Two Teens And Their Mama: Uh Oh...I Can't Talk About Wrinkles

Friday, April 11, 2014

Uh Oh...I Can't Talk About Wrinkles

Today I'm re-running a post that I wrote when I first started blogging - four months ago!  
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


I was talking to a friend who has three teenage daughters, and she was worrying that she wasn't presenting a positive example about body image to them.  She doesn't want them obsessing over their bodies, counting every calorie, and pointing out every flaw.  Since I have boys I thought I couldn't really relate, so I was just listening and agreeing at the appropriate moments.

But then I thought "uh oh".  Listen, I'm almost 47, and looking my best is a bit of a challenge. There are extra pounds in places where there shouldn't be.  My face has more wrinkles. Hormones appear to be out of whack.  This body has traveled a lot of miles.  And.....I complain about those things...a lot.  Sometimes I think I'm probably fishing for a compliment from ONE of the males in this house.  Other times I'm just feeling sorry for myself, which isn't a good look on anyone.

Uh oh.  Every time I complain about my imperfections in front of my boys, I'm reinforcing the notion that how I look completely defines who I am.  Of course, our appearance is a big part of who we are, but it's not the only thing, or the most important thing.

Teenagers are bombarded constantly with visual images about how they are supposed to look. Have you seen an Aeropostale ad lately?  Good lord, nobody looked like that when I was in high school.  Actually, there was this one girl, but I think she may have been held back a few times, so she was probably 20 or something.

I want my boys to look at a woman and see more than her outer appearance.  I want them to respect women as strong, amazing people who can do anything. It's my job to teach them how to do that.  But, uh oh, by saying "I look so fat in this outfit", or "where did THAT wrinkle come from", I'm showing them that I put too much value on what I look like.  NOT a good lesson.

From now on, I'm going to try to remember not to point out the negative when they are around. I will try to talk about my accomplishments, about how I worked at being healthy that day, or how I wrote a great blog post. I will keep striving to improve my appearance, but I will not obsess about it around my boys.

It won't be easy, because I do feel a little bit chubby and a little bit wrinkly, and WHY is my hair so flat today?  Maybe somebody out there would like to talk with me about it :)?


If I respect myself, it will teach them to respect me, and they will learn to respect their girlfriends, wives and someday their daughters.  And I will have one less "uh oh" moment.


12 comments:

  1. Hey Lana its Susie ( homemaker-mom)
    I was like wow she is speaking exactly what's been on my mind lately. I have pondered have I been showing my teen girl the right example with my image? I can honestly say no :-( I need to do better in this area. I too have falling trap of exactly what you realized you where doing. Thank you for blogging about this today!

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    1. Thanks so much for the nice comment. I made it through one whole day without a negative comment to the boys about myself. I feel sorry for my sister and friends though - they're going to hear ALL of my complaining now!

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  2. Such good points on beauty and body image. Being critical isn't good for anyone. Thanks for you kind words on my blog today too :)

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    1. I really appreciate you coming over to check out my blog. Thank you for the nice comment. I will be visiting your blog often - I love your style.

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  3. I love the thoughts in this article. There is such an emphasis on appearance in our society, even our boys self-image would benefit by us showing them that appearance is not the only thing that matters! Being less self-critical is a concept most of us need to work on!

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    1. Thanks for reading the post. I agree, we are all to critical of ourselves - I'm really striving to be more positive. Hope you're having a great weekend!

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  4. You are spot on and I didn't realize that I was doing the same thing. I have never been a "my butt's too big, I need to loose 10 pounds" kind of person but I DO lament over the wrinkles, etc and that IS the same thing!! Thanks for finding me via LOBS and I would LOVE if you'd check out my other site, Ten to Twenty Parenting (tentotwenty dot com) and if you'd like to contribute some posts there, let's talk!! :)

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    1. I really appreciate you coming to visit me. I checked out Ten To Twenty Parenting, and I found it very helpful and interesting. I would love to submit some work to your site as soon as I have some more to submit :)

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  5. Yes. That's a really good point I hadn't thought of much before. We talk a lot about how a mom's self-image teaches her daughter how to feel/think about her body, but it affects our SONS' images of women, too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for the nice comment. I'm still working on talking positive about myself...a work in progress I guess.

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  6. I've been thinking about this, too. My son isn't there yet, but I don't want him to ever define people by the way they look. Great points about finding self acceptance, for both ourselves and our sons!

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    1. I appreciate the kind words. I'm still working on it!

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