Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Talk to Girls

In June 2011 ABC News reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In Lisa Bloom's book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, she reports that 15 to 18 percent of girls under 12 now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and 25 percent of young American women would rather win America's Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they'd rather be hot than smart.  Because of the way people typically respond to young girls (your hair is so pretty today, or I like that dress) she encourages people to consciously ask a girl what she is reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You're just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? You may get some intriguing answers. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does.  Perhaps if more people did that we would not have kindergarten girls late for school because they want to take a shower because their hair does not look good or fighting about a specific outfit.  Stop and think the next time you are tempted to give a young girl a compliment, is what you are about to say reinforcing her to become a contributing member of society or a grown-up Barbie Doll...

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