My Dearest Girl,
Last week, I arrived earlier than normal to pick you up from swim practice. You weren’t expecting me so soon and didn’t notice when I came upon you and your friends playing together on the big, grassy lawn outside the pool.
I stood there watching as each of you took turns demonstrating your cartwheels for the other. With the sun setting behind you and your wet hair whipping around, I felt a smile spread across my face as you flipped your body this way and that, jumping for joy, and squealing in delight.
Seeing you there, so free and comfortable in your own skin, made me wish I could somehow hold at bay all the messages that I know are coming your way.
You see, while you already know that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, and that your friend Chloe would rather have a Barbie while Jack wants Spiderman, you haven't yet realised -- or even become aware of -- all that our culture has to say about how your body should look or what its shape says about you.
Mums can have a huge influence on their daughters too. Post continues after the video...
The other day, as I held your sweet, soft, little hand in mine at the supermarket, instead of cursing them like I usually do, I found myself silently thanking the Kit-Kat bars and the Reese's peanut butter cups that lined the checkout. To your eight-year-old eyes, they were far more appealing and interesting than the sea of the magazines that surrounded us, each asserting what you and I should want for our bodies:
Sculpt Tighter Abs by Summer.
Attack Cellulite and Makeover Your Thighs.
Look Hot From Behind.