As a natural product lover I was aware of chemicals in the foods we eat, the products we bring into our homes and those we expose ourselves to each day with our personal care.
But this awareness hit home when my first daughter was born. She suffered from asthma and severe allergies as a baby. Up until that point I was a light shade of green, convincing myself that bleach really was better at cleaning than vinegar.
Suddenly I began to read every label and question every ingredient. I blamed myself: was it something I ate, or did not eat during pregnancy? Whatever the cause, the reality was that I was in the emergency room every few months because my daughter’s croup was so bad she could not breathe.
Fortunately, we identified food allergies that were partially to blame, and as her lungs developed further, her asthma got better. Our last scare was on a cruise ship when she was two years old. Her croup was so bad that she was turning blue and they could not find a doctor. (The reason I will never set foot on a cruise ship again…but that’s another story).
So what happens when baby number two is born just as sick, but instead of croup she gets pneumonia?
You get angry, very angry.
My journey to discovering a better way is not uncommon. Moms move mountains when it comes to protecting their kids, and moms have advocated so strongly against ingredients like BPA that it’s no longer in baby bottles. Yeah, moms!
So life is good. I’ve got the hang of this natural thing, and my girls are growing healthy and strong. I’ll tell you what happens, tween happens.
Tweens = toxic chemicals in pink bottles
Toxic chemicals in pink bottles filled with sulfates, phthalates, parabens and fragrance. Argh! Are you kidding me?
I’ve just spent the last 9 years of my life keeping my daughters away from chemicals, and now brands like Barbie, Bonnie Bell and Hello Kitty want to lure them to the dark side with petrochemicals for their lips and PEG’s in the shower? No Thank You.
So I do what any sane, pissed off mom would do. I start a company devoted to girls.
OK, perhaps it was not really the sane thing to do, but I knew if I was looking for healthy, natural products for my daughters, there had to be other moms just like me.
The reality is crazy. Girls are entering puberty almost two years earlier than in the 1950’s, and 4 years earlier than just a century ago. The average age of menstruation is now a little bit above age 12, with 50% of girls developing breasts almost two years earlier.
The media targets tweens
Not only are girls maturing sooner, but the media ruthlessly targets them with Photo Shop to create false, unattainable images of beauty.
Marketers want a piece of the 51 billion annually spent by 8-12 twelve year olds, and the influence they have over another $170 billion annually spent on them by parents and family.
No wonder there’s an increase in self-esteem issues and body image problems for girls as young as 9 years old.
In 2008 The Environmental Working Group did the first-ever study where they tested the blood and urine of 20 girls age 14 to 19 across the US. They discovered 16 hormone-altering chemicals only found in personal care products and cosmetics.
Don’t get me wrong. I love beauty products. I think they provide an amazing and often overlooked opportunity to talk to your daughter about protecting and taking care of her body.
Girls need hygiene. They need to wash their face and use deodorant, and now they need it even earlier than we did.
Talk to your daughter
Sticking your head in the sand and pretending your little girl isn’t stinky or sprouting blackheads will not solve anything. In fact it will leave her with a ton of questions, confusion and doubt. Frankly if you don’t talk to her, her friends and the Internet will.
Harness your inner girl (I know she’s in there) and talk to your daughter. Make it special. Talk about the amazing and natural changes going on in her body, and how chemicals like phthalates, parabens and fragrance have been linked to hormone development.
Tell her some funny stories about when your body was going through changes. Despite what you think, girls want to hear these stories from you. They need to know these changes are normal. Puberty can be scary at 14 and downright terrifying at age 11.
Introduce her to effective and age appropriate products like Good For You Girls natural skincare; products she will love with natural ingredients you can feel good about.
Teaching your daughter to love and respect her body is one of the best gifts you will ever give her. The earlier you start the conversation, the more she will hear you and take it to heart.
And when you buy her beautiful skincare products, you just might get a few “cool mom!” points. So jump on the hormone wagon and have some fun. You will be so glad you did, and so will your daughter.
About the author:
Kim Grustas , as the founder and owner of Good For You Girls natural skin care for girls, has committed her career to helping girls feel good about themselves while keeping them away from hormone altering chemicals during a crucial time in their bodies development. As a mom of two daughters, she started the line because she could not find any products she felt were safe, effective or age appropriate for her own girls. Kim knows first hand how hard it can be to raise naturally conscious kids. Hygiene is a natural part of growing up so why not show our daughters that the right choices today can mean a healthier future? Find out more at: http://www.GoodForYouGirls.com