At first I wondered what to say to this because I was surprised that anyone would be commenting on it at all. Then I decided to talk to my student about body image because it was the right thing to do.
At 9.30am I was talking to an 8/9 year old girl about body image. I don't think this is right.
However, we talked about it and several things came out of our conversation:
- She said that she had got the dark hair from her dad.
- She told me she'd talked to her mum about it.
- Her mum had told her not to shave as she'd be doing it for years.
- Society shouldn't always tell us what's right.
- Being different is okay.
As proud as I am for her to be able to talk to her parents about it and to be able to brush it off so easily, I am concerned that a girl of her age should be worried about it.
The strange thing is I remembered how I'd seen the same girl a couple of weeks ago and, to my horror, I did a double take when I looked at her legs. For some reason I wasn't expecting to see any hair there but then I got wondering - when did society tell me that any hair on female legs is wrong? When should one start to remove hair, if they want to? As I watched her continue her work, I thought about it. She wasn't bothered about her body, she was busy doing what she was doing, and that was all that mattered. The pure innocence of her demeanour was refreshing.
Society tells us that we should make our bodies alluring to men but at what point did we as women become just a figment of male desire? Society tells us we should be thin but at what point is it too thin? Society tells us that the lithe, thin figure is most desired by men but men say they prefer curves and something to grab onto. How is thin correct? Society tells us that we should conform but what if I like my zany sense of humour? What if I like being different?
I will never be a stick, ever, my body was built with hips, but I'm fine with it. I'm learning to appreciate what I have but what I have and what I do with it is for me, not for anyone else. I wear what I want to wear, not what someone else tells me to wear. I will think what I want to think, not what someone else tells me to think. I will go where I want to go, I will eat what I want to eat. If I decide I don't want to remove the hair from my legs every other day then I won't.
Society doesn't need another sheep.
Be individual. Be different.