At what age do we begin to dislike our bodies?

I use to think that there was something wrong with me.  That maybe I was genetically predisposed to being a “Big” girl but I know that is not true.  Sure genetics plays a part but when you have bad eating habits and never move - there is only so much you can blame on your parents as adults.  I am certainly not in a place where I am interested in placing blame, I am in a place where I need to take responsibility for my own actions finally, and I truly believe I have done that an accepted myself for the first time ever in my life.  

But the question that keeps running through my head is at what age do you first notice your body?  At what age do you realize that you are uncomfortable in your own skin?  And what could have been done or could be done right now to help our kids not go down some of the same slipper slopes that I know I  have.  Does the realization that you are “Big” or “Fat” first come when you are picked on in school, or when you recognize that you are not as cute and skinny as some of the other girls?  

I recently visited with one of my best friends and her daughter who is thirteen is making some of the very same discoveries.  As any young lady in her situation, she is having a bit of a hard time right now.  Her body is going through so many changes she’s not sure what to or how to make sense of some of it.  Thinking she was in need of some girlie time, I soon realized girlie time wasn’t something she enjoyed and she had no clue really what that even meant.  Sure she has spent time with her Mom running errands on the weekend even though this time it was specifically for her made no difference to her at all.  She hates shopping whether its for her little brother to get him a new suit or whether she is getting something new, she would sooooo much rather go to the movies and skip the rest.  So my thought was if this darling can’t even wrap her brain around what a treat girl time is - what else do we assume all teens know but we don’t really take the time to explain to them.  Stuff like the importance of washing your face & taking care of your skin, making sure to remember to put on deodorant & perfume, how to style your hair and some of the products that work best, tips on how to put on and experiment with a little makeup, making some time for herself, finding clothes that make her feel cute in and are right for her body type, making better food choices and exercising.  All these may seem obvious to us as adults but they are certainly not so obvious to a young teenager who is trying to find her own way.  The difference these little lessons or tips can and will have on her life could be tremendous if she learns early on that she is truly beautiful on the inside and all this stuff is just helping her outside match the beauty inside.  I know I wish someone would have taken me aside and explained this to me when I was her age.  Sure this is not a one time thing and this is truly an ongoing process that will take some time. 

Speaking of time, when I started sparklewithin.com I was mainly thinking my audience would be women but I decided that young ladies needed this information as much if not more than woman do so I am now working on creating a new website with the focus on some incredible young ladies that will be linked to each other, so wish me luck.  I just can’t sit by knowing I have the tools to make a difference in these young girls lives and not get involved so here goes.  :)  

Till next time,

Lisa