The ideas behind the origins of Meadow Muffin Gardens involved a lot more than a love for the great outdoors and simplifying our lives. A parent to two children, a son and a daughter, has really opened my eyes to our cultural stereotypes and the double standards between boys and girls. By the time my daughter was a preteen I had much concern as to the world in she was a part of in our western culture. I didn't have a problem having girl time painting toenails and dressing up in Mom's high heels. I did have a problem with my ten-year old thinking she was fat. Fat compared to what?
I wasn't naive about subliminal messages behind television programs and commercials. We did our best to monitor what type of programming the kids' watched, and made good use of films by
Feature Films for Families. Their motto is "family movies with family values".
Regardless, we don't live in a bubble and being social creatures we are going to be exposed to the cultural environment around us. We can't simply blame our children's friends for being a bad influence. They are as much a victim of it all as our own kids. We absorb our ways of thinking from the society in which we live, and very often never really step outside of it all to look at and question why we behave the way we do.
A very good read and highly recommended is the book,
Reviving Ophelia, by Dr. Mary Pipher.
A description of the book is as follows:
"Everybody who has survived adolescence knows what a scary, tumultuous, exciting time it is. But if we use memories of our experiences to guide our understanding of what today's girls are living through, we make a serious mistake. Our daughters are living in a new world. Reviving Ophelia is a call to arms from Dr. Mary Pipher, a psychologist who has worked with teenagers for more than a decade. She finds that in spite of the women's movement, which has empowered adult women in some ways, teenage girls today are having a harder time than ever before because of higher levels of violence and sexism. The current crises of adolescence - frequent suicide attempts, dropping out of school and running away from home, teenage pregnancies in unprecedented numbers, and an epidemic of eating disorders - are caused not so much by "dysfunctional families" or incorrect messages from parents as by our media-saturated, lookist, girl-destroying culture. Young teenagers are not developmentally equipped to meet the challenges that confront them."
So to keep communication open between my daughter and myself during those tortuous, self-conscious early teen years we put some humor up on the wall. She loved it, and discussing these issues through these little quips really did help her develop a healthier attitude and self-worth.
Fight Fat, not Food
Flatter, don't Flaunt
Flirt with some Class, Floozies fall on their a**
These music videos, "Mirror, Mirror" by Barlow Girl, and "More Beautiful You" by Jonny Diaz, do a good job portraying the battle with self-image amidst our girls in this society.
The motto behind my shop was the brainstorm of my son
"Beauty is only an herb away".
Beauty shouldn't be trying to create an image or cover up "flaws" using synthetic imitations encouraged by commercial hype.
Utilizing plants that grow right out the back door can heighten your awareness of a partnership with nature.
Shifting to natural body care gears you away from commercial hype concerning beauty and more towards trusting your own intuition.
Feel nurtured and more spiritually in tune with what your body needs to remain in good health, which is the description of beauty.
Trust your instincts in the choices you make in how to take care of yourself. Build a sense of mind, body and spiritual awareness and your inner light will shine. That is the definition of beautiful.