Monday, 21 May 2012

Lovin' themselves sick

Do you ever come across one of your kids just hanging about in front of the mirror? Striking a pose, bit of a hip wiggle, the occasional snatch of song (usually something inappropriate by LMFAO).

My kids, especially the girls, love nothing more than a good 10 minutes just admiring their own reflection.  Being naked is popular.  Sarah likes to see her own muscles and is developing an unwelcome obsession with her 6 pack or 2 pack as she calls it.  This has come from gymnastics where they are always comparing their muscle tone and so far, strong discouragement from me has been cheerfully ignored.

Note to self: get used to being ignored (even more than I already am).

Issy loves to sing and dance to herself, almost kissing her own reflection she loves it so much. She also like lots of costume changes.  Nothing like a bit of healthy self esteem is there?

This is the child who, when you tell her she's gorgeous, says simply, "I know".  So it's not surprising really.

I've got no idea where all this self love comes from.  Maybe telling them they're great all the time does work.  It's definitely not a behaviour I'm modelling.  Admiring myself in the mirror is not something I get up to much.  Normally I work very hard not to see my own reflection, especially when I'm getting changed.  Which isn't easy with enormous floor to ceiling mirrored wardrobe doors in the bedroom. The people who lived here before us renovated in the late 70's/early 80's and then just left the entire house in a time warp for 20 years.  It's quite scary.  On many levels, not just the mirrors.  Retractible stovetop anyone?

I love how pleased they are with themselves now.  I know it won't last.  Once puberty kicks in there will be terrible self doubt and hormonal anxiety, rendering them unable to see their own beauty until the cloud of uncertainly disappears, hopefully around 18 but for many of us (well me anyway), never.

It's going to be so hard in the face of all the manufactured, superficial beauty that surrounds us to convince someone to be happy with how beautiful they are naturally.  And I mean internal beauty as well as external, even if teenagers don't.

When they were tiny, all we had to do was look after their bodies.  It was so easy then and I never appreciated it.  Damn.