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The Essence of Beauty is Truth

November 8, 2012

I will have one pass to make an impact on a group of 13 year old young ladies soon. I have given so much thought to this presentation that I wondered if the end result might be a big fat flop. My theory of how to reach them has changed along the way, and drastically recently. I have received guidance with some first hand information on the realities of being teen today. I chat on twitter with Emme, Super Model, who is all of that and an advocate for healthy body image and healthy living. She covers subjects from make-up technique and selection to healthy living. I was lucky to win the prize on #Emmetalks after a wonderful chat with Marci Warhaft-Nadler who wrote the book The Body Image Survival Guide for Parents. Her book arrived in the mail just in time to both shock and inspire me.

Both Emme and Marci are parents who strive to model a healthy lifestyle that includes appreciating and nurturing one’s own body. They understand the culture of bullying and shame that is prevailing. They know that boys suffer from body image issues that are compounded by the fact that they believe those issues are strictly for girls. They suffer the shame of being ashamed in what they think is an unnatural manner.  Both the mom of our featured teen young lady and I are veteran spa culture fitness instructors.  We have witnessed the crazed disconnect that can and does happen between adults and the image they hold of their own appearance and its importance.  In the book I learned that things have gone from bad to worse with parents now imposing very unhealthy thoughts about adequacy and appearance, even recommending plastic surgery to very young kids.  Although learning how hard the kids have it today was very rough on me, I am very pleased to know that the dignity and well being of children is supported in this book with practical suggestions for parents.  These concrete suggestions are very much needed for kids to be guided to healthy love, care and respect for the body they have for this lifetime.

When in doubt, scarf dance.  That is my teaching creed  and I am sticking to it for this lesson.  The group of six girls have all known each other for years, growing up on the beach.  In fact, I clearly recall monitoring a play group at the beach back when they all ate sand and toddled.  I plan to bring back the carefree days of playgroup one last time with a lavish prom dress scarf dancing on the beach extravaganza.  We have a professional photographer lined up to record this.  I am not sure how each of these young ladies feels about her image, but I am collecting cold hard proof of the artfulness and beauty  that results from purposely sharing  joy.  Pictures do speak louder than words. I look forward to this shoot with 6 supermodels on the beach.

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