You’d Be So Pretty If You….

I grew up listening to my mom bemoan everything from the size of her thighs to the shape of her eyes. So you can imagine my dismay the first time someone exclaimed, ‘You look just like your mother!’
So begins You’d Be So Pretty If…: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies — Even When We Don’t Love Our Own (Da Capo Lifelong Books, May 2009), former Shape magazine columnist Dara Chadwick’s guide to breaking the mother-daughter cycle of bad body image. With humor and compassion, Chadwick uses her own story — as well as those of the women and girls she interviewed — to reveal everything from what girls learn when mom diets to the trigger words that can set off a body image crisis. You’d Be So Pretty If… offers fresh and useful strategies to help you build a strong body image foundation for your daughter — even if your own body is far from what you’d consider “perfect.”
In an interview, Chadwick explains, “For example, if the family decides to go out for ice cream and mom just orders a Diet Coke every time, what does that say to her daughter? Or when the family heads to the beach or pool for a day of swimming and mom refuses to remove her cover-up? My mom was a huge fan of self-deprecating jokes; one of her favorites was, “The first rich blind man through the door is mine.” She also liked to choose clothes that she said, “hid a multitude of sins.” Those words and behaviors aren’t lost on girls. You’re planting a seed with each comment and when her body starts to look like yours, guess what? She remembers, and applies that criticism to herself. The good news, though, is that the stories shared by the women and girls in this book will help readers see that subtle changes can have big effects.”
Magazine writer Diana Kapp is seeking women in their 20s and 30s (mothers or not) who want to be interviewed for an article on how disordered eating and body image issues are passed through families, particularly mothers and daughters. If you’ve got a story you’d like to share, email her at dekapp@mac.com.

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