To my dear friends, and all who are popping in for the first time-
I am soooooo close to reaching my 300th follower! How exciting! Please, if you are not already, follow and boost my self esteem! Lets see if I can kick myself over that 300 follower hump today!!!!
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Touchy Topic Tuesday:
Parenting Magazine's August Issue Mom Debate:
"Would you pose naked for a magazine or website if it would pay for your child's college education?"
I LOVE magazines. Well, to be specific, I love catalogs. I like to look at pages and pages of adorable and expensive home decor, children's clothing, and Victoria Secret lingerie. I love Martha Stewart's magazine, and wishing I had time and money to spend pruning roses, arranging them and then use them to spruce up a table meant for an elegant party with wonderful foods and desserts that I prepared myself. Particularly when that party might be for a spooky, yet adorably tasteful Halloween bash, or a lavish Christmas dinner where everyone dresses formally. I could dress my children in something precious from Boden.
I like Better Homes and Gardens, and Country Living. How delicious, or spacious and just so beautifully quaint. My mom subscribes to them all, and I usually end up bringing them home with me in boxes once she is done with them.
My husband subscribes to National Geographic, which we pour over each month, always interested in whatever articles they may have. Debates always follow, and, of course, we always feel a bit smarter afterwords.
I do NOT, however, love- or even like, for that matter- parenting magazines.
Child, Parenthood, Baby, Parenting, etc. Those magazines have even more of an ability to make me feel awful about myself as a person, a parent and an adult than any teen magazine ever did, and even more so than walking through a Victoria Secret store while 9 months pregnant, too large to fit even into my own maternity clothes, therefore, sporting my husbands pajama pants and a 6 year old Air Force t-shirt.
I HATE being told what to do or how I'm doing it wrong and what I SHOULD be doing when it comes to parenting. And I sometimes get severely irritated by letters to the editor and/or some of the poll results from the questions they pose each month.
So, the solution is easy, right? Don't subscribe.
Yeah, I don't.
EXCEPT that earlier in my pregnancy, I happened to buy a shirt and pair of pants from A Pea In the Pod, and my purchase came with a free one year subscription to Parenting magazine.
I didn't think much of it, figured I'd flip through and then throw them out, maybe rip out a page of recipes here or there, which, for the most part, is how the process has gone.
In the August issue, however, I came across something that I found pretty severely shocking to me.
As mentioned above, in every issue there is a question posed, and you can vote and leave comments online, and they publish the results in the next month's issue.
In August, the results were for the question: Would you pose naked for a magazine or website if it would pay for your child's college education?
The question wasn't shocking. Not even the results. Okay- I'm lying. The results WERE shocking to me, as 53% of women who answered said....YES!!!!!! 47% obviously said No. And what's shocking about that was that MORE THAN HALF of the women who answered, which, in some degree, represents mothers as a collective entity, apparently have no morals.
Yes, I realize that's a blatant and forward statement. I do not feel that posing naked for pictures that are to be published for public view is in any way moral or admirable. IN ANY DEGREE. I don't care if it pays for a cure for cancer. There is absolutely no reason that a woman should have the feeling that demeaning her body by allowing a world full of men and or/women to ogle, discuss, masturbate to, or otherwise demoralize her body. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with a woman being comfortable in her skin, or feeling beautiful, or good enough. It has to do with morals- or better yet, the lack thereof.
PerHAPS I might understand a little more, if not agree with, the majority being FOR the option if the rhetorical situation had to do with a mother's starving children or something else that otherwise played on the emotions. But, a college education?
Well, maybe it's because my husband and I paid our own ways through college with grants, loans and military service, while working full time or multiple jobs, but I don't really have any sympathy for kids who whine about their parents who won't pay for college. And I don't have any empathy for parents who feel like they're failures because they can't support their own lives as well as their college student.
When I plan to have a baby, while I take into consideration how much money it will cost to HAVE the squishy little thing- hospital, doctors visit, etc.- as well as how much food will cost when the baby eventually joins us at the table, clothing, toys, and so on, a college education is not something I plan on providing for my children. (But that is a debate for another time, and for the record, I am, by no means, saying that college is not important.)
No, the most shocking part of this poll were the answers on the "for" side of it:
"What's a one time public embarrassment compared to my child's future? (BTW,that's saying a lot coming from me because I don't even like my husband seeing me naked.)"
My opinion: HOW would you be comfortable showing your body to a world full of men who have ZERO respect for you when you can't even let your husband, who loves you enough to be WITH you and be MARRIED to you, to have CHILDREN with you, see your body?
Are you aware that this would not be a one time embarrassment? Magazines will be kept for a good long time by some people. Online sites keep anything that makes money. You could be around a long time on one of those. And if you did that, forget ever becoming a school teacher or police officer or any other number of jobs. Those kinds of things are the types that are researched and found when background checks are made. Your child, in possible actuality, might be very able to find you there, so obviously exposed to the world, on his/her own.
Also, I have to wonder if the mother that posted this has a very young child at the moment. I think that she might be basing this opinion on her child being very little, because if she did it now, she thinks it would just go away, and she'd have money for her baby's college, far in the future...but, exactly how do you think her child might feel, being a tween, or teen or even IN college at the time, having a mother that poses nude for a magazine. I think that some mothers might hope or even be sure that their child would be proud of her, and thankful. I think, in actuality, that the child of an exposed mother would just feel very exposed his/herself.
"I would do it because I never even got a high school education and i know that I can't afford to send my kids to college. I want them to have an easier time in this world than I did. A real parent would sacrifice anything for her children, including her own self-respect and dignity, and would teach her kids to think the same way when it comes to their own children."
My Opinion: This answer is the one that probably ticked me off the most. First of all, if you didn't get a high school education, I feel that it explains a lot about this idiot response. A person who has children and has the self motivation, guts, self discipline, and self respect, to go BACK to school, get a high school diploma or college degree is going to set a better example and gain more respect from her children, and influence their decisions to finish high school and go to college than a mother who takes her clothes off for money- even if that money is for them.
Every parent wants their child to have a better life than theirs was. But I'm not sure that giving them an "easier" life is the way to go about it. The entitled-ness of some of the teenagers I teach at my church is ridiculous sometimes, and I think making them work for something is a good idea. Even if that means college. Yeah. It's expensive. So what. There are ways to get through it.
You say "A real parent would sacrifice anything for her children, even her own self respect...."...riiiiight. A REAL parent, huh? I don't think anyone needs to tell me or any OTHER "real" parent about sacrifice. We all do things every single day that we don't like doing. We give up careers, friends, financial stability, cute sports cars, our perky breasts, tight buts, flat tummies and narrow hips. Most of us find this sacrifice rewarding in the long run. But if you want to talk about sacrifice, let's go back to my first paragraph in this response to you: Go back to school YOURSELF. GAIN some self respect as opposed to sacrificing it. Sacrificing self respect is NOT a sacrifice. It's not admirable. It's martyrdom and completely abhorrent. I want my children to respect me, not be disappointed in me. I want them to see me and be proud of me, not remember my naked body out there for all to see. I want my children to know that i worked hard for them, that I did my very best to be an example to them and be the kind of person i want them to be. I wouldn't want them to take the easy way out. So I can't do that either. Posing naked to pay for college isn't something I want my daughters to do. How I can I send that message to them if it's something that I am willing to do? I suggest that you reevaluate your definition of a "REAL" parent.
"I would do anything for my son, and would love to show the world what a real woman looks like! Maybe my stretch marks would make girls think twice about premarital sex too- lol."
My Opinion: My suggestion is that you go work for Dove and their "Real women, real beauty" campaign. They don't make you take your clothes off, at least not in a sexual way. And your stretch marks will be welcome there. I wouldn't feel ashamed for my son or daughter to see me on a Dove commercial, but opening up a website where I stood there in my skin, or lay across a centerfold would be off limits in my home. I'm pretty sure that the world knows what a real woman looks like...and for the most part, that's why they look at porn sites. Because they're not real women. They're painted and edited and the lighting is adjusted accordingly. The world sees real women every day. And women who pose naked and allow themselves to be changed (because Playboy would not let a PERFECT woman pose without airbrushing her) are perpetuating the tolerance that the world has for the lies you think you could single handedly change.
Furthermore, whoever would agree that teenage girls seeing stretchmarks would keep them from having premarital sex is lying to themselves. Or they're insanely naive. It's like how, in health class in 10th grade, they showed us a video of a birth, and two or three of the boys fainted. Did it stop us from having sex? Well- I didn't have sex, but that was a moral and religious reason, not because I saw a baby pushed out a vagina with all the gore that that implies. But no, it didn't stop "us". If that were so effective, it wouldn't just stop teens, it would stop women from EVER having children. You don't just suddenly get over the fear of stretch marks and labor pains when you grow up and get married. That's just a really stupid theory.
Anyway, as it stands, it's pretty obvious that I would never in a million years pose for a magazine, or website or anything naked in the name of my child. (Or anything else for that matter.) And I'm not exactly a prude. I AM religious, and i believe in personal modesty. I believe in self respect, and I believe that public nudity is demeaning, irresponsible, and just all around a bad example. I don't believe that any good can come of it. I am comfortable in my skin. I feel I'm a very pretty girl, with curves, and battle scars (stretch marks) that I'm insanely proud of. I don't cover my body in thick sweaters all year long, or worry about putting on a swimming suit. But I feel that I am worth, and my children deserve, more than sexual exploitation.
PLEASE contribute to today's Touchy Topic Tuesday and let us know where YOU stand on this topic and why!
Remember, differing opinions are allowed, encouraged, and respected, but personal attacks, foul language, and otherwise mean comments will not be tolerated, and will be deleted immediately.