Wednesday, December 11, 2013
For 14 and a half years I’ve done my best to raise strong daughters with compassionate hearts, impeccable manners and lots of smarts. I’ve worked overtime emphasizing brains over beauty and kindness over material things.
As any parent knows, it is a daily challenge to instill quality over quantity and flash, what with the barrage of social media and media sites our teens are immersed in daily.
I thought we were doing pretty good (all three were making all As, using their napkins at the dinner table, being responsible in all facets of life) and then the suggestion was made to watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. (It was all Twitter, Instagram and CNN were talking about!!)
We’ve caught glimpses of the show in past years and the girls are already giddy year-round about VS’s PINK store at the mall, you know the one with all the glitter, sparkle and “crazy about you” and “email me” pajamas.
But this year was different while watching it with one teen and one almost teen.
In the course of 40 minutes (we fast forwarded through all the commercials) we saw stick-thin models, barely there over-the-top costumes with enormous angel wings, and an obvious camera trick to immediately pan away from the least bit of imperfection on the models.
I spent the entire time talking over the show saying “Look at Taylor Swift. Look how healthy and wholesome she is compared to those girls. Now girls you know that body type is not the norm. It isn’t realistic. There is likely very little healthy eating and exercising going on with these girls. There are probably lots of cigarettes **** cough cough ****and I’d venture to guess nobody on that stage has been to college. Girls, girls, can you hear me? Hello!!!!”
“Mom, stop! Hush! We like it! We know! It is fine. She’s old anyway. Look at her.”
(Mind you, she was all of 28!!)
At the end of the night I’m hoping we all escaped relatively unscathed. I emphasized and reemphasized that the body types on these models were about as realistic as their birds of paradise costumes actually being flight worthy and the 7-inch heels having any walkability or comfort factor.
My key message was it still matters what is in your heart and how you treat others. To borrow from my best friend, “if we had a full-time chef, a full-time trainer, a 24/7 hair and make-up person and our only job was to pose for a camera we, too, might have a chance to look like that” but in the meantime it was time to hit the books and focus on every blessing and God-given gift and talent we had been given.
And from one mom of three girls to the powers that be at Victoria’s Secret ~ Next year, how about a girl or two with a little more realistic body type and figure and less bones? You are doing America's girls and future CEOs no favors!
Laura Van Hoosier is a Public Relations Manager for Texas Health Resources and Mom to three girls.