I contributed to an article for the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and I’d like your perspective on the topic.
Did your father contribute to or help you with your eating disorder?
It seems to me fathers, and men in general, are more active and involved on this blog, my youtube and in email. I believe they are tuned eating disorders, and their concern for their daughters rises with the tide.
The 1950’s are over. No more stern, old Fathers sitting at the sidelines watching gentle Mother handle the girlie issues. Thank goodness. Today’s dad’s seem to be willing to jump right in there and express themselves, and urge their daughters to do the same.
My father was and is nothing short of amazing. Always has been and always will be. He had a way of listening, not judging, and above all trusting me (even when he sure as hell shouldn’t have!)
I knew he would love me no matter what. I was a model, and yes he was proud of that, but only because I was proud of it. When my interests shifted elsewhere, he followed along, with a keen sense awareness that my woven path was part of growing up.
His role was to observe my path, not drive it.
Did you father realize this? Or did he push, and preach, and send you mixed messages?
Paul Nyhan, SeattlePI
The main advice I gave to Paul Nyhan, the reporter for SeattlePI, and a father of a two year old girl;
1) If you call your daughter fat, she will never, ever forget it.
2) Listen to her express her feelings about her body. Don’t shove her feelings away or cut her off. Just listen.
3) Don’t pretend to be the expert, because you aren’t. No man possibly could be. The female conscience on body image is a long, weird, tangled mess – us girls don’t even get it half the time!
What advice would you add to this list?
Be real. Be blunt. Tell him the facts.
I’ll invite Paul to read your responses so he can gather a full view a father’s impact on eating disorders, body image, and the whole beauty saga.