by Dara Chadwick
As a magazine writer, I tend to have a lot of magazines laying around — in my office, at home and especially in my car (I usually catch up on reading when I’m waiting around for my kids at their various activities).
Last week, as I drove my son and his friend to baseball practice, the friend picked up a copy of a women’s magazine that was on the floor between the seats. As he paged through it, he began to read coverlines and feature titles in an over-the-top dramatic voice.
“Sculpt sexy curves,” he intoned breathily. “Walk your way thin…blast belly fat.”
You get the picture.
The more he read, the more dramatic he got, and soon all of us — my daughter included — were laughing so hard I thought I was going to have to pull over.
In his voice — and from his perspective — it all sounded completely and utterly ridiculous.
And you know what? It is ridiculous.
The often-torturous things we women put ourselves through — and the emotional investment we make — in trying to meet a “standard” created by the very people who stand to profit most from our feeling insecure.
Sometimes, it takes a 12-year-old boy to put things in perspective.
Dara Chadwick is the author of “You’d Be So Pretty If…: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies – Even When We Don’t Love Our Own.” She has been interviewed on NBC’s TODAY Show, as well as on a variety of radio and television programs. A former Weight-Loss Diary columnist for Shape magazine, Dara has written about health, wellness and parenting for magazines such as Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens, VIV, For Me, Shape, Parenting and Working Mother. Her work has also appeared online at sites such as The Daily Beast and Psychology Today You can learn more about her at DaraChadwick.com.