Beautiful Girls RULE
Give your daughter the gift of self-esteem.
Published: January 15, 2013
Discover your empowering legacy.
Dr. Christiane Northrup is a visionary pioneer and the world’s leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Her New York Times bestsellers Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, The Wisdom of Menopause and Mother-Daughter Wisdom have helped empower women around the world to tune in to their innate wisdom to positively transform their health. Now she has written her first children’s book to remind young girls around the ages of 2 to 6 of how beautiful they truly are. Dr. Northrup shares her thoughts about writing this new book, Beautiful Girl, in the interview here:
HEAL YOUR LIFE: Why did you write Beautiful Girl, your first children’s book?
DR. CHRISTIANE NORTHRUP: I have always liked working “upstream” long before health problems hit the body. That’s why I was attracted to obstetrics/gynecology in the first place. When a woman is pregnant, she’s very motivated to take care of her health. Her baby’s health will be affected by the choices she makes. Likewise, research shows that most of the ideas and beliefs we have about ourselves and the world are firmly in place by the age of 11, possibly even younger.
All over the world today, many girls still get the idea that their bodies are somehow not as good as a boy’s body. These girls—who later grow up to be women with girls of their own—get the message that there is something wrong with their bodies. They are told that they are weaker in spirit, not worth educating, somehow cursed because of their menstrual cycle, and so forth. This message translates to the core belief that there is something wrong with THEM. And then this message gets passed on to the next generation.
I want women and girls everywhere to know—deep in their bone marrow—that girls are born whole and perfect, and nothing can alter that. Though we can change at any age, wouldn’t it be better to have an imprint of self-love firmly in place at a young age?
HYL: What are some of the themes in Beautiful Girl that you are the most proud of?
CN: I am very proud of the beauty and the wonder of this book, the idea that our female bodies are connected with nature just like a garden. When you see the illustrations you will easily envision your beautiful girl’s face flushed with delight and wonder as she explores the pages with you.
HYL: Even though this is a children’s book, I hear that women much older have had some surprising reactions to your book.
CN: Yes—and this has touched me deeply. When the book was just in galley form, I showed it to my mother (age 87) and her best friend Anne (age 89). They were both VERY touched by it and its message. My mother said, “Boy—if only I had had a book like this when I was a little girl. It would have changed everything.” Another woman, my housekeeper, was in tears when she read the book. It spoke very deeply to the little girl inside her.
HYL: How important is a women’s body image to her health?
CN: A woman’s body image is absolutely paramount to her health. In fact, studies have shown that those who think of themselves as healthy are indeed healthy—no matter what is really going on with their bodies. All health begins with how we perceive ourselves and our bodies.
I remember when my mother taught me about my menstrual cycle and pregnancy. She, like millions of other mothers before and since, did not have the words or the experience to teach me about the miraculous cycle in my body—the cycle that is responsible for all human life on our planet and connects us to the moon and the tides. Nor did she have the words to teach me about the gift of sensual pleasure that is the birthright of all girls. If she had, my life surely would have been different. For one, I probably would not have suffered from devastating menstrual cramps for decades. I do not blame her. She did the best she could, given her background and the era in which she came of age.
When a little girl is brought up to accept, respect, and enjoy the processes and feelings in her female body, her health will be nourished and supported at the most basic level, including her immunity and hormonal balance. And she probably won’t have to spend years recovering from shame and female pain that has nothing to do with her—but which are too often the result of an adverse legacy passed down all too often in families.
HYL: Some of our readers will be surprised to learn that you too have struggled with body image. Can you tell us a little about this?
CN: When I was little, my parents and some family friends suggested that I was built like a MACK truck—that I was “solid.” Inside I had always wanted to be a dancer. But those early messages convinced me that I was too “thick” and too “fat” to ever be the lovely girl I really wanted to be. These messages stayed with me for years. And are finally going away. But really—why wait 50 plus years to heal something that never needs to be damaged in the first place!
HYL: There is still so much violence against women and many places in the world where women and girls are considered second-class citizens. What can we do as a society to give women and girls more opportunities as well as safer environments in which to live and work?
CN: As Albert Einstein said, “Our problems will not be solved with the same thinking that created them.” So the pathway out of this gender inequality is, believe it or not, to begin with YOURSELF. And to stop any “war on” mentality. No more “War on Fat” or “War on Cancer” or war on ANYTHING. You can’t create a new world for others unless you’ve done the human homework of healing yourself. And as more and more individuals do this work, we will naturally be drawn to like-minded people. Together—as a community of support and caring—we can change the vibration that created the rape and abuse of that which is feminine in the first place and transform it into light and joy. And that—in many places and in many ways—is exactly what is happening on the planet right now! In men as well as women!
One such movement is One Billion Rising, whose theme this year is Strike, Dance, and Rise.
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Learning to love yourself should not become a life-long challenge that most of us never meet. Self-love is part of your birthright. I’m excited to be sharing this message to “beautiful girls” everywhere, including those disguised as grandmothers.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.
Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and the world’s leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at her Website.