Saturday, 23 June 2012

Herbal brushing and circus mirrors

Welcome back.  Today we're looking at the new report, Reflections upon body image, which suggests that girls as young as 5 worry about how they look.  (Apparently boys don't give a hoot about it).  Whilst this is a serious subject and not to be scoffed at - pardon the pun -  we can simplify the issue by breaking it down into 3 separate areas.

Peer pressure.  A reporter interviewed a 104-year-old man.  "So what do you think is the best thing about being 104?"  "No peer pressure," he replied.  Quite the reverse is true for our 5-year-old, who has peer pressure cornering her in the playground.  Well, I can only say one thing: fat friends.  Many a grown woman has used this tactic to great effect.  If thin people start hanging round your child, ask in a loud voice 'who wants a doughnut?'  This scatters thinnies faster than throwing a stone at pigeons.  Author's note: I do not encourage throwing stones at pigeons.  Please do not try this at home.

It's a well known fact that having unattractive friends
makes children more psychologically balanced

2) The media.  Got trashy magazines lying around, full of air-brushed women?  Replace air-brushing with herbal-brushing - a new technique taking schools by storm.  Simply take a paintbrush, some paint and various herbal essences - I find organic is best.  Next, disfigure that gorgeous magazine model.  Give her big thighs, warts, a tash and some bogies.  The herbal essences are released as you paint, counteracting any feelings of hostility - thus creating a calm, therapeutic experience.  This is the sort of pastime you can enjoy with your children and on your own.  I find nothing more refreshing when the children are in bed than snuggling up with a glass of Claret, a magazine and a pot of rosemary paint.  You can also take this pastime outdoors to enjoy the fresh air - disfiguring billboards and posters.  Perfect.  

3) Your home.  This bit is common sense.  If you stand in front of the mirror, holding your stomach and sobbing why oh why oh why, your child will eventually pick up on this.  So always lock the door first and invest in some sound-proofing.

It's important to remain calm when discussing food and body images with your child.  If you find this impossible, then there is one more trick you can employ.  It's a little drastic, but it works like a charm.  Simply remove all the mirrors in your home and replace them with magic distorting ones.  (NB: make sure you check the order carefully before purchasing.  A friend of mine bought the wrong ones and her child kept screaming at night about her huge forehead and mile long shoes.)  You want the ones that make your child look wonderfully slim, if a little stretched.

So this brings me to the end of our look at body images.  I hope you have found this blog informative and that your child will feel proud of their body for the rest of their lives.  Until they have kids.  And then God Help Them.


Next time at the cushy parent: how to have a really great row with your teenager, without resorting to violence.

Cath Weeks is author of The Mood Ring

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