The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mommy, am I fat?

Good Morning America

Taylor Call, a six-year-old from Houston, Texas, is making headlines because she thinks she is overweight. After a cruel comment from another girl at her school, Taylor asked her mother, "Mommy, why is my tummy so fat?"

Why did Taylor ask her mother this? Tanya Call, mother to Taylor, told Good Morning America that her daughter went onto explain how a girl had asked her why she was fat while the pair were in the bathroom. Although this incident happened a year ago, Taylor has seen been bullied about her weight from other peers. 

This might just appear as kids being kids, especially since Taylor is at a healthy weight for her age and height, but sadly younger and younger girls are developing body issues. The University of Central Florida reported in 2009 that nearly half of the three to six-year olds who took part in a study on body issues said they worried about being fat. The National Eating Disorder Association has also noticed an increase for hospitalizations of eating disorders for children. Between 2000 and 2006, hospitalizations admitted for to eating disorders for children under the age of twelve has nearly doubled!

Although the media, magazine covers, and advertisements are partly to blame for featuring one perception of beauty, parents need to also remember that their own body issues might also affect young girls. Good Morning America asked a panel of five to eight-year-old girls about body perceptions earlier this year. One young girl admitted that she heard her mother say she wanted to go to the gym because she is overweight. Another girl admitted to learning about her teacher's new diet. These conversations may seem insignificant, but they are affecting how girls see themselves.

To learn more about Taylor Call and Good Morning America's panel, please read "Mommy, my tummy's too big: What would you do if your SIX-year-old daughter was worried about being fat?"

-Samantha Bradbeer
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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