Straight from the files of WTF Are We Teaching Our Daughters comes this concerning tale of a mother of three who went about picking up her 7-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Among the “Polly Pockets” and “friendship bracelets,” Amy Cheney discovered a very sobering tween artifact on girls diets that will leave you weeping. And raging against media depictions of women, girls, and their bodies.
Between the “variety of other crap seven-year-old’s love to horde,” Amy uncovered this “dyiet” list: a record of foods ingested and completed exercise:
Upon deciphering the eerie diet notes of a 7-year-old, Amy falls into a litany of questions about her parenting:
Where did she learn the word diet? How does she even know what a freaking diet is?
Whose fault is this? Is it mine because I let her play with Barbies? Because sometimes she’s allowed to watch Total Drama Action? Is it because when I draw with her I can only draw stick figures?
Seventeen Poosh-ups two times a day.
I felt sick. Physically ill. Like someone had knocked the air from my chest.
I could feel myself getting increasingly anxious the more words I was able to interpret from her seven-year-old spelling.
Three Appals, One Per, Two Keewee Froots.
How did this happen?
Amy describes herself as “smart about this stuff.” She asserts that she holds a degree in early childhood studies and refrains from asking the “do I looks fat?” questions in front of her kids. The mother adds that “weight has never been an issue in our home.”
Turns out that “Miss Seven,” as Amy refers to her, learned the word “diet” from a friend at school. Another 7-year-old who was on a diet — or “dyiet” — herself. Amy goes into little detail about the talk she had with Miss Seven upon finding the Dyiet List, just that they “chatted about diets and beautiful healthy bodies and the gift that they are.”
But once the initial shock subsided, Amy was plenty (and rightfully) infuriated:
And then I got angry. Really, really angry.
F*ck you society. F*ck you and your and stupid obsession with women and the way they look.
How dare you sneak into my home with your ridiculous standards and embed them in my little girls head, polluting her innocence with your pathetic ideals.
Jog/run up and down the driv way three times.
Your unrealistic expectations will not win in my house.
I am tired of the beauty and body obsessed arena we live in. I am tired of women being portrayed as objects to be saluted and admired or shunned and shamed depending on whether they measure up to societies idealistic standards. I am tired of the conformist attitudes. And then, because I was so tired (and sad, so sad) that I cried…I am not naive. I know this will not be the last time I talk about food and weight and bodies with my daughter. I am just ultra pissed that it had to start when she was seven.