspect that in ten or twenty years' time there will be better research and regulation on the impact of media imagery. The concepts will have been blown open and maybe we will all accept that what is presented on-line (and I am guilty of it here) is not real! And maybe girls can grow up feeling less concerned about their next 'selfie' and more concerned about real stuff that matters.