Dr. Sarah Weinberger “On Parenting, Body Image and More!” CG’s Crackin’ the Kid Code Podcast #101
Dr. Sarah Weinberger – Why HOW we look can negatively impact how we feel- and what to do to ensure this STOPS! Dr. Sarah on parenting, body image, changing our inner narrative and more!
Debuting Our Podcast and Choosing Our First Guest was Fun and Easy
Debuting our podcast, Curlee Girlee’s Crackin’ the Kid Code was one of the most exciting experiences that Grace and I have shared. Friends first and then business partners, Grace and I teamed up to navigate the world of parenting in a fun and informative way. Honing in on current and timely issues, Interviewing amazing expert guests and sharing our mom point of views will hopefully bring our podcast to the forefront of many conversations; we hope to be a catalyst of positive and lasting change. Selecting our interview with Dr. Sarah Weinberger as our first Episode was a natural fit. Dr. Sarah is a mom, just like we are and an expert in a field that we have come to know well. We hope you enjoy this show as much as we enjoyed producing it!
Moms have busy lives. We are the consummate multi-taskers. We juggle our careers, manage our children’s activities, shop for dinner, prepare dinner, buy clothes, help with homework, plan trips; the list goes on and on and it often feels never-ending. Sometimes as busy mothers, we can get so caught up in helping everyone around us we forget about who we are. Often women struggle with deep-rooted insecurities in connection with their appearances. An often overlooked, under-researched part of women’s struggle with self-image is their hair. Women with naturally curly hair face an even greater societal pressure to fit in and conform to society’s current ideal of straight hair. We were delighted to have Dr. Sarah Weinburger on the show to shed some light and wisdom on body positivity for both children and parents.
I first met Dr. Sarah in the playground, but I really got to know her after she contacted me when my first children’s book Curlee Girlee debuted. Curlee Girlee takes the character, Curlee Girlee, on an adventure that challenges a young girl’s sense of self and turns her struggle into a realization that being who you are and loving yourself and all your unique features, sets the path to self-love and empowerment. What I didn’t know from writing my book, but what Dr. Sarah informed me, was that Curlee Girlee’s struggle and her ultimate revelations, make her a champion for not just young girls but for women of all ages. In fact, Dr. Sarah, who is a psychologist, with a particular focus on women’s health; including body self-image, began using the Curlee Girlee book as a tool in her college classroom.
In the age of social media, women’s challenges become even more complex and navigating the pressures of being a woman in a globally connected world has even greater consequences. Dr. Sarah encourages everyone to find positive ways to address ourselves and our children and be mindful of how our view of ourselves and our body image challenges can affect our daughters’ self-esteem.
Atara and Grace want to Ensure Positive Body Image
Together Grace and I are each parenting to 2 daughters (and one son). Ensuring that our children are brought up with positive role models is of paramount importance. Finding these role models can often be a struggle, especially when you as a mom are struggling yourself. As a woman, imparting confidence to your child, begins first and foremost with feeling confident yourself. Children intuitively sense their parent’s insecurities; being able to empower ourselves will go a long way to empower our children and ensuring they become the confident adults they are meant to be. Dr. Sarah offers her expertise on how body image, in particular hair, can become a defining feature for a women and how, hair, from a cultural perspective, can be a tool of power or insecurity.
At just four years old, Dr. Sarah’s second daughter, who is another curlee girlee, is already very preoccupied with her curls. Dr. Sarah and I both agree that empowering children, at a very young age, to love their hair and all their uniqueness, will change their inner dialogue so that they can grow up to be the confident young adults able to navigate the world feeling empowered and unstoppable.
Grace added that very young girls, in first and second grade, are already using body shaming. Grace explained that in her family they work on being a curl-confident and a body-positive household. Dr. Sarah says hair is emblematic. Why are we fitting into a certain mold? From a clinical perspective, children as young as four or five years old are already having preconceived notions of what a perfect look or body type should be. We need to change those notions and begin a new dialogue.
According to Dr. Sarah’s extensive research in this area, one very important way to instill positive body image is to ensure that we as parents do not enages is ANY negative self-talk. This can be challenging when watching what you eat, or trying on clothes that you make feel uncomfortable, but it is important to ensure that your child does not pick up on your self-doubt. Dr. Sarah insists that simply providing positive affirmations to your child is not enough; if your child sees you obsess about food, agonize at the dinner table, stress about weight loss, or even look in the mirror one too many times, they will internalize those feelings and make them their own. Dr. Sarah cautions parents to avoid any and all negative body talk. This also includes not talking about friends and family as well as those in the media. This does not mean that one does not care about their appearance; rather we must be mindful of how we phrase things and model appropriate body cues so that your home becomes a home that truly embraces diversity of all kinds.
No Negative Self Talk
Grace and I would love to see a world where people view one another through lenses, that take into account the whole person, rather than allowing a cultural perspective or the media trend to define what beauty is. We all have the power to change the standard of beauty to reflect a myriad of characteristics and a diverse array of features. I always like to say that change happens slowly but then suddenly. As long as we remain both persistent and consistent, we, as a society, can be the catalyst of sustainable change.
Dr. Sarah and I both love the incredible and impactful video called “Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches”, in which women describe themselves as well one another to a forensic sketch artist Gil Zamora. Gil then produced two sketches based on these separate descriptions. The difference in the two sketches was so vast, confirming that how we see ourselves is often much harsher than how others describe and see us. Dr. Sarah challenges all of us to change how we greet one another. Rather than focusing on how someone looks as in “ you look so beautiful today”, tell your mom, or your daughter, or your best friend, how wonderful seeing them makes you feel. Shed the “you look so great!” and supplant it with “It’s so great to see you!”
Dr. Sarah is a champion for women and young girls everywhere. Her expertise in the field of hair and body image makes her an important advocate for change and someone to keep on our watch list!
Visit Grace At The Baby Spot
Visit Atara At Curlee Girlee