Dr. Robyn on The Today Show: Vintage Ads Say Thin was Not Always In

These days, the word “fat” comes with a lot of baggage.  Studies tell us that fat is continually associated with unflattering words like lazy, ugly, blameworthy, gross, and unpopular.  But it wasn’t always that way.  If you look at some of the vintage ads, thin was definitely NOT always in.

vintage_weight1-222x300“Enjoy life!” “Put on 5 pounds of flesh!” “Left out because you’re too skinny?” Vintage ads paint the picture that full-figured women were the beauty standard of their era.

Over the last 100 years the celebrated standard of body beauty in advertising has morphed from one that was more voluptuous (signifying vitality, wealth, and happiness) to one that is thin (signifying, sometimes erroneously, health, perfection and self control). In the early part of the 20th century actresses and models demonstrated the voluptuous trend—prompting beauty products and subsequent advertising to address the desire to put ON weight. Things changed dramatically in the 60s with the introduction of Twiggy, in the 80s with the fitness craze (think Jane Fonda), the 90s with the introduction of the waif, and now, we still receive messages (and the studies reflect this), that to be thin is to be beautiful, sexy, controlled, successful and good. Beauty products and advertising has followed suit.

vintage_weight3-157x300These days it seems that people say the word “fat” like they are spitting it out on a plate.  This can be really confusing and upsetting for young girls who are going through puberty—a time when it’s very normal and natural to gain an average of 25 pounds! As a young girl or women is gaining weight, many look at it as “getting fat.” It’s common that people bemoan ‘I feel fat” or call themselves ugly names like “whale,,” “pig,” or “heifer.”

vintage_weight2-157x300What would it have been like to live at a time when people thought it was more beautiful to be buxom that thin? Or is the pressure the same whether it’s to be thin or to gain weight in order to fit in?

It seems like a lot more women would have fit the ideal standard if we weren’t told that we all needed to be impossibly thin to be considered attractive. But then, naturally thin women would have been left out to the definition of beauty.

At the end of the day, it still comes down to marketing. As long as there has been women’s beauty products and advertising, there have been (and there will be) messages that tell girls and women that they are not good enough, not beautiful enough, and not worthy enough unless they buy these products…and use them.

How do you think it would impact YOU and the women in your life if their was pressure to gain weight rather than lose it?

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Dr. Robyn Silverman introduces the Powerful Word Accountability

The powerful word of the month is accountability! Accountability is all about keeping our promises and commitments while also taking care of our mistakes.  It’s important to allow our children and teens to be accountable for themselves (while still being age appropriate) so that they learn (1) Making mistakes is not the end of the world; (2) When you make a “mess,” clean it up; (3) Ask for help when you need it; (4) healthy promises and commitments are something that should be kept; (5) Accountability is a crucial part of goal setting and goal getting as well as a vital part of being a good friend, student, employee, and family member.

While it may be tempting to jump in and “do it for them” when we see a child/teen challenged by a mistake s/he made (i.e. forgot his homework, lost a book) or a promise he no longer wants to keep (i.e. wants to quit a sport, doesn’t want to go to the birthday party she said she would attend), learning accountability at a young age is a great life lesson.

Children may need support or assistance at times but at others, we need to step back and allow them to take the lead.  Encourage them to tell the librarian that they lost a book and want to pay for it with their allowance.  Teach your children that once they make a commitment to a friend, it’s important that they keep that promise.  Show them that when they make a mistake, they need to admit it, apologize for it and help make it right. If they can learn this when stakes are low during childhood, they will be able to apply these life lessons to their life when stakes are higher during adulthood.

Enjoy this month’s Powerful Word! How are YOU teaching accountability in your home?

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The SNAKE that Poisons Everyone

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The original article hung on the kitchen cabinet of my childhood home for over 20 years– an important reminder to every member of our family of the power of gossip.

As bullying continues to make headlines, we know that gossip is a major component of bullying.  It ads fuel to the fire.  It is a vehicle to punish.  It excludes many while including a few– who is on either side can change on a dime.

My husband and I have often told the young people we mentor, if people will do it for you, they’ll do it to you.  In this case, if they are gossiping with you, they will likely gossip about you. While gossip can seem fun and frivolous to those who are doing it, it can feel quite painful to those who are discussed. Be careful of those who engage in this behavior as you might just be the one bitten next!

I think I learned that lesson the hard way as an elementary school student who used to tell secrets in order to try to connect and make friends.  Of course, this would backfire.  As you can imagine, I was glad I learned that lesson early!

Has the gossip snake bitten anyone in your home or your school? If you could hang this anywhere to remind someone to watch what they say, where would you hang it?

Feel free to print it out and share. I can still practically recite it verbatim as I read it more often throughout my childhood than I’ll ever know. Not a bad thing. I think my Mom was onto something…

drrobynsig170 The SNAKE that Poisons Everyone

 

The SNAKE that Poisons Everyone is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

The Revolution Reveal: 20 Day Swimsuit Challenge

It was so fun to be back on The Revolution for the 20 Day Swimsuit drtiff1-300x227 Challenge Reveal with Ryan-Ashley and Terry- newly confident and ready to show the world just how beautiful they are! Positive body image never looked so good!

How do you look great in a swimsuit this summer? Remember to be confident in yourself.  It’s not about diets and bashing your body– it’s about loving yourself and embracing your curves.  Yes, we always want to make healthy choices for ourselves AND part of being healthy is reminding your brain that you are beautiful and worthy just the way you are. Banish the body bully within that tries to tell you a different story.

drrobynsig170 The Revolution Reveal: 20 Day Swimsuit Challenge

The Revolution Reveal: 20 Day Swimsuit Challenge is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

From Princess to Trucker: How Girls Can Color Inside & Outside the Gender Lines

splitscreen-300x214My daughter loves to twirl around in a tutu.  She loves to play “trucks” and “doctor.” She pretends to be a fairy princess and a dinosaur. She climbs.  She runs. She kicks. She investigates bugs and touches worms. She plays with dolls, gets elbow deep in water play at the sink and digs in the sand at the playground. Oh, and she gets dirty.  Boy, can she do that well. She loves it all.

My husband and I have chosen to let her find her own way when it comes to her passions and her preferences.   We expose her to all different kinds of experiences and watch what she enjoys.  We don’t pigeon hole or steer clear of anything because it’s too “girly” or too “boyish.” I don’t really care what the labels are.  She is who she is and I love it.

Last Saturday she dressed up as a princess for her good friend’s “royal” dance party.  Pearls, a tiara, a fancy pink dress with a tutu attached.  She was in her glory.

On Sunday we took her to “Touch-A-Truck” where she could get in real tractors, cranes, buses, ambulances and back hoes and work the levers, pull the horn, push the buttons, and open and close the doors.  Again, she was in her glory. She is free to float up and down the preset gender continuum and it’s a beautiful thing.

If we are to help our daughters and our sons truly become all that they can be, they can’t be boxed in, pushed down and told to remain strong-footed on one side or the other of some prefabricated line. As parents and teachers, it is up to us to open our children up to the whole world rather than closing them off to a part that might make them truly feel at home.

For us, we feel that if our daughter is to become the person she was meant to be on this planet, we can’t limit her. Keeping safety and character in tact, we simply don’t keep her from experiencing, exploring and experimenting.  I want her to keep all 5 senses open and sharp so she can discover…herself.

No boxes, no ceilings, no lines. Just her. In her glory.

drrobynsig170

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From Princess to Trucker: How Girls Can Color Inside & Outside the Gender Lines is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

From Princess to Trucker: How Our Children Can Color Inside & Outside the Gender Lines

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Tallie; on Saturday as a princess and on Sunday as a trucker!

My daughter loves to twirl around in a tutu.  She loves to play “trucks” and “doctor.” She pretends to be a fairy princess and a dinosaur. She climbs.  She runs. She kicks. She investigates bugs and touches worms. She plays with dolls, gets elbow deep in water play at the sink and digs in the sand at the playground. Oh, and she gets dirty.  Boy, can she do that well. She loves it all.

My husband and I have chosen to let her find her own way when it comes to her passions and her preferences.   We expose her to all different kinds of experiences and watch what she enjoys.  We don’t pigeon hole or steer clear of anything because it’s too “girly” or too “boyish.” I don’t really care what the labels are.  She is who she is and I love it.

Last Saturday she dressed up as a princess for her good friend’s “royal” dance party.  Pearls, a tiara, a fancy pink dress with a tutu attached.  She was in her glory.

On Sunday we took her to “Touch-A-Truck” where she could get in real tractors, cranes, buses, ambulances and back hoes and work the levers, pull the horn, push the buttons, and open and close the doors.  Again, she was in her glory. She is free to float up and down the preset gender continuum and it’s a beautiful thing.

If we are to help our daughters and our sons truly become all that they can be, they can’t be boxed in, pushed down and told to remain strong-footed on one side or the other of some prefabricated line. As parents and teachers, it is up to us to open our children up to the whole world rather than closing them off to a part that might make them truly feel at home.

For us, we feel that if our daughter is to become the person she was meant to be on this planet, we can’t limit her. Keeping safety and character in tact, we simply don’t keep her from experiencing, exploring and experimenting.  I want her to keep all 5 senses open and sharp so she can discover…herself.

No boxes, no ceilings, no lines. Just her. In her glory.

drrobynsig170

 

We’re talking about this on Facebook! Join us!

From Princess to Trucker: How Our Children Can Color Inside & Outside the Gender Lines is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

Time Magazine’s Cover Promotes More Competition in Moms: Are YOU Mom Enough?

time_breastfeeding1-225x300I’m not going to belabor the point.  I do, however, feel it important for me to address the underlying message women–mothers– get when looking at the May 2012 Time Magazine cover featuring 26 year old Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her three year old son, Aram.

There are so many messages out there pitting one mom against the other.  Who works, who stays home. Who is class mother and who writes the check for more school supplies. Who is soccer mom and who can attend a game only from time to time.

Someone always loses out.

In this cover article, it’s not the breastfeeding component that strikes me.  it’s the title. Are you Mom enough?  What’s implied is that some are and some aren’t.  And of course, the self-critical voice inside your head has to ask; where do I fall?

I don’t like it. How many more times do we need to bash ourselves as Moms? Who’s thinner? Who’s prettier? Who’s more popular with the in-crowd in town? Come on. Parenting is hard enough.

How do you feel about it? I have to wonder if I’m the only one who was frustrated about the secondary implications of this article…

Time Magazine’s Cover Promotes More Competition in Moms: Are YOU Mom Enough?is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

Spring Cleaning! How to Clear Out the Medicine Cabinet So You Actually Know Where Things Are

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We had a pretty ridiculous practice in our house.  When one of our kids got sick (or we got sick ourselves…usually because they were sick), we went out to the drug store and got whatever we needed to help that person feel better. While on face value that might sounds completely normal and reasonable, the truth is that we already had all the stuff we needed.  We just didn’t know where to find it!

To say Spring Cleaning and getting organized was necessary is a real understatement.  What a mess!  As you can see, everything was dumped into containers and shoved in our linen closet and in random places around the house.  Cough medicine, band-aids, Pepto-bismol, extra bottles of pain reliever and the kids medicines were swimming together in a sea of anarchy. There was no rhyme or reason to the madness.

It was time to do something about it.  I figure, perhaps I’m not the only one who had this problem—and if I am, let this article serve as a reminder to myself of what was and how things should be!

(1) Gather it all together: Get everything that’s considered medicine or treatment for ailments in one place.  Go into every medicine cabinet and take out the pill bottles you haven’t even looked at in years.  Rescue the Band-aids from the bottom of the closet and the Neosporin from whomever’s room where you used it last. Now, dump it out on the floor or on the table so you can see everything.

springclean_5-225x300(2) Check for dates: Go through every pill and medicine bottle and check for the expiration dates. You may be surprised.  Well, maybe not surprised but perhaps a little concerned or embarrassed.  Whoops!  Here’s one pill bottle I found from 2008—yup, I think that one’s a goner.  Um…dispose of those!

(3) Categorize: Put each medication or treatment into a category.  For example, “Stomach pain,” “First-aid,” “Cold & Flu,” “Ears, Eyes, & Throat,” and “Muscle soreness.”  You can have a miscellaneous if you don’t know where it fits.

(4) Box it up: Put the medications and treatments in clear drawers or clear boxes based on the categories you made. Place it in neatly so you springclean_4-300x225 don’t have to rummage through everything to find what you are looking for…at midnight…with the lights off. Make extra little boxes to keep elsewhere if you often use certain things very often in a separate area of your home. For example, I made a “Boo Boo Box” because, well, I have 2 young kids who run into things a lot.  And I also made a box for all of my daughter’s hair ties and accessories—it was one of the most exciting parts of this process.  I don’t know how to explain how good it feels to have all that stuff in one place instead of all over my house.  Someone reading this will understand—others will likely think I’m nuts.

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(5) Label it:  If you have a label machine, by all means, use it!  If you don’t, just write out what’s in the box on card stock, construction paper, or mailing labels.

(6) Place it in the closet and marvel: Wow.  Did you know you had that much space?  I know.  The question is looming; why didn’t you do this sooner?  That was knocking around in my brain too.  Forget that.  You did it!  How cool are you?

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It was a little odd, but I was actually couldn’t wait until someone needed something. A little nerdy of me– but hey, I knew where it was! Stomach pain? Here you go! Lozenges? Back in a flash!  Of course, with a young family, I didn’t have to wait long.  And that boo boo box certainly has gotten a work out already.

Good luck to you!

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Spring Cleaning! How to Clear Out the Medicine Cabinet So You Actually Know Where Things Are is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

Plastic surgery to look like a celebrity: Dr. Robyn on The Anderson Cooper Show

 

Credit: Anderson

Credit: Anderson

Whether it’s to slim down with lipo, get butt implants, undergo botox or augment the breasts, some women are getting multiple procedures at young ages. I sat down with some of the women who are past or current plastic surgery clients to talk about my views of this practice and how we can refocus on what’s truly important.There is a disturbing trend, according to plastic surgeons, that shows that more people are going under the knife to look like their favorite celebrities.  Jennifer Lopez. Carmen Electra. Megan Fox. These are some of the favorite target faces, boobs, and butts of plastic surgery clients in America.

Brandie, the woman in the middle of the photo, tells us in the preview of the show; “When you look beautiful, that’s how you make money. Doesn’t everyone want to make money?” Do you agree? What do you think of getting plastic surgery to look like a celebrity?  Worth the risk or not?

(Preview of show below)

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Plastic surgery to look like a celebrity: Dr. Robyn on The Anderson Cooper Show is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System

Summer Body Confidence: Dr. Robyn Silverman on The Revolution

Swimsuit season is often a time when many people feel insecure about their bodies.  We tend to hear lots of concerns. Thighs are too big.  Stomach isn’t flat enough.  Boobs and butt aren’t where they’re supposed to be anymore.

drtiff-300x227On the set of The Revolution, along with Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, I speak with 2 women who are embarking on a 20 day swimsuit challenge.  My feeling is that the real change must come from the inside.  How they feel about their bodies, how they talk to themselves, and how they recognize all the wonderful things their bodies allow them to do everyday can change their perspective.

timgunnb-300x215What do you think?  I’ll be back in the studio for the “reveal” and we’ll see how far these women have come! What wonderful people– and I loved meeting Dr. Tiffanie and Tim Gunn. Lots of fun…looking forward to reveal day!

 

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Summer Body Confidence: Dr. Robyn Silverman on The Revolution is a post from: Dr. Robyn Silverman – Child Development Specialist, Body Image Expert, Success Coach & the Creator of the Powerful Words Character Development System