Pretty Parenting in the Press: Last week’s media appearances

Last week, in between two month vaccines (I may have cried more than he did!) and StrollFit classes to try to lose that baby weight, I was busy talking about a few different strands of my research.

1) I appeared on NECN’s The Morning Show to talk about a new, disturbing trend: T(w)een girls posting YouTube videos of themselves (along with pictures, sometimes in various stages of undress) asking if they are pretty or not. Some of the comments are particularly upsetting, if you dare to look (for example, here and here).

I look better 9 weeks postpartum than I did at 9 months, but I still have a long way to go before I look like Beyonce. Then again, I don’t have any of the resources (time OR money!) to exercise four hours a day. And, given, the content of this story I don’t think it’s very healthy for me to stress about this too much– so long as Carston is healthy and happy! Speaking of the Little Man, he seemed to enjoy seeing me on TV (and, no, don’t worry we don’t really let him watch television yet…)

Little Man watching Mommy on NECN’s The Morning Show, talking parenting

If you truly want to be disturbed by another young girl sexualizing herself on YouTube (apparently with the approval and encouragement of her mother), check out this story on 15-year-old “living” doll Venus Palermo, with quotes from yours truly on the matter.

2) Of course it’s not just t(w)een girls who worry about their looks. Thanks to child beauty pageants, girls as young as six weeks can start to fuss over their appearances. But one French senator hopes that won’t be the case for French girls; Chantal Jouanno has a proposal to ban child beauty pageants in France (among other things). Here’s a French article on the subject that quotes me (extra points if you can translate my quotes!). I’ll share some other French media, and my thoughts on this legislation later next week.

3) The parenting scandal of 2011, featuring Tiger Mom Amy Chua, continues to have legs. A group of teenage girls from Indianapolis interviewed me for this article that they wrote in The Indianapolis Star (they are part of a very interesting program for aspiring journalists called Y-Press).  If you’re interested in more of my thoughts on the Tiger Mom, check out my USA Today column, Contexts article, and book review in The Huffington Post.

4) On a parenting note, I was quoted in an article on how to ask for help with your newborn (“How to get help with your newborn: New mom survival tips.” Michelle Maffei. March 11, 2012). I swear, I can’t say enough about a truly knowledgeable baby nurse, like Kathy Todd-Seymour’s Mother & Child. If you value sleep, and no inter-generational parenting arguments, it’s worth it! Plus, it may help you return to work productivity (such as it is, especially if you are nursing) even sooner.

Have a great week, everyone!



  1. Particulary disturbing, those YouTube videos of kids wanting to know if they’re pretty… As a former therapist I want to sit down and do a little CBT… As a mom I want to take them out for dinner and talk about what really matters. All while telling them how they are beautiful nut real beauty comes from within…

  2. *but, not nut 😉

  3. concerned says:

    Heartbreaking. I remembering being that age, it’s a tough time period. The social lives these girls have within the walls of their school can be an absolute nightmare to them, especially during that time when they are dealing with their body changes and have that natural, strong desire to be excepted by their peers. Some schools have tried over the past few years to meet the challenges of bullying. They’ve really tried to talk to the student body. For bullying and things related to it, such as this, i think it’s important for every single student to see their school counselor on a quarterly/semester basis. It can give each student some one-on-one time that will allow them a comfortable atmosphere and oppurtunity to freely speak about whats going on in their heads. It can also give them a chance to learn how to deal with the pressure when furture situations come up….which they will. And if anything of serious nature is found then it can be delt with accordingly. …So a lot more open communication (preferable starting at home but unfortunately thats not always the case), reassurance of their self-worth, confidence booster, and then educating them on How-To-Deal the next time a situation arrises. If there was more communication between child and adult and open love and concern there would be less viral videos on YouTube…

  4. It’s called “fishing for compliments”. They know they are cute (for girls their age), and they want other ppl to tell them what they already know. Yeah. That stuff doesn’t change with age… Just saying…It’s about being narcissistic and self-centered.

    • Rick is right. They know exactly what they are doing. They have most people faked into believing that they are just innocent teens..


  1. […] is a disturbing, growing trend,” she says noting the recent trend of pre-teen girls asking viewers if they’re […]

  2. […] is a disturbing, growing trend,” she says noting the recent trend of pre-teen girls asking viewers if they’re […]

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