in response….

i was the first girl in my class to get a bra and get my period (4th grade).

the bra was a little exciting because it made me feel girly and i knew i was the first one in the class. plus, i think that for many, many reasons developing breasts are a right of passage. it’s the first change from child to woman. and let’s face it, we live in a society where breasts are glorified and easily become a woman’s identity.

as a woman, i think breasts are really beautiful. i think that even flat chested women can have beautiful breasts. and i also think that a breast cancer survivor who’s had a double mastectomy is incredibly beautiful! there’s something heroic about her.

my period was a different story. i was completely embarrassed and overwhelmed. i was only ten for gosh sakes. i was still learning about basic hygiene. this was a whole other realm of horrors. my mom was great about *trying* to make it exciting, but i was horrified and deeply embarrassed. i think the worst part was that my mom made this ridiculous “rule” that we couldn’t get our ears pierced until we got our periods. as an adult, i still can’t see the reason behind that “rule.” it meant that all of my girlfriends knew exactly what happened when i came to school with little opal studs in my ears. there was no way i wasn’t going to get them pierced that night though. i had waited my whole life for pierced ears so i was ready to take on the snickers and giggles when i walked into the classroom that day. if i was going to be made fun of, i was going to make sure that i was at least going to look like everyone else on the outside.

these stories and life experiences are part of the reason why we’re making the lifestyle changes that we are beginning to implement. the other reasons are the obvious health risks.

and really, i don’t think that they’re going to be tons different from their peers anyway. it seems like most of the families we know are either organic or vegetarian or both. if we end up putting the girls in the co-op or the waldorf school, i think they’ll be in exactly the same place as the other girls in their class.

i feel like if we can make healthier, better choices for our girls, then why wouldn’t we?
if i can stall their developing breasts and everything else that puberty encompasses…
if i can stall the unwanted looks and advances from men and mischievous boys…
if i can make girlhood last just a little longer and help to put off the adult decisions that go with a developed body…

i have to try.

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Here’s a funny thought…

As I am starting to eliminate plastics that contain estrogen-mimicking compounds from my kitchen, I find myself contemplating something:

Will my daughters resent me if I succeed in preventing their early puberty?

I mean, I was the last girl to go through puberty in my class (and, somehow, all the other girls knew it – hurray for private school?). So the girls already have bad genes against them. I mean, socially bad. There’s no real advantage to going through puberty early from a biological standpoint, but the girl with the biggest boobs does tend to be the most popular…

In fact, when you consider how early girls are going through puberty, and how late they are expected to marry, no wonder we have so much promiscuity in the Western world!

But anyway, my point is, if all their peers are currently being exposed to all these hormone disruptors, and I succeed in limiting the girls’ exposure to them, how will they actually feel about this? I mean, I’m lowering their chances of breast cancer, but teenagers don’t generally care about stuff like that.

Not that I’m considering changing my mind about all this. I’m just sayin’. Cuz I can totally imagine an argument with one of my girls in which they express extreme displeasure over the fact that I did not bombard their body with toxic chemicals, when all the other moms were doing it.

Parents! They just don’t understand!

Plastics and Self-Drive

I found this article fascinating…