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How to Talk to Little Girls

How to Talk to Little Girls
I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time. Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, “Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!” But I didn’t. What’s wrong with that? Hold that thought for just a moment. This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows. “Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.” “Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice. “Hey, what are you reading?” “I LOVE books,” I said. Most kids do. “YES,” she said. “Wow, amazing!” “I’ll go get it!

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